Hovden Formal Farm Wear - BLOG

Hovden Leather Aprons

The more I look at old photos of workers, the more I realize how important aprons were. This fall we made an apron in hemp/organic cotton. Now we are introducing two leather aprons. All three aprons are designed and made in Portland, Oregon. 

The leather aprons are inspired by people in the past who made things with their hands. A leather apron was part of their workwear. It kept them safe and it made their clothes last longer. 

These aprons are also inspired by today's craftsmen and craftswomen. Cobblers, welders, florists and other makers. The aprons are made to last and will become more beautiful with age and use. They will tell the story of the maker. 

From Hol Bydgearkiv 1930-40: www.digitaltmuseum.com



Square waist apron - minimalist look.


Natural, or 'live' edge waist apron.

Welder Jill Torberson

I have had the honor of working with and getting to know Jill Torberson, a Portland welder. We met at Scan Fair in December and realized we have a lot in common, including really liking each others businesses. Jill creates beautiful metal art and functional metal pieces. She is now working in a Hovden wool busserull shirt. She was a good sport and modeled the leather apron for me. She was the one who suggested that Hovden should make a functional leather apron for workers. I'm glad she did! Check out Jill's work here





Check out the leather aprons here

Read more →

The Hovden Apron


The busserull workshirt, which Hovden has been making for 3 years, was a man’s shirt (although today it is gender neutral). We decided it was time to recreate the women's work attire. But...what was the women's work attire? The apron, of course! Looking at photos of women in their work environment – with kids, on the farm, with animals, cooking, cleaning – it was obvious that the apron was on from dusk ‘til dawn. It helped protect the few dresses they owned. It was easier to wash an apron or two, than the shirts and dresses that they were wearing.

The inspiration for this apron came from all the women who have worked hard and cared for their families - always.


 Photo curtesy www.digitaltmuseum.no



We are excited to honor the women who worked so hard in a bygone era, by recreating their work attire – the apron.

After a lot of searching we found a fabric we loved and was perfect for the job. Sturdy canvas from hemp/organic cotton with indigo stripes: durable, sustainable and beautiful.

This apron isn’t your basic one piece covering, but rather it invokes the timeless appeal of the carefully pieced together covering from days long ago, while presenting a clean, beautiful finish.

The aprons are sewn, one at a time, with lots of love in Portland, Oregon. 

We hope you will love and treasure it as much as we do. Check out the apron in our shop here




To fully appreciate the versatility of the old aprons, enjoy this poem.  


Apron poem by Tina Trivett 

The strings were tied, it was freshly washed, and maybe even pressed.
For Grandma, it was everyday to choose one when she dressed.
The simple apron that it was, you would never think about;
the things she used it for, that made it look worn out.

She may have used it to hold some wildflowers that she'd found.
Or to hide a crying child's face when a stranger came around.
Imagine all the little tears that were wiped with just that cloth.
Or it became a potholder to serve some chicken broth.

She probably carried kindling to stoke the kitchen fire.
To hold a load of laundry, or to wipe the clothesline wire.
When canning all her vegetables, it was used to wipe her brow.
You never know, she might have used it to shoo flies from the cow.

She might have carried eggs in from the chicken coop outside.
Whatever chore she used it for, she did them all with pride.
When Grandma went to heaven, God said she now could rest.
I'm sure the apron that she chose, was her Sunday best.



Read more →

Hovden Art Project: Modern Norwegian Rosepainting by Kristin Derby

The second artist participating in the Hovden Art Project is Kristin Derby. She resides in Buffalo, NY, and has strong ties to Norway, as her mother is from Oslo. Kristin is a talented graphic designer. She studied Communications Design, minoring in Textiles at Syracuse University. 

Kristin was tasked with making a Scandinavian inspired bandana design. She created a beautiful modern expression of the traditional Norwegian rose painting. The bandanas turned out really nice.  

Kristin says: "I have a deep appreciation for many areas of fiber arts, and one of my favorite museums and leading contributors to my ideas has been the Norsk Folkemuseum, in Oslo, which contains historical buildings and crafts from the past few centuries. It is an amazing step back in time that surprisingly holds many designs and colors relevant to contemporary movements. For this collaboration, I drew my inspiration from traditional Rosmaling, which is a beautiful method of painting flowers and abstract designs on wooden items."



Where did you come across Hovden Formal Farm Wear?

"I found Hovden by chance through the Norwegian American newspaper and immediately appreciated how the company had reintroduced such a staple clothing from Scandinavia to the rest of the world in a sustainable, ethical, and fashionable way. I am so proud I was asked to partner on this new collaboration and hope that you will enjoy a little more of "updated" Scandinavian design." Kristin

We at Hovden are in love with the bandana design! It fits so well! Thank you Kristin for your beautiful art work Kristin! 

Click here to see the bandanas in the shop. 

Click here to see Kristins website. 

Kristin at Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo.  



Read more →

The Lookbook 2016 Story

'Interurban Roots' the 2016 Fall/Winter Collection Lookbook

For us, every look book we create tells a story, our story. We’re just as connected to the history of our apparel as we are to the people who wear our garments today.  
The wonderful models in this new look book are Erik Brakstad and Rachel Bondor Winer, who have been linked to us since we made our first busserull.

