Whether you’ve always had a green thumb or you discovered your inner gardener later in life, you probably know by now just how important it is to dress appropriately for the task. Spending time toiling in the heat is no small feat, after all — never mind all that dirt. So do you need to head out in search of the ultimate gardener’s wardrobe if you’ve committed to a life of botanical bliss?
Well, not entirely. Chances are you’ve probably got some garden-friendly essentials hanging right there in your closet. You might even be surprised to discover what actually qualifies as “garden-friendly.” Per Jobe's comfort and protection are key to finding the perfect outfit for your gardening day. Here are some of the best outfits to wear while you’re wielding your tools out there.
Bottom line: Nothing matters more than your comfort. Shoes that lack support increase the likelihood that your feet will feel especially sore and achy at the end of the day. Look for footwear that’s designed specifically to cradle your feet in constant comfort from front to back. Details like arch support and sturdy outsoles are the hallmarks of a great pair of gardening shoes. You also need something that keeps your foot in place.
While this general description may call to mind something quite utilitarian, the contrary is true. The modern gardening shoe is surprisingly cute. Breathable slip-on flats are perfect, so long as they have flexible rubber soles. You can never go wrong with classic gardening clogs, either. Some have more complex tread on the outsoles, allowing them a firmer grip on muddy or otherwise tricky ground. The London Fog women’s footwear collection includes an array of styles that are perfect for getting a little messy in the dirt.
It may seem fairly simple to grab any hat with a wide brim, but not so fast. Your hat of choice makes a big difference, especially the more time that you spend outside. Some styles naturally lock in body heat, like those made with cotton. More forgiving options like straw or raffia allow your head to breathe, making it easier for you to manage in the heat. The wide brim is non-negotiable since you need that extra real estate to shield your skin from powerful ultraviolet rays. Browse through your vacation clothing essentials — it’s possible that you already have a suitable option right there in your closet. Otherwise, something designed specifically for sun coverage will help you keep your cool.
A breezy top made with crisp cotton keeps you comfortable whether you’re digging or simply watering. No matter the task, you need a shirt that won’t cling to your skin when it heats up or as you begin to perspire. Gardening requires plenty of movement — you’re using your arms, you’re walking back and forth, and you’re generally getting in quite the workout while transforming your yard into a paradise.
So it makes sense to slip into women’s T-shirts made for sunny-day wear. Look for something with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) that combats ultraviolet rays. As for the right color, try a bright or dark hue — they absorb greater amounts of ultraviolet light than pastel and white colors per the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
A dress? For working outside? While conventional wisdom might suggest that the only outfit of choice is a T-shirt with a pair of shorts or pants, you aren’t limited where your gardening clothes are concerned. Look for something with added length to safeguard your legs from sun exposure, bugs, and dirt. The other advantage of wearing a dress is that it allows you to move freely, making it easy to squat and bend without difficulty.
Long cotton sundresses feel light and breezy and provide plenty of flexibility. Plus, they upgrade your style game in a big way. If you’re all about pretty patterns, why not wear that oh-so-appropriate floral print while you plant some roses and daisies? If you love a nautical stripe, you’ll love the playful touch it brings to your gardening wardrobe. There are plenty of great solid colors available, too.
Historically, long pants and overalls have always had a place in the garden. Today you’ve got options galore when it comes to silhouettes. A pair of wide-leg pants is a great choice because it encourages circulation, so you stay cool when it matters the most. A material like linen is light and breezy, grazing against your skin, wicking moisture from your skin, and never restricting movement.
Heavier fabrics, by contrast, can weigh you down the more time that you spend outside. At the same time, a pair of women’s jeans will prove especially helpful on an extra muddy day or any occasion when you’re working deep in the dirt. You’ll appreciate the robustness of the material as it protects you from moisture and messiness.
Ultimately, your comfort comes before everything else. That means taking a firm stance against the sun and making sure you’re adequately protected in comfortable gear from top to toe.