Now I certainly can’t be called fashionable in any sense, and I’m berated for my outfits more often than I’m praised, but when it comes to gardening clothes, I’m a truly dedicated follower of fashion.
From gardening boots, gardening pants, to gardening hats, I’m an obsessive buyer and often find myself standing in supermarket aisles having forgotten to take off my tool belt with a pair of gloves sticking out of my back pocket. I fully accept this isn’t the best look for a millennial gardener, but frankly, I’m fine with it.
That said, it’s about time I put my obsession with gardening clothes to good use so here’s my breakdown of what to look for in gardening clothes, hats and everything else, so you know what you’re looking for and can head out to confidently buy practical gardening gear and not just clothes that look good on the surface.
What are Gardening Clothes, and Why Do You Need them?
First things first, gardening clothes are practical clothes to assist with safety and practical gardening tasks, not just outfits to look good in, so whatever you’re buying you need to make sure it’s manufactured and upholstered properly to hold up to some serious wear and (hopefully not) tear.
Also, remember that gardens aren’t just a space for plants and soil, they play host to beneficial and often dangerous wildlife so protecting yourself while you rummage around in the overgrown backs of borders is important.
Gardening Clothes for Insect Protection
Depending where you live in Australia, gardening clothes are about more than keeping your hands clean. Hats in particular will keep you well protected from insect bites, and the odd disgruntled lizard.
I’ll say more about hats later on, but in general, hats with insect shields might not be the height of fashion, but they’ll save you from a face and neck full of bites.
Gardening Clothes for Sun Protection
Whether you’re growing tropical plants, cottage garden perennials, or managing a veggie plot, your plants need watering at different times of day so you can’t always avoid the sun’s worst heat.
Many tropicals in particular prefer watering at their roots in the middle of the day to avoid over-humidifying, so you’ll be out in full sun in the middle of summer.
Obviously sunscreen is your number one protection, but there’s nothing more effective than a broad brimmed hat to limit UV exposure.
Practical Gardening Clothes
I probably need to limit my ambitions here a little, as practical gardening clothes is a whole new world of kit for the garden that I could talk for hours about, but there are some truly incredibly wearable gadgets that will not just keep you clean and safe in the garden, but make gardening a thousand times earlier.
Gardening gloves are incredibly useful in the garden, and a decent gardening tool belt is essential - especially when you’re planning on a long day out weeding and pruning to have your tools to hand.
But there are more obscure wearable gardening tools like lawn shoes that will help you aerate your lawn too. (If your lawn is too big for aerator shoes, see more lawn aerator options here.)
The Best Gardening Clothes to Buy 2023
2023 Best Gardening Hat Reviews
When you’re trying to find the best gardening hats, it’s a question of use. Are you in a part of Australia where flies and bites are a real risk, or is your primary concern sun?
Either way, broad brimmed hardening hats are always useful, but you can save some money if insects aren’t a risk where you are.
Insect nets can be bought to add to hats too, but in general you’ll have longer lasting protection in a hat with insect guards sewn in already.
1. LCZTN Outdoor Sun Gardening Cap for Men & Women
There’s no point in a gardening hat if you can’t use it in all seasons. Most of us have one hat, and that’s probably enough, so if you’re looking for a new one, make it something versatile, well made, and useful, like this gardening hat with a removable sun shield and bug shield to keep you safe from whatever jumps out of the undergrowth.
It’s probably a bit much to claim that a hat with an insect net looks good, but I actually quite like how this looks. Really though, it all comes down to one simple thing - this hat keeps insects off your face and the sun off your neck.
So you’re not just gardening safely, but you’re gardening comfortably too.
2. FancetAccessory Anti Mosquito Insect Bug Net Gardening Hat
Fancet makes fishing gear rather than gardening clothes, but let’s face it, they’re usually pretty interchangeable.
Their insect proof hat has a full face and neck covering included to keep even the smallest insects off your face, and for those of you looking for a practical gardening hat that does what it says on the tin, this is the one for you.
