It's not that we hate farmers—especially as they control the nation's grain supply, and crossing them would be downright foolhardy if we want to see our ham-on-rye again. We just don't understand them, especially their fashion sense and particularly where overalls are concerned. The extra buttonhole in the bib pocket troubles us. Is that where you button yourself to another farmer? No one ever talks about it. Does your corsage go in there? Cute!

But this is all smoke screen, and it begs the larger question of the overalls themselves: fashion's equivalent of the vestigial tail for those of us who live outside the nation's breadbasket—whose families don't have their own proprietary brand and barbed wire design. Should we wear them if the words "Fordson" and "farm implement" mean nothing to us?

The folks at Ambiguous say yes! At the Lab's recent glitzy Orange County Design Collective, their studliest (we've heard) male model strode out in a pair of overalls that left—well, less to the imagination than we would've liked. The fit, he was tight. And zippers? It's as if Michael Jackson's jacket in the Thriller video came back as overalls. The fabric, all shiny and olive-y, reminded us of parachute pants—and not in a good way (assuming there is a good way).

Overalls are like hip waders or doctor's scrubs—or, in the land of No Winter, even a real pea coat: you can't wear them unless you're a world champion fly fisherman (hey hey), a doctor (in which case they're hot because you make a lot of money) or a tugboat captain, respectively. Because they're out of context.Like a hazmat suit, or Uggs.

This shouldn't stop Ambiguous, which is strangely specific about its product lineup and future ("Arbeit macht frei") plans. (Except that last part.) You should start seeing its overalls sometime next year; earlier if you—how to put this—imported too much turkey over the holidays. It's sad: the only people who look good in overalls are the people who would look good in anything.

Don't sportswear companies know this? This is at least the third outbreak of overalls in recent memory. They're like locusts, but quicker. Won't somebody please think of the children? We'd hoped to save them from this. And polio.


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