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Ask the Experts: The Best Gardening Clothing and Accessories

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Ask the Experts: The Best Gardening Clothing and Accessories

September 14, 2023

Getting dressed for a day of gardening often involves throwing on your rattiest old clothes and hiking up a pair of white socks to keep the ticks at bay—it is rarely a time for considered dressing. However, as any pro will tell you, the right gear can make a day of pruning or weeding go more smoothly, and if it happens to be stylish, all the better.

Recently, we reached out to some trusted garden pros for their favorite garden accessories. Here are their picks:

The Ultimate Chore Coat

“This chore coat has a massive pocket that can hold all kinds of tools or even a bottle of wine after a long day in the dirt,” says Guy Henry, the director of horticulture at BrookLandscape in Brooklyn, of this Tellason jacket. “Our whole team is outfitted with these jackets, but I think I might be the only one who wears it every day.” Henry actually has two; he also owns a selvedge denim version. Tellason&#8\2\17;s Coverall Jacket is \$\198.
Above: “This chore coat has a massive pocket that can hold all kinds of tools or even a bottle of wine after a long day in the dirt,” says Guy Henry, the director of horticulture at BrookLandscape in Brooklyn, of this Tellason jacket. “Our whole team is outfitted with these jackets, but I think I might be the only one who wears it every day.” Henry actually has two; he also owns a selvedge denim version. Tellason’s Coverall Jacket is $198.

The Chic Wide Brimmed Hat

Molly Sedlacek, founder of ORCA, a California landscape design firm, shares that for her, a wide-brimmed hat like this one from Janessa Leoné is a must. “It covers my full face and shoulders. I don&#8\2\17;t leave home without it,” she says. The lightweight raffia is also packable, should you wish to travel with it. The Tinsley Wide Brim hat is \$\267.
Above: Molly Sedlacek, founder of ORCA, a California landscape design firm, shares that for her, a wide-brimmed hat like this one from Janessa Leoné is a must. “It covers my full face and shoulders. I don’t leave home without it,” she says. The lightweight raffia is also packable, should you wish to travel with it. The Tinsley Wide Brim hat is $267.

The Fancy French Toolbelt

When she’s not wearing her trusty leather belt (sourced from Gemplers more than two decades ago), garden designer Lindsey Taylor, who has a new book Art in Flower out now, turns to this chic canvas tool carrier. “My very generous client Jordan Ferney gave me this tool belt, and I wear it all the time! Gardening or arranging flowers, it keeps all my important things at the ready,” she says. The Garden Belt is \$65 from Le Prince Jardinier.
Above: When she’s not wearing her trusty leather belt (sourced from Gemplers more than two decades ago), garden designer Lindsey Taylor, who has a new book Art in Flower out now, turns to this chic canvas tool carrier. “My very generous client Jordan Ferney gave me this tool belt, and I wear it all the time! Gardening or arranging flowers, it keeps all my important things at the ready,” she says. The Garden Belt is $65 from Le Prince Jardinier.

The Warm Winter Boot

“I love Ugg leather boots in the winter because the fuzzy interior keeps my toes warm when working outside, especially in wet weather, while the leather holds away moisture at large,” says Jessica Viola, the founder of Viola Gardens in Los Angeles, who notes the soles are rubber and “make scrambling up and down hills easy and fun.” In the past, Viola has worn the Neevah, which is no longer in production, but the Hapsburg Chelsea style, pictured, is a similar Chelsea-style boot; \$\160.
Above: “I love Ugg leather boots in the winter because the fuzzy interior keeps my toes warm when working outside, especially in wet weather, while the leather holds away moisture at large,” says Jessica Viola, the founder of Viola Gardens in Los Angeles, who notes the soles are rubber and “make scrambling up and down hills easy and fun.” In the past, Viola has worn the Neevah, which is no longer in production, but the Hapsburg Chelsea style, pictured, is a similar Chelsea-style boot; $160.

The Plant-Dyed Scarf

Viola’s go-to handkerchief is plant-dyed and handmade by her friends at Moona Star Collective; Viola has the light orange colorway. The Plant Dyed Scarf is \$68.
Above: Viola’s go-to handkerchief is plant-dyed and handmade by her friends at Moona Star Collective; Viola has the light orange colorway. The Plant Dyed Scarf is $68.

