Whether you’re a guerrilla gardener ready to drop your latest seed bomb at a bus stop or creating an epic permaculture garden, there is one thing every gardener must consider: what to wear. So here’s your practical guide to gardening clothing for men.
If you want to avoid the squelchy discomfort of wet socks, you’ll need a pair of hard wearing, non-slip shoes that can brave all weather conditions. Old, leather walking boots are ideal, especially if they are water resistant and their soles provide a strong grip, or you could always go for a pair of safety boots.
Wellington boots are a great choice too as they are tough, water resistant and protect your clothes more effectively than ankle boots. They are also relatively cheap compared to a new pair of hiking boots and are easy to hose down and clean after a day outside.
You can choose to wear a pair of old trainers but they are more difficult to wash and aren’t waterproof. Whatever you wear, just don’t show up in your office brogues.
For ultimate comfort, you can buy a pair of gardening trousers that come with all the bells and whistles: stab-resistant pockets (to protect you from knives and secateurs), large pockets on the thighs (to carry tools), quick drying fabric that’s suitable for all weather conditions and padded knees.
But there’s no need to splash out on anything new or special: a pair of old jeans will do. The key is to find a pair of trousers made out of durable, lightweight fabric that allows you to move comfortably in all weather conditions.
If you’re digging into the earth with your hands, ordinary winter gloves won’t do. You’ll want a pair of quality gardening gloves that are durable, comfortable, tough, provide a good grip, water resistant and easy to clean. You’ll be surprised at the range of inexpensive gardening gloves available. Depending on your needs, there are orthopaedic gloves designed for aching joints and gloves designed for more detailed gardening.
Try to avoid extremely cheap pairs of gloves you find at generic homeware shops as they can often fall apart after a few uses.
A jacket or fleece
As a gardener, you will need to prepare for all seasons, especially transitional ones such as early spring and autumn. That means wearing layers and investing in a lightweight jacket or fleece.
Not only does a fleece help you keep warm, it also protects your clothes from soil stains. A gilet or sleeveless body warmer is another popular option: in chilly weather, it will keep you warm without restricting your arm movements. Given the temperamental nature of the British climate, a raincoat or waterproof poncho always comes in handy too.
Aside from a good pair of wellington boots and gloves that you can find at your local garden centre, everything else can be comprised of old clothes. Getting dirty is an essential part of gardening, so always wear clothing you don’t mind throwing away to be safe. Of course, with a few stain removal tips you can usually restore dirty clothing to its former glory so don’t give up on your garden-wear too easily. You never know what you might be able to salvage!