It’s an oxymoron: hillbilly chic. Hillbilly. Chic. Yes, both.
With the recent media attention surrounding the “West Dallas Country Club” and its dumpster pool, we thought it timely to point out that fashion is looking to the backwoods for inspiration right now.
Fashion magazine Elle is trying to tell us that denim overalls are hot.
Rat rods — the hot rod’s rusty, jerry-rigged cousin — seem to be more popular than ever.
And South African rap group Die Antwoord has brought a certain trashy aesthetic to fashion. Who knew there were hillbillies south of the equator?
For my older relatives, “hillbilly” is an epithet serious enough to start a fight. But as an Ozarks native who grew up in the big-city suburbs and never actually did any farm work, I think it’s cute to call myself a hillbilly.
And I’ve always identified with hillbilly things. After the jump are some favorites.Mexican train dominoes — I don’t know if they play this in West (by God) Virginia or Kentucky, but down in the hollers of Missouri, Mexican train is the main game. My uncles played dominoes and drank Stag beer, whose tagline is “Steak, Taters And Gravy, that’s Stag”.
“Coal Miner’s Daughter” — The 1980 Loretta Lynn biopic is a portrait of hillbilly life. Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones give excellent performances as Loretta and her husband, Doolittle. Plus Levon Helm plays Loretta’s coal-mining pop, and Beverly D’Angelo gave arguably the best performance of her career portraying Patsy Cline. For those who cannot abide a biopic, “O Brother Where Art Thou?” is another favorite.
Hank Williams — Original recipe only — I don’t fool with the younger Hanks. This one was my grandpa’s favorite, and therefore, is mine too.
Dwight Yoakum — Although he’s known for the Bakersfield Sound, Dwight Yoakum is from Kentucky, where it’s lonely, ya’ll.
Noodling — Speaking of Kentucky, a friend insisted that I tell you about noodling and the Turtle Man of Kentucky. He got his teeth knocked out by a chainsaw, and he is for real.
Pepsi and peanuts — Sorry, Coke heads. It has to be Pepsi. For best results, buy a single serving of Planter’s peanuts and pour them into a just-opened glass bottle of Pepsi and drink/chew.
The Beverly Hillbillies — This ain’t the first rodeo for hillbilly chic.