Why Do Farmers Wear Denim Bib Overalls?

Are you talking about history???

That’s for sure because Denim Bib Overalls have been the staple workwear for farmers since ages.

The Denim Bib Overalls not only protect the farmers from messes from mud, water, chemicals and fertilizers, but also the fabric denim is durable, comfortable and can handle all the rough elements of farming.

But as I said, denim bibs are a history now as with the change of time a better version of these overalls have arrived and that’s coveralls.

This, I have learnt from my friend Daniel who has a farm land in Florida and he himself likes to work on it in his leisure times. 

Why Do Farmers Wear Denim Bib Overalls

Daniel told me about the difference between a denim bib overall and a coverall. 

Denim Bib Overalls came into existence in the 1700s in the US and were at once the favorites of the farming class of society. There’s many reasons for it like:

1.) The overalls protected the legs and some parts of the torso from the farming elements like water, mud, fertilizers, etc.

2.) The fabric denim is breathable yet can handle all the rough elements without getting damaged

3.) While cotton cannot protect your body from harmful chemical sprays and fertilizers, denim can

4.) The overalls have pockets in them for storing the tools of the farmers and they do not have to carry a separate box for tools while on work

5.) If you wear normal pants, there is always a chance that the pants can come down while bending and walking if not secured by a tight belt and wearing a belt while farming is just not comfortable at all.

But, the Denim Bib Overalls have straps in them that hang on the shoulder and keep the pants pulled up without keeping the farmers worried.

6.) The Denim Bib Overalls are also easy to clean and do not need any delicate handling

Yes, these were some of the advantages that Daniel had mentioned to me while talking about the Denim Bib Overalls.

He told me that with all these advantages, the overalls became the go to work wear for farmers and they ruled the market until farmers started facing some issues with the overalls like:

1.) The overalls did not cover the chest area and the farmers needed to wear something within to protect the upper body from farming hazards

2.) The overalls did not have enough pockets to carry all the essential tools of farming

3.) The denim bib overalls also did not help in the winters as the fabric denim is not capable of keeping one warm in the cold

Then I asked Daniel, what did they choose alternately?

He said, things do not happen just in seconds, it takes time and understanding of the problems to fix it and with many such experiments and alterations to Denim Bib Overalls came into the market the Coveralls.

A funny yet true contrast between the two explained by Daniel was…

The Denim Bib Overalls were nothing but modern day dungarees and the Coveralls are like Jumpsuits!

Yes, that’s the basic difference between the two with certain features added to both for farming purposes.

I was just curious to know more about coveralls and wondered how a new invention suddenly overthrew the age-old workwear of farmers!

Taking a sip of his coffee, Daniel went on with his story of how he had seen his grand dad wearing Denim Bib Overalls and then things started changing from his father’s time with the Coveralls taking over the Overalls.

He proceeded…

“Why I chose to wear a coverall over overalls has a story behind it. Once my grand dad was working in this particular farmland in his Denim Bib Overalls.

It was quite cold and as he had to work with water, he did not want to wear sweaters or insulated trousers within his overalls as the overall would be able to protect the inners from getting wet and did not want to spoil his warm wears just for a few hours working in the farm.

The overall was wet with water and he continued to work in it for hours. He continued to do the same for days and then one day he complained of having cough and chest pain (which he had been through for a couple of days but did not inform us thinking it would just go away in some days).

When the condition got worse, we had to take him to the hospital and to our misfortune, he was diagnosed with pneumonia. We had to admit him in the hospital and it took him months to recover.

That’s when my father decided to take over his farming and started to look for something more protective than overalls. During this search, he came across the Coveralls that were mentioned to him by his fellow farmer friends in the town.

Coveralls Farmers

When he finally bought one for himself, he just found how advantageous they were from the Denim Bib Overalls. While the Denim Bib Overalls were made of Corduroy or chino cloth, the Coveralls were made of cotton, polyester, nylon and twill (all resistant to wear and tear and super comfortable for all weather).

My dad said he was amazed by the protective nature of the coveralls as they covered from the neck to the legs. They were waterproof and some insulated versions were also available in the market.

But if one did not want to wear the insulated coveralls, then wearing sweaters or warmers inside wasn’t a problem as the coveralls were waterproof. 

Now when I started farming and went to explore the market for the best coverall for myself, I found out that there are yet more innovations to them with newer features like:

1.) The modern day Coveralls are considered PPE and they are made keeping in mind the regulations and standards of general PPE

2.) Nowadays, coveralls also come with head protection for saving you from the rain

3.) Coveralls are waterproof and resistant to oil and grease as well

4.) Coveralls also have more pockets in them to carry as many tools as you want while farming

5.) There are Coveralls with reflective tapes that enable you to be seen from far while you are working in dark

6.) The coveralls are chemical as well as cut resistant too

With all these advantages that a coverall has over overalls, I simply decided to close my eyes and choose a modern day Coverall over the age-old Overalls.”

I was convinced with Daniel’s story and came to the conclusion that overalls are things of the past in farming. Coveralls have taken their place and there’s no doubt in their superiority!

And it’s a wrap!

I hope this story helped you make a better decision for your farming needs!

If so, do stay tuned for more such real life experiences and stories!

Till then, take care and have a great day ahead!

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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