Celebrate America– and Broke-Assness– by Dressing like a Hillbilly
I’m a patriot, and not in the Mel Gibson/ Heath Ledger C-List Revolutionary War movie kind-of-way. Rather, I express my love for Our Beloved County by getting down and dirty with the working man, or at least dressing like it sometimes. I’m talking lots of denim, cotton button-ups, straw hats and overalls, everything worn-in to farm boy perfection. I call this look the “Sharecropper,” and I think you should try it this 4th of July. I mean, what better way to celebrate the good ol’ US of A than by infusing your current steez with a touch of rustic Americana?
The Sharecropper is a great look for broke-asses, because it’s all about being kind of dirty and dressing like a hick. No money to shop? That’s okay, wear the same three outfits all of the time and look at them as your “uniform.” The Sharecropper is big on workwear. A little grease in the hair is good too, especially for guys because it allows them to achieve a 1930s, Depression-era slicked-back ‘do a la the subject of a Walker Evans photograph. Girls should sport a loose braid, or if they really wanna get the Dust Bowl look, a no-nonsense bob. The key is to be effortless– you can’t spend too much time looking at yourself in the mirror because it will cut into your favorite pastimes of tilling the land and changing the oil on your jalopy.
Once you get a little messy, go into your closet and dig out all of your denim. Pick out the rattiest, time-worn pair of jeans you own. Hopefully they are a classic-yet-affordable brand like Levi’s, because The Sharecropper simply does not do $200 Seven for All Mankinds. These may have been “laundry day” jeans when you dressed like a normal person, but now that you’re a barnyard babe they will become the foundation of your wardrobe. Throw ‘em on and cuff ‘em to the ankle– you can’t have the bottoms of your pants dragging through the mud when you’re working in the fields (or much less through dog pee and garbage on the filthy streets of whatever overpriced urban metropolis you live in).
What to wear with your rapidly disintegrating jeans? A white shirt. For some reason, Sharecroppers love to wear the color that shows the most dirt. They’re a complex group of people. A unisex white cotton button-up from a thrift store or someplace like Target does the job, and keeps your outfit from looking too rugged for your real-life city livin’. Another option would be the plaid look– like the Levi’s shirt seen above– which can also be found by the shitload at any thrift store, and on hipsters everywhere circa 2008.
A note to male aspiring Sharecroppers– you should really consider heading down to K-Mart and purchasing a 5-pack of Hanes wife-beater tank tops. Sport one at your 4th of July BBQ. Stand around looking sweaty and brooding, constantly running your fingers through your 1930s greasy slicked-back ‘do. Guaranteed– you will be beating the ladies off of your hillbilly ass like and infestation of gophers in your tomato crop.
Of course, the piece de resistance for any sharecropper is a pair of overalls. Overalls are awesome because they have tons of pockets and are super comfortable and make a total fashion statement. Thanks to the popularity and subsequent decline of overalls during the 1990s, most thrift stores are littered with pairs donated by former wannabe-Angela Chases. Designer Junya Watanabe even recognized the glory of the all-in-one denim ensemble for men in his latest collection– I give mad props to any dude who has the fashion chops to sport this craycray Grapes of Wrath look on a beer run to the grocery store.
If the budget allows, consider adding a straw hat, a gingham dress, a leather belt, old-timey suspenders, work boots, or worn-in penny loafers to your look. Do you feel the Americana pulsing through your veins yet? Do you bleed red, white and blue? Or maybe you just want to eat a hot dog, get drunk and watch some fireworks? Either way, you’ll look damn good this Independence Day.