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Tuxedo Gardening

8 years ago by

Tuxedo Gardening

What does a city girl wear for gardening?!

Wait, gardening? I’ve been going upstate on the weekends (yeah yeah, I know, Upstate, where everyone else will be too, great getaway) to a beautiful old manor on a seriously massive plot of land. The barn itself would be a city block. Well, this past weekend was the first time there wasn’t any snow covering the ground, whoohoo!

It was also the first time we saw all the sad, sad, little flower beds overgrown with weeds and dried plants. Suddenly, there I was, in tuxedo pants, a tank top and fresh white sneakers using the only tool I had available, my hands, pulling and yanking out everything that wasn’t supposed to be there. I’m no Martha Stewart but I was really making a difference, there were beautiful daffodils hiding under there!

Then I realized, I was WEARING TUEXDO PANTS. What the? Why the? How ridiculous do I look? Should I have somne kind of an apron on? Those plastic shoes with holes in them and socks? A big sun hat? Then there is the Grey Gardens, Beale approach: wear a fur, tie my hair with a silk scarf and just forget about the garden all together.

My plan for next weekend is to take along, wait for it… jean shorts! Plus a button up, rain boots and a vintage basket (I’m not sure what for, but it feels very Audrey Hepburn to me, and I can’t go wrong with following in those foot steps right??).

Any tips for making my gardening look work?


Add yours
  • Gardening gloves! Or your hands will be ruined… And its does complete the look!

  • Here’s your gardening attire punchlist:

    – Jeans or other but something that you can move around in as you’ll be bending, squatting, sitting, etc.
    – Layer on top — tees, fleece — something easily washed (because you’re going to get dirty out there!)
    – Yes on the gloves — West County, Atlas (the very rubbery ones are awesome if you’re working in anything wet or muddy), or Foxgloves (for fine gardening — doing something fairly clean like pruning) are some of my favorites — all for different purposes
    – old sneakers you can throw in the laundry (as they will get muddy and mud usually stains) or invest in either some boots (Blundstones are cute and really functional) or clogs (I like LadyBugs but mud will cling to the tiretread bottoms)

    And by yourself a great pair of Felco pruners (something basic like the #2 or #4).

    Have fun!

  • i like it how you are so thorough! :)


  • Overalls!! Cuffed. Wellies will keep your feet dry and can be hosed down. White tank underneath (avoid the farmer’s tan!), and ample straw hat. And gardening gloves, of course. It will take forever to get the dirt out from under your nails.

  • Hi Brie!

    I wrestle with this question every day. As a professional landscape designer and contractor I am always trying to find ways to look chic while dirty!

    My go-tos are a short sleeved tee shirt layered under a long sleeve one and additional layers as needed. I find that crew neck tees work best at protecting me from the sun and preventing the dreaded ‘dirt in cleavage’ scenario.

    Jeans are a must. A mid rise jean prevents awkward moments when bending and squatting. They also help protect from scratchy plants and heavy containers banging into your shins. I like copper threaded socks for breathability and non-smelliness (a very underrated virtue after long, hot days.)

    I use steel toe hikers with a strong sole. This comes in handy when digging in hard soil means jumping up and down repeatedly on the shovel. Sneakers are a great option if you’re working in soft earth.

    For the chic quotient I turn to a funky (washable) hat, some cool but very simple earrings (like turquoise, silver or copper drops) or mascara and a bold lip. Obviously sunscreen is essential, and my skin really benefits from a good slather of my night cream at the end of the day.

    Hope this helps! Happy digging!

  • A trusty pair of jeans and rubber boots will perfectly do the trick! Don’t forget to wear gardening gloves too!

  • When my mother (British) married my father in Spain and they moved to America, she would always do yard work in her fancy late 60’s outfits. In Europe there were no sweats or weekend clothes, you dressed to dress no matter what you were doing. To this day their midwestern neighbors – who were all there when they moved in and all still live in my parents’ neighborhood – tell stories about watching my mother raking leaves in a purple velvet jumpsuit or watching her do yard work in her culottes and knee socks. I say rock your tux pants! Be as fabulous as that fabulous garden you’re creating!

  • V. funny. I’ve done this so many times: popped out to have look at the spring garden and ended up out there for ages getting my go-to-church clothes filthy.

