Tuesday, February 24, 2015

3 Winter Items I Wear From Work to the Barn

I've got to start this post out with a little disclaimer: I am not and never will be a fashionista. This is not and never will be a fashion blog. When I decide what to wear or what to buy I base my choice upon two simple criteria: 1.) Practicality and 2.) Not looking stupid - it's a bonus if I actually look good.

Speaking of practicality, I really like crossover items that can go from work to the barn with minimal concern of damaging them or getting them too horsey. For me, I go straight to the barn from work and I rarely bring a full change of clothes with me. Plus in the winter with no heated tack room (or even a bathroom for that matter) in our barn there isn't really a good place to change. So without further ado, here are three items that I've been obsessively wearing both to work and to the barn this winter. From head to toe:

1. Carhartt Women's Winterfield Hat

I got this hat at the beginning of the winter season to replace a hat that was getting so worn and frayed that it was starting to look stupid (see criterion number two). I think I paid $20 for it at my local Tractor Supply, but you can get it for $15.99 on Amazon. At first I  was trying to roll it up a little bit at the bottom because I wasn't a fan of how far down it sat on my head, but as the winter has progressed, the temperature has dropped, and the wind has picked up, I've discovered that I actually really like the fact that I can practically pull it down over my eyes. It doesn't have any sort of lining but it's a nice thick knit, so I haven't had any problems keeping my ears warm! I do have to make an effort to remember to through it in the wash about once a week though, because it does like to absorb that characteristic barn fragrance.

2. Ariat Ashley Vest

I bought this vest shortly after Christmas from the brick and mortar Dover Saddlery store near me. At the time, this was a splurge item for me because I actually spent full price ($69.99) on it. Granted, it was money I was gifted from my Grandparents for Christmas, but still, I am generally much more frugal than that. Especially when it comes to spending money on clothes. I kind of hate spending money on clothes. However, this vest was the last one in the store and I grabbed it on a whim because I really liked the color. When I tried it on and looked in the mirror I was actually quite impressed by how sharp it looked! Even though you can now find it on sale for about half the price I paid, I don't regret paying full price for this item for once because of how much I really like it.

This vest is thin enough that it doesn't make me look like a big marshmallow (which has always been a fear of mine with puffy-type coats) and it fits under other jackets. I like to wear it under my coat to work on extra cold mornings and I can keep it on throughout the day because I think it looks nice enough paired with a long-sleeve shirt or thin sweater. Granted I do have a very casual work place - most people wear jeans to the office everyday. I also like that the neck comes up high enough when zipped to keep me nice and warm if I forget my scarf. The outside of the vest is also very smooth and doesn't collect horse hair or absorb horse smell at all that I have found!

3. Ariat Barnsley Boots

I asked for and got these for Christmas two or so years ago because I was looking for something warm enough to wear outside in the winter and decent looking enough to wear to work - plus I was already a fan of Ariats in general. My feet are happy in them. The foot of these boots are water resistant while the ankle is quilted and has fleece on the inside - very warm!

The third time I wore them, however, I stubbed my toe a little while stepping up on a curb and caught the shoe just in the right place to separate the rubber sole from the toe. I was really disappointed by this because I have had nothing but good experiences with Ariat craftsmanship before. I think I wore them a couple times after that incident, but then I sidelined them for a season for fear my toes would get wet. Not one to let an expensive pair of shoes go that easily, they stayed in my closet for a quite a while and I've rediscovered them this winter.

I don't wear them through deep snow (I give up and just wear my Muck Boots for that) but for regular walking to and from the train station and around work they're great. Even in slush and snow my feet have stayed dry despite the still separating toe and sole. I tried Shoe Goo and Gorilla Glue the sole back in place earlier in the season, but it just separated again after a while. I'll continue to wear these until they completely come apart though, because I like them so much!

Do you wear any of the same things at work and then to the barn?


  1. I have that vest too and love it! Also, about your boots, the same thing happened to my Ariat paddock boots, and I had them redone by www.nushoe.com. They are great, they replace the insole, outsole, laces, zippers, everything except the leather, and with Ariat certified parts. I wrote a review about it way back here: http://www.cobjockey.com/2011/11/vendor-review-nushoe-ariat-boot-renewal.html

    1. Ah - that is exactly what I need!!! These boots will now LIVE FOREVER! Thank you!

  2. A local cobbler can also fix your shoes if they just need the sole glued back on. It'll probably only cost like $20.

  3. that vest is a gorgeous color!! i recently picked up a peach colored ariat vest and can not wait until it's warm enough to wear it!!

  4. I wear my vests to work and the barn as well!