The Fits-Like-a-Glove Gloves

“I have tried so many gloves,” says Susan Nock, a Wellesley, Massachusetts-based garden designer and founder of Thistle. “The ones I rely on now are the Bellingham Bamboo Nitrile Palm Gloves. They fit tight to the hand and let me do small tasks while protecting my hands–and they are widely available.” They are \$7 at Greenhouse Megastore.
Above: “I have tried so many gloves,” says Susan Nock, a Wellesley, Massachusetts-based garden designer and founder of Thistle. “The ones I rely on now are the Bellingham Bamboo Nitrile Palm Gloves. They fit tight to the hand and let me do small tasks while protecting my hands–and they are widely available.” They are $7 at Greenhouse Megastore.

The Classic Carpenter Jeans

Taylor deems these “my signature pants.” The iconic engineer denim is a rigid \10 oz. hickory stripe from America&#8\2\17;s oldest denim mill. The Hickory Stripe Carpenter Pant is \$\1\25 from L.C. King.
Above: Taylor deems these “my signature pants.” The iconic engineer denim is a rigid 10 oz. hickory stripe from America’s oldest denim mill. The Hickory Stripe Carpenter Pant is $125 from L.C. King.

The Sustainable Garden Clogs

“These are my favorite slip-on shoes for working in the garden,” says Sedlacek. “I love that I can hose them off, and that their color and texture feels very earthy.” Made in France from \100-percent recycled plastic and hemp, the Plasticana Clogs have an impressive 4.9 out of 5 stars from Gardenheir customer reviews; \$58. (Taylor also put in a mention for Gardenheir’s Italian garden clogs “for quick slip-ons.”)
Above: “These are my favorite slip-on shoes for working in the garden,” says Sedlacek. “I love that I can hose them off, and that their color and texture feels very earthy.” Made in France from 100-percent recycled plastic and hemp, the Plasticana Clogs have an impressive 4.9 out of 5 stars from Gardenheir customer reviews; $58. (Taylor also put in a mention for Gardenheir’s Italian garden clogs “for quick slip-ons.”)

The Handy Tool Pouch

 Above: Henry relies on this utilitarian tool pouch (the Joey Pouch Pro V\2; \$4\2.99) that clips onto your favorite belt. “This is a fantastic tool pouch that can hold pruners, irrigation bits and bobs, and any other hand tools,” says Henry. “Plus, it&#8\2\17;s made in the U.S.” If you like to carry a lot of tools, the company also makes a bigger version of the pouch, the Big Joey Pro.
Above: Henry relies on this utilitarian tool pouch (the Joey Pouch Pro V2; $42.99) that clips onto your favorite belt. “This is a fantastic tool pouch that can hold pruners, irrigation bits and bobs, and any other hand tools,” says Henry. “Plus, it’s made in the U.S.” If you like to carry a lot of tools, the company also makes a bigger version of the pouch, the Big Joey Pro.

The Affordable Linen Shirt

 Above: “I have a lot of white linen shirts,” confesses Taylor.  “They work best for me through the garden season: They breathe, they look good—and they just feel like me.” Taylor prefers to buy men’s shirts for no-fuss styling, and J. Crew’s Baird McNutt Irish Linen Shirt is a go-to favorite; \$98.
Above: “I have a lot of white linen shirts,” confesses Taylor.  “They work best for me through the garden season: They breathe, they look good—and they just feel like me.” Taylor prefers to buy men’s shirts for no-fuss styling, and J. Crew’s Baird McNutt Irish Linen Shirt is a go-to favorite; $98.

The True-to-Life Sunglasses

Viola is the rare garden pro who doesn’t wear a hat daily. “I don’t like to wear a hat when I&#8\2\17;m working because I find it obstructs my perspective,” she says. Instead, she wears Maui Jim polarized sunglasses. “They give me the truest sense of color and great protection, which is important to how I work.” she says. Viola prefers the gold titanium aviator styles. Pictured is a pair of Mavericks, in gold, for \$3\19 from Maui Jim.
Above: Viola is the rare garden pro who doesn’t wear a hat daily. “I don’t like to wear a hat when I’m working because I find it obstructs my perspective,” she says. Instead, she wears Maui Jim polarized sunglasses. “They give me the truest sense of color and great protection, which is important to how I work.” she says. Viola prefers the gold titanium aviator styles. Pictured is a pair of Mavericks, in gold, for $319 from Maui Jim.