Erik is the owner of the old busserull shirt that we drafted the pattern from! I know him from the Norwegian-American community here in Portland, his dad was Norwegian. In January 2014 I texted Eric and asked if I could borrow his busserull shirt and the rest is our history! He currently owns a few busserull shirts including the original historical piece. He wears his new Hovden busserull shirts to Scandinavian events, but also when he meets with clients and needs to dress up his working contractor garb a bit.  He is not a fan of wearing a shirt and a tie, so the busserull shirt is a perfect substitute.

Rachel was one of our first Kickstarter backers in June 2014. She loves everything Scandinavian and became a part of the the Hovden 'inner circle of fans/helpers' in the very beginning. She has been helping us talk about and sell Hovden items at festivals and we even have playdates with our kids. Did I mention that as well as being our model, this smart and gorgeous woman has 3 kids??!! Super-women for sure! Rachel also has solid style, so we are honored to be represented in her closet with a few of our shirts...and now a dress!

Thank you Rachel and Eric for bringing our vision to life with your stellar modeling skills! .
We shot on location at the Nordia House in SW Portland. After 20 years of planning and fundraising, the Scandinavian inspired building was finished last summer and now offers a home for all things Nordic. It’s a great place to visit while in Portland and even has a Swedish restaurant, Broder, and they also host a lot of great concerts. Thank you Nordia House for letting us use the space for our photoshoot.  
Thank you to:
Stine with Steena Photography, the amazing photographer, who is Norwegian and has also been following and supporting Hovden since day one! 

Brandie Mannon for the beautiful braid!

Benjamin Holtrop and Rena Hartman for amazing styling and art direction!

With all of your help, it all came together beautifully.

If you want to see more photos, follow Hovden on Instagram. I have a lot more photos to share!
Take a look at the Lookbook here
Check out the new Collection here


Read more →

Hovden Art - Collage by Susan Hannen


We are proud to announce the Hovden Art Project, where artists create one or more pieces of art that encompasses Hovden and the busserull shirts past and/or present. Who else loves this idea? 

The first artist is Susan Hannen, who has been a Hovden fan and follower since the first year Hovden was in business. She found Hovden on Pinterest. She is located in Buffalo, NY and her medium is collage. 

I saw some of the historic collages that Susan had made, and fell in love. There are so many layers of history and story telling in her art. It was a perfect match for Hovden and I love what she created! It represents exactly what Hovden is trying to do. It is bridging the gap between the present and the past in a beautiful way. 

"I really wanted it to reflect the simple elegance, historical significance, and utility of the shirts."    Susan Hannen

Details of the collage: 

Detail of the collage


Detail of the collage


About Susan Hannen 

"I became interested in making collages when I taught poetry as a teaching artist in a long-term residency at the Native American Magnet School in Buffalo, New York. When working with the students I saw the power that making images brought to the writing experience, how making collages to illustrate their poems created a new excitement and enthusiasm for the written word.

After that, though I'd never thought of myself as a visual artist, I began to collect vintage images from books and scour estate sales for old photograph albums. I'd spend hours just shifting images around until something clicked and they fell into place like puzzle pieces.

For me, making collages is a meditative activity, one in which I can lose myself completely. It feels very much like play - like when you become so deeply engaged in something that time and place simply fall away."

Follow Susan on Instagram @susan_hannen 

I have printed this art as postcards, so if you would like me to send you a post card, send your address to hovdenffw@gmail.com

Read more →

Wedding in Hovden shirts

A farm wedding calls for farm shirts, right?! The Massey-Flinn wedding looks stunning! Hovden is proud to have 'been there' on such an important day in the life of this beautiful couple. Congratulation! And thank you for sharing these special photos. 


Thank you to the Massey-Flinn family and photographer Nayoung Wilson for letting Hovden post the photos! 

Read more →

Hovden on the Runway - ALLEY33


The highlight of the year! Hovden shirts on the runway!! Alley33 was such a fun fashion show to be part of. Hovden was one of 19 Portland apparel brands represented. Check out the Hovden looks her:



Thank you Alley33 and Beth Olson for awesome photos! And thank you to these beautiful models who ROCKED the Hovden shirts! 


Read more →

Hovden in Portland Mercury

Honored to be mentioned in the Portland Mercury Blog this week! Hovden is no secret anymore!! 
Read more →

New Newsletter: Hovden Shirts in a New Light

Read the latest Hovden Newsletter: HOVDEN SHIRTIS IN A NEW LIGHT. And don't forget to sign up for the Hovden newsletter. I send one about once a month. 


Here is a preview from the Newsletter. Yes!! New shirts in the SHOP!! 


Read more →

COALESCE - a pop-up shopping experience

I'm proud to be part of this pop-up shopping event! I hope some of you who live in Portland will make it! There are going to be a lot of beautiful things and talented makers there!!  Save the date! Sept 19th 12-4pm!

Tell your friends about it!

Read more →