You know those two-tone outfits that Mzansi farmers have been wearing since forever? It is no longer unfashionable, untrendy and uncool. In fact, some of our favourite farmers and even city kids are rocking it – and they’ve all got legs for days!
A few days ago, while browsing through Twitter and the ’gram, glossing over #humblebrags and desperate pleas for attention, we happened upon a post from Andile Ngcobo, operations manager of Tusokuhle Farming in Pietermaritzburg.
His feed is a must-view for every up-and-coming farmer – loaded with fresh farmer advice, inspiration, stories of success, and pearls of wisdom. Anyway, this one post in particular grabbed our attention for a different reason. This one was alluring – evident of the changing face of South African agriculture.
Ngcobo along with four of his mentees, were decked out in the finest khaki wear as if they were stepping on to a photoshoot for Vogue magazine or something. But they weren’t the only ones.
Digging deeper we stumbled on more farmers breaking the mould of farmer regalia, and also the old time perceptions of two-tone and khaki. Strutting their stuff with pride. Or, as the Pretoria-based farm clothing brand Boerboel Wear would say, they “wys their vleis” (“show their meat”).
Title Deeds, Water Rights, Hectares, Tons, Breeds & Varieties…You Know, Things Like That! pic.twitter.com/F5I18VmUQ3
— Chartered Farmer CF(SA) (@as_ngcobo) September 26, 2020
Khaki is the fabric of choice when it comes to shirts and the “kort kortbroek,” (“short shorts”) explains co-owner of Boerboel Wear, Sarichia Coetzer (37). She and her business partner, Stefan Hugo (38), founded the brand in 2015.
We spoke to Coetzer to clarify a few farmer fashion queries:
Look, at the risk of sounding like Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada. How is khaki even sexy?
Speaking frankly, it is all about blending in with your environment. The colour is practical. The fit is practical. A farmer spends most of their days out in the field in nature, and they need to blend in with their environment.
But do the shorts really have to be that short?
The modern farmer wants to be able to lift their legs up. Climb over things. They don’t want to be constricted while jumping in and out of a bakkie all day. They want to be flexible, and move around freely.
Wys jou vleis? I did a little bit of giggle when I saw this.
Farmers today aren’t as conservative like they once were. It is an all-inclusive lifestyle. Today’s farmer wants to farm in style. They want to feel good when they are out on the field. They don’t want to revert back to that negative perception that the industry used to have. With #wysjouvleis we want everybody to understand it doesn’t matter if you are big, small, tall, skinny, fat, show your meat.
#TeamFoodForMzansi picks their fave farmer looks
We are starting to feel the khaki head-to-toe. Aren’t those thighs a sight for sore eyes? North West livestock farmer, Olerile Lekgetho does this look justice while riding a horse in Lykso a small-town neighboring Vryburg.
🌾🌾❤️❤️👨🏿🌾👨🏿🌾👨🏿🌾👨🏿🌾❤️❤️🥰. My mode of transport to and from work❤️ pic.twitter.com/ugU83YNRCg
— Olerile Ole (@OleLekgetho) August 7, 2020
The Northern Cape’s “Boer Bae”, Matshidiso Parage is a lover of farmer apparel, so much so that she has even created her own brand influenced by “Boer” style.
The kort kortbroek is truly practical. Long pants are stifling. Just ask KwaZulu-Natal farmer Ryno Landsberg. He finds the thought of farming in jeans laughable, more so in the extreme Vryheid heat.
Women wear it better, honestly. Northern Cape farmer Refilwe Coetzee unashamedly embraces the “Boer” lifestyle. This outspoken farmer is truly a farmer fashion icon.
When other women wanted to run the world all I wanted to do was feed the world🙏🏽🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/gAOiISQ3ac
— FarmGirl (@Fifi_dvc) August 31, 2020
We’re not wrong about women wearing it better! Free State livestock farmer Jossi Steyn says that farmer wear should be breathable.
Budding hydroponic farmer Phikolomzi Dlamini always looks dapper while co-managing vegetable tunnels alongside, his mentor Andile Ngcobo in KwaZulu-Natal.
— Phikolomzi Dlamini 👨🏾🌾 (@phiko_dlamini) October 1, 2020