The Perfect Work Pants

“I am devoted to Dovetail Workwear pants,” says Nock. “They’re super-durable and are designed for women with a great cut and so many pockets. I find belts get in the way but with these pants, I can stow my garden snips, pens, and other tools in the pockets and away I go.” Nock likes the Maven cut (from \$99) and appreciates the double knees and thermal lining option for New England winters. Gardenista contributor Kier Holmes is a Dovetail fan, too, and prefers the Britt style.
Above: “I am devoted to Dovetail Workwear pants,” says Nock. “They’re super-durable and are designed for women with a great cut and so many pockets. I find belts get in the way but with these pants, I can stow my garden snips, pens, and other tools in the pockets and away I go.” Nock likes the Maven cut (from $99) and appreciates the double knees and thermal lining option for New England winters. Gardenista contributor Kier Holmes is a Dovetail fan, too, and prefers the Britt style.

The Pedigreed Smock

Taylor deems this smock designed by Great Dixter’s head gardener Fergus Garret “my favorite of all the garden smocks,” perhaps in part, because it reminds her of her time spent studying there. “Such an amazing experience to learn from all the great gardeners there, especially Fergus Garret,” she says. The Sailcloth Smock is £60 from Great Dixter.
Above: Taylor deems this smock designed by Great Dixter’s head gardener Fergus Garret “my favorite of all the garden smocks,” perhaps in part, because it reminds her of her time spent studying there. “Such an amazing experience to learn from all the great gardeners there, especially Fergus Garret,” she says. The Sailcloth Smock is £60 from Great Dixter.

The All-Natural Rain Hat

Taylor says Carrier Company makes “the best waxed cotton hat” (worth the wait and price of shipping from the U.K.); \$45.
Above: Taylor says Carrier Company makes “the best waxed cotton hat” (worth the wait and price of shipping from the U.K.); $45.

The Day-to-Night Workwear

Sedlacek touts her firm ORCA&#8\2\17;s collaboration with MATE, “I&#8\2\17;ve been living in my work coat and gardening pants all summer,” she says. “It&#8\2\17;s so nice to have pieces you can prune your garden in, and also wear out to meetings or to see friends.” The Garden Jacket is \$\238; the Workwear Pant is \$\2\18.
Above: Sedlacek touts her firm ORCA’s collaboration with MATE, “I’ve been living in my work coat and gardening pants all summer,” she says. “It’s so nice to have pieces you can prune your garden in, and also wear out to meetings or to see friends.” The Garden Jacket is $238; the Workwear Pant is $218.

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Frequently asked questions

What are some fashion accessories for gardening?

Some fashion accessories for gardening include stylish garden hats, garden gloves in trendy colors or patterns, garden aprons with pockets, and gardening clogs or shoes with floral designs.

Are there any specific recommendations for garden hats?

For garden hats, it's best to choose wide-brimmed hats with UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) to protect your face and neck from the sun. Look for hats made from breathable materials like straw, cotton, or linen for added comfort.

What should I consider when selecting garden gloves?

When selecting garden gloves, consider the level of protection needed for different gardening tasks. Opt for gloves with reinforced fingertips or thorn-proof materials when dealing with prickly plants. Additionally, choose gloves that fit well and provide dexterity for better grip and control.

Are there any stylish garden aprons?

Yes, there are stylish garden aprons available. Look for aprons made from durable and water-resistant materials like canvas or waxed cotton. Choose aprons with multiple pockets to conveniently carry gardening tools, seeds, or even your phone.

What are some fashionable choices for gardening footwear?

For fashionable gardening footwear, consider clogs or shoes with floral designs or colorful patterns. Look for options made from waterproof materials like rubber or neoprene for easy cleaning and protection against mud and water.

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