28 August 2012

2012 Sheep Fashion Report: Embracing Change

If you've read my blog, you probably know that I spend a good deal of time at the Iowa State Fair each year. As I especially enjoy seeing the animals, I began to notice a few years back that the sheep often sport outfits. Presumably this is to keep their wool clean, but I REALLY think it's because the sheep like to look fashionable. So I've developed a bit of an interest in tracking Sheep Fashions. (Read a past post here.) It's interesting to see how trends have come and gone over the past years. 

My all-time favorite choice for sheep outerwear is Spandex. Unfortunately, there wasn't much of it to be seen in the barns this year. I had a hunch last year that Sheep Spandex was on the way OUT, so I asked a farmer about it. Turns out it's somewhat difficult to poke a sheep's legs into a Spandex sleeve (the technical word is "tube"), no matter how cute the pattern. *sigh* Change is hard for me.

Here's one of the few sheep I saw this year sporting Spandex. What a beautiful sight.

Here's further evidence that Sheep Spandex is no longer fashionable: A few sheep were dressed in threadbare Spandex, obviously hand-me-downs (no pun intended). This poor sheep in a delicate flower print was so embarrassed about her appearance that she wouldn't even look at the camera.

As it turns out, some hand-me-down Spandex made its way to the GOATS -- and they're not happy about it, either. (Goats, I've determined after careful study, are almost the same as sheep, just with longer ears.) I found this trio of goats reluctantly sporting last season's Sheep Spandex.

Even this Iowa Hawkeye goat was mortified to be seen in a torn suit.

So with Sheep Spandex on the way out, what's new in 2012 Sheep Fashions?

My first observation (and this is an unfortunate continuing trend from recent years) is that the Sheep Cloak appears to be here to stay. Much like baggy jeans, the cloak does NOTHING to enhance the sheep's appearance. And the optional head covering makes it really hard for the sheep to see her neighbors, let alone look attractive in pictures.

While Sheep Spandex leaves nothing to the imagination, the shapeless Sheep Cloaks reveal nothing. Really, it could be just about ANYTHING under that canvas tarp.

And clearly the once fashionable sheep do not enjoy this new trend, thrust upon them by farmers who obviously value practicality over fashion. This poor sheep tucked her head in shame.

Most sheep looked downright depressed to be wearing such garb.

Fortunately, there is a glimmer of hope! 

 Although it pains me to admit it, hope has come in the form of a cowl neck. I despised cowl necks back in the 70's and now that they're back in style, I still don't like them. But if cowl necks will help my friends in the sheep barn, sign me up.


The Sheep Cowl is available in solid colors, prints, and all sorts of interesting combinations. Sometimes the print is only on the cowl neck...

...and sometimes it's on the garment body. As any sheep will tell you, the eye is drawn to the part of the body sporting the print.

Some Sheep Cowls are reversible to allow the sheep to sport different looks for different occasions. Perhaps these sheep could roll up or down their cowls for a different look at the upcoming Clay County Fair.
Sheep Cowls are also available in bright, vibrant colors.

But most sheep appear to wearing solid colors with reversible patterned cowl necks. And for everyday wear, this does seem to be the most sensible option.

Hip-hop look:

Earth Day look:

This year, I also noticed a new phenomenon: The Sheep Train. It seems that sheep like to connect with each other in head to tail fashion. Regardless of what they're wearing, it's pretty darn cute.

Thanks for checking out my 2012 Sheep Fashion Report. I wonder what new trends next year will bring!



Scrapping Grandma 21 said...

I'll check it out at the Clay Co. FAIR since we're headed that way !

Janet said...

That would be awesome, Diana! You'll have to let me know how the sheep are dressed up north!

Cheri said...

LOL! They look much better in Spandex, although the cowl neck outfits aren't too bad. I agree wholeheartedly, the sheep look positively mortified to be wearing those shapeless cloaks!

Daisy said...

The Sheep Cowl is quite stylish!

Kristina said...

I was wondering if we were going to get a sheep fashion update. I personally like the cowl neck look and think it will flatter all shapes and sizes rather than the spandex. :)

Heather said...

I love the sheep train. My least favorite look is the hood thing. It makes them look like klan members and that is never a good fashion statement.