In the olden days, life used to be clunkier. You had to write out checks and put them in envelopes and stamp them and run them to a mailbox just to keep your lights on. You had to show up on time to things or otherwise your friends would be worried sick. You couldn’t get a copy of anything unless you planned in advance and had onion-skin and carbon paper. And in the olden days, you never had a picture of the exact thing you want show up in the margins of what you were reading, and if it did, you couldn’t pay for it just by pointing at it.
No. If you wanted to find your exact right thing, you had to shlep through stacks of catalogs. They came through your mail slot in quantities sufficient to prop up the entire Postal Service. If you happened to be a mail carrier, you got to see every catalog there is. (Ladies and gentlemen of Route 531, sorry about the pizza stains.)
I found my very best thing in a catalog. It was a pair of Early Winters Butterfleece Women’s Overalls. One glance was all it took. I ordered those puppies and never looked back. They look exactly the same as when they were new, even though I wear them all the freaking time and they’re at least thirty years old. I’d wear them to church if I could get away with throwing a mantilla over them, and if I went to church.
They’re only as heavy as a cup of butterfly wings, and other than that tiny suggestion of weight at the shoulders, they feel like naked-time, only warmer and less alarming to passersby. You can basically walk around inside them. You can slip an arm in them to scratch your butt without anyone even knowing. You can gain and lose the same fifteen pounds and they don’t say a word. All of your bodily secrets are safe with them.
And that is why, for thirty years, every single time I put them on I get at least one compliment. From a woman. Complete strangers go out of their way to tell me how cute they are and ask where can they get some. Let’s call that three times a week for six months a year at thirty years–two thousand one hundred sixty compliments. From men? Zero.
(That’s almost true. One time, a man told me they were absolutely darling, called me “girlfriend,” and asked if I wanted to hear the specials. But he lived for tips.)
Dave, who has not lived this long by being stupid, has never weighed in on the subject of my overalls. If prodded, he says he likes them because it solved Christmas for him two years running. I have the same overalls in three colors.
It’s only been a little while since I learned about polar fleece. Polar fleece is essentially plastic. Polar fleece is made out of fossil carbon deposits and future dead sea life. So it’s a good thing it lasts. Some day hundreds of years after the big earthquake I’ll be discovered as a tidy pile of bones in fleece overalls that haven’t changed a bit. The archaeologists will guess my height and age accurately and commission an artist’s rendering of me in those overalls. Maybe they’ll give me eyebrows. The caption will reference a woman in “really cute” typical middle Anthropocene garb. That is because there are going to be a whole lot more women in science, baby.
Ha, now you know why those old farmers wore those overalls. They might be a little heavier but they sure are comfortable.
Plus, I'll just bet they were in there fiddling around all the time. It's just you and the wheat, right?
The thing that perplexes me about overalls — and the jumpsuits that designers keep throwing out there every so often — is how do you pee? Especially if, like me, you drink a lot of tea, water, and… um… other beverages. I pee a lot. If I had to get basically undressed every time I had to pee, and then redressed, I think I'd just move into the bathroom and call it a day.
Yeah. Well. That would be the only drawback. Especially if you're in a hurry and you've pulled a sweater on over the whole shootin' match.
My mom liked to dress me in overalls when I was three and then lock me and my sibs out of the house. Yeah, figuring out how to pee was a real issue. There's the getting out of them issue and then the being naked in front of the neighbors issue. Also the issue of where to do one's business when Mom refused to open the door and professed not to understand what I was trying to say. Amazing the things a body can remember at this remove in time.
I'm thinking your mom had issues, too.
Do you really have aliens with face holes in your yard? And here you are trying to distract us with really cute, plastic overalls.
Nope. Not my yard. That would be in the front of the Zymoglyphic Museum, about which I have written earlier.
I had a pair of denim overalls in the 70s. Everybody did, it seemed. But there was no stretch to them, and it was hard to find the right balance in the straps between loose enough to sit down and tight enough not to keep slipping off the shoulders. I'm thinking fleece would take care of that problem!
That Dave IS a clever man, isn't he?
I'd say he's nobody's fool, except I'd like to think he's mine.
Ehrmagawd, where can I get those?! So me. Please say they’re on line. I went to a retail store today for the first time since The Deluge and I’ll never do that again. The place was bigger and more confusing than I recall. Worse, there was no one there under 65, including both salespersons, and everything was “on sale” for Mother’s Day. The whole experience made me feel decrepit. I could use 3-4 pairs of really cute, indestructible overalls right now. Summer weight. Nothing in brown, though. Mediums. Thank you very much.
Google Sahalie Early Winters ButterFleece Overalls and you can find used ones people are selling. They've been off the market for decades. But I guarantee they'll look good as new.
Sadly mimimanderly nailed the problem with overalls. For me, and probably lots of other women. I need to piddle. I often need to piddle. And it has to be now. Or very, very shortly after now.
I will say these drop down just as fast as pants do–faster than zippered pants. You don't have to undo anything, just shove the straps off the shoulders. You do have to be careful not to drop them in the toity.
I, on the other hand, have discovered LuLaRoe polyester leggings which are soft as a baby's cheek and come in size "one size" size "tall and curvy," and size "tall and curvy 2"
Over my tall and curvy prints, I throw a solid-color tunic, concealing a multitude of sins, and I am supremely comfortable and moderately foxy for an old broad. I can whiz with ease, and am covered from ankle to waist. Yayyy. Have never found a jumpsuit // overall that is long enough. (Ok, if they're long enough, they're so big I could have a party in my pants.Another whole person could stand in the other leg.)
I keep thinking of the friend who was admiring a very tall woman from a distance and he mused, "I just want to cover her in butter and try to climb her."
A party in your pants…hmmmmmmmmmm
The story is that Mountain Girl, Kesey's and others girlfriend for a period,including members of the grateful dead, wore overalls similar to this.
Where were you in the late 60's, early 70's?
How the hell should I know? It was the late '60s, early '70s.
Carolyn. She's still around.
Aww Murr. Now you've got me wanting one more thing I can't have. Gol darn it. xoxox j
Shoot, we can find you some used on Mr. Internet.
1. find fleece party pants.
2. thank a Murr.
They do look nice, and comfortable too. I can't see myself wearing them though, at least not every day. If I even had any that is.
Not having any really cuts down on the opportunities.
I'm glad you like yours. Overalls and I have never loved each other. Too much hip, too much leg. Love the pockets, though.
It's handy if you personally have a lot of hip though.
I must admit I Googled them even before commenting. I will have to keep searching for a used pair in my size. Got hold of some white painters pants in the 80s and loved them, but these clearly are a better fit.
I had blue denim ones and bright orange denim ones in the '70s but they were tight. Mama don't do tight if Mama can help it.
Have you considered having a seamstress take a pattern from them, then you could make your own or have them custom made for you in wild colors and prints.
I could do that myself, but I have three indestructible pairs, a lifetime supply!
Wow. I have four pairs of something similar and in different colors. That should be my next post. Got them at Lands End and they were costly but made to last and will be inherited by my children who will send them to good will for some other lucky woman.
We can call them Legacy Overalls.
Legacy overalls. Love it! Yeah, I tried to find them online. No success so far but I have the will to continue looking. One day I'll find 'em.
Really a beautiful blog.It is very astonishing and marvelous design.