With summer in New York comes endless outdoor parties ranging from rooftop cocktail hours with skyline views to beach soirées in The Hamptons. The summer outdoor party that we’re partial to is the farm dinner. However, the one aspect of these farm parties that leaves us perplexed time and time again is the dress code: “Farm Chic.” When attending The Sylvia Center's Annual Farm to Table Dinner, GP Event Director Carly Katz-Hackman says she recommends an outfit of "creative denim (overalls, off the shoulder dresses, Canadian tuxedo), wide brim hats, white eyelet tops and sundresses, unexpected sunglasses, bralettes, neutral suedes…" And every year, when the GP family heads to Katchkie Farm for the dinner, we see a variety of "Farm Chic" attire ranging from flowing maxi dresses to hats, slacks and earthy button downs. Above are a few of our favorite "Farm Chic" sightings at Katchkie Farm.
Yet, we didn't think this debate was settled based solely on what we've seen for ourselves. To get to the bottom of this mystery we reached out to a few of our industry friends: event visionaries, philanthropists, and two fashion designers; one who is renowned for couture pieces and one who built a brand based on stylish workwear for female farmers. Read on to see their interpretations of the “Farm Chic” dress code!
Fashion Designer, Dennis Basso
Unless it's a theme dinner, I would leave the overalls and plaid shirts home and wear what you would wear to a garden party according to the time of year. For ladies, I would leave the sparkle outfits and the 5 inch Manolo's home. Men definitely in a blazer and slacks or Khaki pants.
A Dennis Basso Design
Founder of Gamine Workwear, Taylor Johnston
Well, some folks would argue that "real farmers" don't care about what they wear, or that they only care about function. I, like many others around the world, do not buy into this idea. I've found that almost every hardworking person has a special brand of style. It's a personal style that feels intentional and aesthetically driven--quite honestly, I'd say downright chic.
As workers ourselves at Gamine, I think “Farm Chic” not only celebrates hard work and the ethic associated with said hard work, but also takes into account the people behind the garments. Wearing second hand, or wearing worn garments makes a statement about the person behind the clothes rather than creating a facade one can hide behind. Food for thought (pardon the pun).
Below is what I would likely wear for a “Farm Chic” dress code…
-Brooks Boswell vintage hat atop some lose waves
-Long, vintage flow-y dress
-Rolled mender's hanky loosely tied around the neck
-Wrist full of my mother's silver bracelets & vintage bangles (sentimental jewelry!)
I love the idea of incorporating beloved field stamped garments into party attire; the idea is celebrating the fingerprinting of your own (or the farm’s own!) work and standing in proud representation of the trade.
Renowned International Event Designer, Bronson Van Wyck:
I think "Farm Chic" implies a bit of plaid - whether it be a navy suite with a tattersall check shirt, a crisp gingham tie or mixing in a hint of denim or chambray. A chambray pocket square could be a subtle nod to the theme. I grew up on a farm in Arkansas and I spent a lot of time in boots. When I can, I like to pair my suit or slacks with vintage boots; I can dance all night in them!
Philanthropist and Socialite, Muffie Potter Aston
Two types of farm events that I can think of are a "hoe down" party or the "Point to Point (horse) races" held on farms.
For a "Hoe Down" in a barn I would wear (as it’s a summer party) a pair of fitted blue jeans with my dark brown crocodile "cowboy" boots, a dark brown Ralph Lauren "cowboy" belt with a large silver buckle, paired with a crisp white blouse and a red bandana, of course. Most important, the outfit would not be complete without my black cowboy hat, silver and turquoise necklace and double cuff bracelets.
Philanthropist and Socialite, Somers Farkas
Good afternoon, and yee haw! At a hoe down, I too would dress like my southern bestie, Muffie; fitted denims (most likely Levi’s), with chocolate brown 'gator or croc' boots, and a Maggie Norris bespoke white cotton French cuff shirt with Daddy's ruby studs and his custom American flag cuff links (If the "hoe down" was on Long Island, however, I'd swap the American Flags with one NYPD and one FDNY cuff link). Around my waist, I'd wear a "worn" chocolate brown belt with a large silver buckle and an "F" in the center. Simple diamond earrings, and a bandana to tie my hair back.
What will you be wearing to your next "Farm Chic" event?