3. Home Prefer Sun Protection Gardening Hat
The sun shield on this gardening hat from Home Prefer is detachable, but really easy to secure and gives full protection from sun up to SPF 50.
The hat is really well ventilated too to make sure you don’t start to bake in the midday sun.
The only downside here is that it’s not going to keep the insects off you, but for most gardeners that’s not usually as much as a concern as you might think, so if you don’t suffer badly from insect bites and have a pest free garden this is easily enough to keep the sun off you.
Best Gardening Shoes & Gardening Boots for 2023
Gardening shoes are the most overlooked bit of gardening gear, but you’re fundamentally looking for something waterproof, breathable and with hard toe caps to protect yourself from the occasional slip with a garden fork (I can personally vouch for the extreme pain of running a garden fork through your fork).
Gardening boots are much the same as gardening shoes but with the obvious benefit of height. Read our guide on the types of gardening shoes, garden clogs and reviews of the best gumboots available in Australia.
I always prefer boots to shoes because I garden in particularly boggy places sometimes, and there are few more unpleasant sensations than the moment a puddle fills up your shoe, and you realise you’ll be working with wet feet for the rest of the day.
4. TIDEWE Rubber Gardening Boots
There are wellies, and then there are wellies. These rubber work boots from Tidewe are exceptionally hard wearing, with protective steel toe caps to protect you from garden accidents, and fully waterproof boots, topped with a breathable splash guard around the calves.
Their sturdy soles will help them last even with regular heavy use, and no matter what weather condition you’re in they’re comfortable and stable even on unsteady ground.
5. Sloggers Waterproof Comfort Garden Shoes
Crocs took over the world a few years ago, and despite a bizarre fashion trend for them around the world they have been relegated to practical use these days.
These alternatives from Sloggers are a great value alternative to crocs, and just as durable, with waterproof soles and bodies and comfortable internal materials that stop you overheating.
I’ve had a pair of these for a few years, and they’ve saved me so many pairs of shoes in the process. I used to get through shoes almost monthly because I’d just put anything on and wear them out or ruin them in the garden.
Keeping these by the door means you’ve got a great go-to pair of shoes for the garden to slip on quickly.
6. Crocs Women's Jaunt Shorty Boot
I have to concede to Crocs with these women’s boots. They’re just better than the alternative. I’ll not try to pretend there’s some fancy reason for that because it’s simple. They’re better manufactured and have better quality rubber.
If you’re ever caught out and need to quickly run out from the garden, they wouldn’t look out of place as casual shoes either, so they’re a decent investment for busy gardeners.
Best Gardening Overalls for 2023
When you’re looking for overalls, whether it’s for workshop overalls or gardening overalls, you’re almost certainly looking for something to keep you clean so it’s tempting to go for heavy denim or even waterproofs, but think about how and when you’ll be using them.
For me, the thought of being stuck in something so warm and restrictive for a full day of gardening is horrible, so I’ll always go for overalls that breathe and let me move around.
There are some great gardening overalls you can buy online too that come with belts and tool holsters, but the most basic thing to look for in overalls is pockets.
It sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many overalls are out there without even a phone pocket.
7. CARHARTT Men's Rugged Flex Rigby Bib
Men have an upsettingly limited choice when it comes to overalls, with 905 of men’s gardening overalls being denim or heavy warm materials, when the reality of gardening requires lightweight materials to be comfortable.
These rugged lightweight overalls by Carhartt though are actually incredibly comfortable, with more than enough pockets and belt loops to hang tools off while your work making them perfect for avid gardeners and growers.
8. Gihuo Women's Fashion Baggy Loose Linen Gardening Overalls
I love these, and wish they had them in men’s sizes. Anyone lucky enough to be able to wear this around the garden should grab a pair of these overalls as soon as possible.
With plenty of pockets and a reliable lightweight linen finish these will protect you from the elements without forcing you into the shade. They are very fashionable and look great with a knitted top underneath.
