To the serious gardener, what to wear when gardening may not be a matter of fashion. Most make do with old jeans so they can drop knees-to-soil and wipe muddy hand without a care. But if you plan to spend your time at home in the garden, you can do better than that.
Wearing a garden outfit that is loose, airy, and durable can extend a gardener’s comfortable garden time, and looks stylish too. So, read on to learn how to pick the best gardening fashion that is functional, and also looks and feels awesome!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an affiliate, I earn a small commission every time you make a qualifying purchase through one of my affiliate links (if applicable) at no additional cost to you.
CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about what to wear when gardening, including:.
- Comfortable Clothes for Gardening
- Arm Protectors for Gardeners
- Best Shoes for Gardening
- Boots for Gardening
- Protect Your Knees (Fashionably)
- Best Gardening Gloves
- Pretty Sun Hats (That Work)
- Garden Belts & Accessories
- Final Thoughts on What to Wear While Gardening
Comfortable Clothes for Gardening
Work that requires whole body movement, like digging, hoeing, roto-tilling, and raking, calls for clothes that don’t bind: loose-fitting pants or shorts with a roomie shirt, or the waistless comfort of gardening overalls.
Long, breezy garden dresses or vintage pinafore dresses need not be limited to gardens strolls. Enjoy their easy comfort while doing daily garden maintenance, including dead-heading flowers, weeding, and bud picking.
Choose broad weaves and natural fabrics such as cotton over synthetic alternatives. Natural, lightweight gardening clothes “breathe” and wick moisture away from skin, providing the coolest option.
Denim and other heavy fabrics also keep external dampness and dirt away from the skin. While lycra adds flexibility to fabrics, more than a touch of it is at the expense of air circulation.
Finally, a long-sleeved over shirt makes a smart addition to the garden wardrobe even on the hottest days when you’re working among the brambles. The added arm coverage protects skin from thorns, poison ivy, sunburn, and—to a degree—bugs.
Arm Protectors for Gardeners
Speaking of arm protection, have you ever been up to your elbows in thorny roses or brambles and knew you wouldn’t emerge unscathed?
Well, here’s the thing.
You can solve the problem with arm protection for gardeners.
One such product is Armed Gardener arm sleeves. Form-fitting to your arm, it will keep your arms safe from thorny scrapes, poison ivy, skin irritants, and UV rays, They are also machine washable.
ArmSavers Gardening Sleeves. The looser, more comfortable arm covering protects you from your wrist to your elbows. Made of a ballistic type of nylon, it’s tough but breathable.
Best Shoes for Gardening
Gardening clogs are very high on the list for favorite garden footwear. You’ll find plastic versions of Dutch clogs in bright, gender neutral colors. Garden clogs are:
Because the clogs are so popular, gardeners will have no trouble finding variations on the theme, from open-back Birkenstock garden clogs to thicker-soled mud clogs.
The best-known variety of plastic clogs is Crocs. You’ll find these clogs are great for gardening—and fashion statements, too. For instance, like the Vera Bradley Croc designs or these Unisex tie-dye Crocs.
They are so cute, you might even want several pairs of crocs, some for gardening and other for casual wear.
Boots for Gardening
Barefoot gardening makes you feel closer to the earth, for sure–and in fact, you are! Many gardeners prefer to garden in bare feet unless digging is required.
For digging, though, a good pair of boots can’t be beat.
Coleman work boots are one of the best boots for gardening, because they provide the solid sole for maximum shovel thrust. They also protect feet from potential hazards like rototiller tines.
Other gardeners prefer to wear a more of a hiking boot for gardening, that allows for shoveling while providing foot support for marathon gardening days.
In the wet spring weather, rely on knee-high Wellington boots, or “Wellies,” to keep feet dry. These are the best rubber boots for gardening, and they’ll keep your feet warm and dry.
Some have a steel shank in the sole, making them more supportive and durable. Some Wellies with a special dig pad for extra protection when digging. You can get them short or knee high and in all sorts of colorful designs.
Another type of wet weather boots for gardening are those that easily slip on and off over your footwear. Then, you can leave the mud at the back door.
London Fog Piccadilly Rain Boots are a great stylish and functional choice, too!
Protect Your Knees (Fashionably)
A typical knee breaking day in the garden begins this way: The Gardener pulls one innocuous-looking weed to find it’s part of an endless network of runners invading the vegetable garden.
Hours later, the Gardener emerges from the work with aching knees ready to retire for the day.
But not all gardener’s knees ache.
Carpenters knee pads.