    I started wearing gardening gloves after years of bare-handing it so my nails are not quite as bad as before. To think I laid a brick path with my bare hands! (I was younger then.) But some things do require hands. Little plantings, &c.

    Your outfit sounds perfect. I tried Hunters but my feet get hot and damp (ick). Now I just wear my oldest shoes.

    Oh, isn’t it the best time of year?

  • have a great time!

  • Bricorecycleur April, 17 2014, 3:08 / Reply

    Quid du tweed ? Celui du Donegal ou celui de l’Île de Harris encore tissé manuellement. Le temps où les fibres étaient teintes avec des plantes est maintenant révolu (“Too much wool, not enough plants” comme disent les Ecossais), mais elles sont encore colorées selon les tonalités des paysages locaux. De quoi être en accord avec n’importe quel jardin…

  • johanna April, 17 2014, 3:13 / Reply

    all of the previous commenters are spot-on-
    one more tip though–wear a hat–could even be a really cute one–but be sure your hat is in fact sun-proof! most straw hats aren’t really, and unless you have really pigmented skin, you WILL get burned on your face with strong spring sun, even if it looks overcast..

  • Une combinaison de pompiste, les cheveux attachés par un foulard, une paire de tennis et surtout un maquillage parfait ! On débusque des jonquilles avec le teint frais et la bouche peinte s’il vous plait !

  • emmanor April, 17 2014, 4:37 / Reply

    pas besoin de look jardinage, the sartorialist ne sera pas dans le coin normalement

  • Même pour jardiner, je me fais belle ! C’est important,
    En plus, on jardine en général le weekend, et des amis peuvent toujours passer à l’improviste, alors autant ne pas ressembler à une souillon !
    D’ ailleurs mon mari me surnomme “ma paysanne de luxe”!!!

  • MissPimpin April, 17 2014, 5:04 / Reply

    Très drôle le post
    Je conseille les gants, pour des raisons pratiques évidentes, mais aussi un joli chapeau
    Dans ces circonstances, je dirais que tout est dans le chapeau

  • A loose longsleeve shirt. Lots of weeds can give you a rash on your arms/legs! I wear old comfy jeans, wellies, longsleeve denim shirt, or cotton, if it’s hot, gloves, big floppy hat.

  • First, you must start by forget the concept of “look” to gardenning
    you’re not in town anymore so, the best advice i can give you is Start to forget everything you know about style
    and just be focus on what and why are you doing there !
    and you’ll definitly be in line with what you wear. effortless.

    it’s that it seems to me …

  • Gardening is very dangerous….mosquitos lime ticks and the animals who eat all your hard work LOL

  • don’t wear shorts!! poison ivy may be lurking! cover up just in case, arms too!

  • Sunscreen!

  • OVERALLS!!! with a racer back tank top, and plaid shirt, ankle high rain boots…( I find regular height boots a little awkward when I am kneeling down) and if you have the chance, also bring gardening gloves… my skin dries a lot when working with dirt.

    Have fun!

  • I am shamefully vain about these sort of things, and worked at a farm for several years. My go to things were a pair of black Carhartt men’s overalls, a giant straw sunhat, a vintage tee, and my oldest grubbiest pair of converse sneakers or a pair of Sloggers clogs.

  • I luuuuuuuve Grey Gardens!

  • Judith B April, 17 2014, 1:50 / Reply

    Not quite tuxedo wear but am keeping it real with some style I like to think – the Norfolk Work jacket, smock and dungarees from the Carrier Company, family owned and British made!

    Or Yarmo fisherman smocks, big pockets for odds and ends and windproof!

  • The Beales were mother and daughter.

  • Oh my, weekend gardening! May I suggest some lovely garden gloves in a soft cotton to go with the jean shorts and boots – perhaps a peasant top to complete the ensemble.

  • Martine April, 22 2014, 3:18 / Reply

    Best yet; Maybe just let things overgrow. Who are you to say what does, and what doesn’t belong growing somewhere? I am sure some poor gopher or rabbit would rather you simply left it all alone. Not to mention that nothing ruins skin like the sun. Just let the poor land heal itself from us people if possible.

  • Mamavalveeta03 May, 25 2014, 4:09 / Reply

    In the immortal words of Nancy Reagan and her oh-so-effective anti-drug platform: “Just. Say. No.”
    Seriously, forget about the “look” and just garden! That’s what showers are for afterward.

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