9. Revolt Women's Juniors Baggy Straight Leg Twill Gardening Overalls
Seriously saving the best to last here. Revolt has made a genuinely fashionable overall that looks as industrial as it is wearable.
If there was ever a colour that screamed gardening it’s khaki, but before I get carried away with appearance it’s important to point out just how many pockets, tool straps and loops there are all over this gardening jumpsuit.
This doesn’t come in my size but I’m tempted to try and squeeze into it…
Best Gardening Belts to Buy for 2023
Gardening belts are my guilty pleasure. I’d feel completely naked without a proper tool belt while I’m out in the garden. If you’re out weeding and come across a diseased branch, you’re far more likely to prune it off if you’ve got secateurs to hand.
Equally, if you’re raking the lawn but notice some wire on a trellis has come loose, having pliers to hand means you’ll get straight to it.
The garden tool belt is by far the best piece of gardening clothing you’ll invest in, especially if you’re guilty of procrastination. For an indepth overview on tool belts, refer to our comprehensive tool belt buying guide.
10. Hide & Drink Gardening Tool Belt
If there was one way to assure buyers that a product was going to last a lifetime, it’s a 101 year warranty. While I’m tempted to try and live to 143 just to test that warranty, I’ve had this belt for three years and can honestly say it’s probably going to outlive me.
The zipped pouch is perfect for seed saving and cuttings as you walk around the garden, with plenty of loops for shears and secateurs, and a chunky pouch so you’ve always got a trowel to hand.
11. Goofly Garden Tool Belt
Gardening tool belts and gardening aprons are easily confused, because they essentially do the same thing, but aprons tend to wrap around and hold more tools than belts.
I love this garden apron from Goofly though, which ticks all the boxes for a busy gardener, with plenty of storage pockets, and loads of tool loops.
The only thing I’d say against it is that it’s entirely canvas so will need washing once in a while to stop it getting stiff with dirt.
12. MYH Garden Tool Belt Holster
If your biggest concern is looking good in the garden, this sleek tool belt from MYH is really lovely, and has more than enough space for your basic tools.
When you’re buying a tool belt though you do need to consider if it’s going to be restrictive when you’re bending down or kneeling, and stiff pouches like these tend to get in the way while kneeling down.
So for me, I’d avoid this kind of belt, but there are plenty of gardeners I know who swear by them because they hate the way tool aprons flop around and get in the way. It’s really down to personal taste.
Reviews on Best Gardening Pants for 2023
Gardening pants are a good investment, as are chainsaw chaps when using a chainsaw. You might be ok with a decent pair of jeans for light work, but any gardener who’s been at it for a while will tell you how bad their knees are.
Proper gardening pants with inbuilt knee pads, and decent pockets will save you so much up and down, and stop you crouching for hours at a time over delicate garden tasks.
Also see our review on the best knee pad options for 2023 here.
13. HAN·WILD Combat Pants with Knee Pads
These are definitely pretty pricey for trousers that you know you’re essentially going to ruin immediately by covering them in soil and mud, but they are exceptionally hard wearing and have the most important element of any gardening trousers - knee pads.
Garden trousers with knee pads will not only prolong the life of the trousers, but they’ll prolong the life of your knees.
I don’t know about you, but I spend most of my time in the garden kneeling down, bent over vegetable beds, and my knees really suffer because of it, so these would be an amazing investment for a serious gardener.
14. Libin Women's Quick Dry Garden Pants
If you’re not a fan of overalls or dungarees, then proper cargo pants are your next best choice. Libin’s own quick dry fabric makes these cargo pants an excellent choice for long days in the garden so you can keep comfy all day long even if you accidentally turn the hose on yourself.
Get Fashionably Protected with the Best Gardening Clothes for 2023
For something special as a gift, look more towards the less common bits of gardening kit, or treat yourself to something new this year. The best gardening clothes are usually the ones you think are surplus to requirement, but you would be utterly amazed at how useful the more niche gardening clothes can be.
Anyway, I’m off to the shops; let’s see how many weird looks I get for being fully outfitted in gardening clothes.