Thursday, September 24, 2015

On Overalls, Coveralls, and Jeans

Freakonomics has a piece on why suspenders are better than belts (belts are tourniquets) but belts still rule.

As the son of a farmer who wore overalls all his life, I noted the total absence of overalls in the discussion.  According to wikipedia I should really say "bib overalls" (look at the "talk" page for some of the UK/US distinctions, including coveralls and boiler suits).

Turns out Modern Farmer has a piece with a little history.  It seems that the farmers in the food movement are proud of their bib overalls. I'd had the impression that professional farmers in production agriculture were wearing them less these days, but that's only an impression.  I doubt if there's any statistics on their production over the years.

It's odd--dad would usually change to khaki worksheet and pants when going to town on the weekly trip (for animal feed and people food) and dress in a suit for his school board meetings or meetings of the GLF (the ag co-op).  So to me bib overalls are associated with manual work one has to do.  In contrast I wore jeans (stiff as a board when first bought from Monkey Wards) for work.  I still retain that association and don't wear bib overalls (though my wife wears them for her work in the garden).

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