Admittedly, they can be sweaty, but they will protect your knees on any surface, including cement sidewalks.
Ok, so they may not be the most stylish, but at least you won’t have a pained expression after a long day in the garden! That counts for something.
Knee pads, conventional or otherwise, are a must-have for gardeners. Available in a variety of light, protective materials, they allow the gardener to get the most mileage from their knees in a day.
For a cooler, more comfortable alternative, try wearing Japanese overall in cool linen. You might also look for versions with the standard with knee pockets and padded inserts. They’re hard to come by but so utilitarian.
Or, get a garden kneeler. You can get one that coordinates with your gloves, like a Cath Kidston Garden Kneeler or this pretty but affordable knock-off.
Which brings us to gloves.
Best Gardening Gloves
Bare hands are ideal when you want to pat down soil around seedlings, grip a tough weed, or simply feel the furry leaves of the native perennial, Lamb’s ears (stachys byzantina).
Hands do take a beating, though.
Calloused palms, blisters, scraped knuckles, and dirty fingernails may be a sign of a day well spent. They also indicate that a little protection is an order for your most precious garden tool – your hands.
Gardening gloves are a must have.
In fact, it’s a good idea to have two or three pairs of cotton gardening gloves around for everyday garden work. They are versatile and cheap and can be thrown in the wash for easy cleanup.
Fine garden work, like planting seedlings or seed collecting, requires a more delicate touch.
The best rose gardening gloves might be these elgant “Foxgloves”, a gauntlet-like thin nylon blend glove combines protection with dexterity. They rise to mid-forearm, also keeping dirt and debris out.
Some beautiful and functional favorites are Cath Kidston gardening gloves, in beautiful vintage floral themes. They are among the best women’s gardening gloves in terms of form and function.
For wetter work, gardeners can try “mud gloves,” cotton gloves literally dipped in colorful waterproof latex. They are rugged, comfortable and keep your hands dry.
Another similar brand are Atlas gardening gloves, a mesh glove palms covered in nitrile. They come in bright, beautiful colors and “fit like second skin.”
For spraying chemicals (if you must), look to ordinary rubber gloves provide all over hand protection. These are chemical resistant.
Thorny situations call for good leather garden gloves. This pair by Legacy Gardens is attractive, affordable, and unisex.
Pretty Sun Hats
Unlike sun-loving plants, gardeners must protect their face and neck from the harmful rays of the sun while doing garden chores.
Hats with the highest sun protection factor SPF can be found at specialty shops, but any hat is a step in the right direction for hatless gardeners.
Loose-fitting, soft straw hats with a generous brim, or a baseball cap combined with maximum sunscreen on face and neck help both the stylish and the stubborn gardener prevent long-term damage.
If your hair is up in a ponytail or hair clip, but don’t forget to cover your neck. This cute, wide-brimmed sun hat should do the trick. It’s breathable, too!
Ultimately, the best sunhat for gardening is one that keeps you protected and compliments your stylish gardening clothes.
You might even opt for a fedora hat. Hey, who said you can’t look good while you’re gardening?
Garden Belts and Accessories
With any wardrobe, the last things you add are accessories. The same is true for your gardening wardrobe.
For instance, when you invest in a good pruner, one of the worst things you can do is leave it on the ground.
Instead, complete your outfit with an apron or tool belt to keep tools close at hand but well protected. It’s probably one of the most useful and overlooked wardrobe items when it comes to what to where while gardening.
Keep your phone close at hand by wearing a garden belt with a phone pocket. Or, better yet, try turning off the phone for a day spent comfortably in the garden without interruption. Can you even imagine?
Final Thoughts on What to Wear When Gardening
Did you know there were so many options when it comes to what to wear for gardening? With this list of functional and fashionable garden attire, you’ll never have to wonder what to wear gardening again.
You’ll be ready to garden at a moment’s notice wearing a functional outfit that’s anything but sloppy.
Now, you can focus on important decisions at hand…How many heirloom tomatoes should you plant? Where will you put your extra Day Lilies? Do you have enough fresh herbs to dry for the winter? What plants will make the yard look pretty in fall?
Do you have a favorite thing to wear when you garden? Will you add any of these suggestions to your wardrobe? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!
This article is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. For more information, please see the following Disclosure.
Photo credits: Hat – Pezibear, Gloves – Sandid, Woman planting in long sleeves – Rob Brown (Pixabay); Over shirt – Zen Chung, Anna Shvets (Pexels)
When to Visit 36 Dreamy Destinations
You will instantly receive the FREE Month-by-Month Destination Guide