“WHAT are you wearing?!?”
I was asked this the other day by a friend who dropped by to find me clothed in some terrible mixture of camisole and cargo short paired with heavy boots. I wasn’t winning fashion awards, but such is my summertime garden wardrobe and I told her so – explaining why sandals don’t cut it, why pockets are so important, and hashing out other matters of garden wardrobe that kept us talking over a mid-day glass of wine.
This of course got me thinking about clothing oneself for garden work and the shift in my wardrobe that will begin over the next month as temperatures drop and projects shift into high gear.
I absolutely reject the notion of needing to be fashionably clothed in the garden. (Which is often the difference between looking like you spend a life outdoors – and actually spending your life outdoors.) However, I’ve worked these trenches long enough to know that being clothed sensibly pays off. And after years of mixing thrift-store threads and real-store heavyweights, I’ve definitely settled on some go-tos that make life a lot easier out there. So, a few recommendations if you’ll indulge me…
First, footwear. I’ve got two kinds: Welly boots and Dublin River Boots. Wellington boots by Hunter are ridiculously trendy these days, however trendiness doesn’t cut it with me. My experience with their durability over the years has been poor, and my experience with their customer service has been poorer.
I prefer to buy a basic pair of well-fitting no-name Wellies from my local feed store for the really heavy-duty mucking and wallowing, and put my money instead into a pair of waterproof and completely wonderful Dublin River Boots.
This is serious footwear – boots that can handle everything from wet chicken runs to copperhead-infested woodpiles and still be cleaned up a bit for going out to the grocery store and splashing through parking lot puddles. They’re that comfortable. Plus I can slip my soil knife between trouser leg and boot shaft (though not at the grocery store of course).