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Farm Fashionista

Renee-Lucie BenoitI would be a great candidate for the “What Not to Wear” show on TV. That is the most iconic of all makeover shows that used to air on The Learning Channel. Their show ended after 10 years last October. If it was still on and I could get accepted, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly would have a field day with me. Usually they just throw the makeover candidate’s clothes in a big ole trash bin. With me I’m pretty sure they’d scream “burn!” if they ever got hold of my motley selection of clothing. If only I could wean myself away from the television, I know I would be happy as a clam in my goofy duds. I could also try scurrying past the mirror without looking and not pause to inspect the reflection. I can’t help myself. I’m too weak – or vain – and the urge is too strong.

Here’s the problem. On a ranch or farm there’s something that takes over, and it’s called Practicality. You might even go as far as to call it Survival. Manolo Blahnik wouldn’t go over very well here. I don’t care how perfectly balanced his stiletto heels are. Can you just see yourself mucking stalls in heels? It’s totally ludicrous. I know I’m preaching to the choir. You know what I’m talking about. I would love to see all the “get-ups” that you folks yank over your faces and hike up to your waists just to get by and not freeze to death while you go about your business. We could call it "Farm Fashionista," and we could have a documentary made about us. Why not? Well, we could even submit it to "America’s Funniest Home Videos." Might as well get a good laugh out of it on the side, wha huh? One thing I know about farm people is that they love a good laugh, and they don’t care if it’s at their expense. Farm people have enough depth and confidence not to be intimidated about what other people think about how they look. Anyhoot, we have a job to do, don't we? Everything else comes in second.

Still and all, I try to dress with some style. I try. I don’t succeed. Maybe on the rare occasion when we go to town for dinner. Most of the time all it takes is one look at the thermometer and my priority becomes how to stay warm and not die.

Here’s an image for ya. Remember the scene from the movie “A Christmas Story”? When I dress on a winter’s day to go out at dawn and feed the critters that’s what sticks in my mind. You know the scene where Ralphie’s little brother Randy waddles along with his arms sticking out from his body? He’s a cocoon on two legs! That’s me, too! We're "separated at birth."

Randy snow suit renee winter suit

"A Christmas Story" photo courtesy

I think of Randy and I'm practically rolling around on the floor choking with laughter.  But I’m not laughing as I head out the door in sub-zero temperatures. Well, maybe a little. Does any of this sound familiar?

Clinton and StacyI’ve got the silk underwear, advertised “for warmth not bulk”, the fleece warm-up pants and hoodie, the thermal socks, the windbreaker pants and the Carhartt insulated, quilted coverall over the whole blame thing. We complete the ensemble with Thinsulate-lined ski gloves, fleece-lined hat with earflaps and rubber boots from Tractor Supply. Classy! But does the dog care? Does the cat? Do the horses, chickens and cows care? Guess what? Neither do I. In conclusion I guess I have to say "Stacy and Clinton, eat your heart out." Love you guys but your cute little jacket ensembles simply aren’t going to work out here.

 "What Not to Wear," Clinton and Stacy photo by Brian Doben, TLC; courtesy StyleList/AOL TV