25 February 2000

ARCH-SCRUFF INTO

STYLEKING

Letters flooded in to our

Farming Fashions

Competition, with women

telling us about their

husbands dress sense.

Or, rather, their husbands

lack of it. We asked you

to tell us why your man

was the worlds scruffiest

and in return we promised

to kit the winner out in

£400 of clothes and

footwear courtesy of top

company Dickies

SCRUFFY obviously isnt the word for it. You told us tales of baler twine belts, concrete-stiffened hair and holes where holes really shouldnt be in decent company.

Farming may be a messy business, but it seems theres certainly room for improvement when it comes to style. "He looks like Compo from Last of the Summer Wine," one lady wrote of her husband. "Hes started wearing the pink sweater from the clothes bundle someone gave him for rags," another complained. "Odd socks wouldnt be so bad," one writer mused, "but odd wellies?"

One of his shirts began life as NHS pyjama top, S Gulliford of Bruton, Somerset, told us about her man. His stock response, apparently, is: "Those who know me know Ive got something better – and those who dont, dont matter."

You told us of odd socks, patches on patches, fertiliser sack hats and coats that began life as undertakers jackets. You told us of discarded clothes retrieved from dustbins by disgruntled men in the dark of night. You told us, quite simply, that you had had enough.

"Please save us from any more of this," Christine Chadwick wrote from the Isle of Man. She sent us a photo of her husband wearing a bucket on his head to keep off the rain.

"My man needs help," declared Delyth Powell of Builth Wells. "His hat is the crowning glory – a bedraggled, moth-eaten Russian rabbit skin brought back from a YFC trip 14 years ago."

Some letters were signed Yours Hopefully, others Fingers Crossed. One even signed off Yours in Despair.

"I dont want to change John, just the packaging," said Linda Cameron of Houghton on the Hill, Leics.

And change the packaging is what farmers weekly and Dickies are happy to do for our lucky winner, wholl be named next week. The two runners-up letters are published below, their writers will recieve a bottle of lovely bubbly – a Carr Taylor sparkling English wine. Youll be able to see the winning letter and the makeover in Farmlife next week. Itll be like the Milan and Paris catwalks. Except it wont be in Milan or Paris, itll be in this country. And there wont be Naomi Campbell, of course. Or the glamour. Or even the catwalk, come to think of it.

Just a bit of fun with a bucket of hot soapy water at the ready. And a chance to find out what itll cost you if you want great lasting, work-wear.