On Twitter an inordinate amount of attention is paid to what Monty Don or Carol Klein wear during their on-screen appearances. There seem to be quite a few people who think that gardening is to be conducted in pristine designer clothing purchased from Dolce & Gabbana and that our gardening presenters should focus on style over comfort. As a gardener I really would have to side with Monty on opting for comfort in the garden, the irony being that Washed Cotton Drill Work Jackets are £69.50 and Washed Cotton Drill Work Trousers £88 a pair. On my budget that makes Monty’s style actually pretty expensive compared to what I opt for when I am getting muddy and covered in stinky nettle fertiliser but then I’m not on television (yet). This got me thinking – what does everybody else wear when they are at the allotment? Should I in fact be dressing like my Great Grandad and wearing a Trilby?
This week, as the leaves turn brown and the skies turn grey, I shall be taking a look at what the top allotment bloggers and Instagrammers are wearing to their allotments this season. The range of styles and accessories on show is actually quite diverse, some make me feel really quite lazy and inferior, I may very well have to go clothes shopping in the very near future. At the very least I now need to transfer the remaining 20% of my wardrobe to the overflowing ‘Allotment clothes’ suitcase that lives underneath my bed to raise my standards! We begin below with Sarah and Lucy who I think it is fair to say opt for practical over pretentious:
Blogger: Sarah ‘Grow Lotty Grow’
Sarah, otherwise known as Grow Lotty Grow, enjoyed getting her arms out again this weekend as the sun beamed down on her allotment plot. The new kid on the block blogger / vlogger, has kept things simple and cheap, in four-year-old high street jeans (Next) stained green and brown from hours of pulling out mares tail.
In order to avoid that awkward sunburn one gets above one’s jeans when leaning over raised beds for hours on end, Sarah cleverly layered an indestructible tee-shirt featuring a vaguely inspirational quote (Zalando) over a long green vest top (Esprit). Both purchased over 5 years ago and even then they would have been on final reductions.
Sarah ditched the wellies during the warm weather, in favour of her 11 year old mid-height Nike shoes. With black leather uppers and flappy red bits literally hanging off the soles, these shoes protect her ankles from hazardous scrapes and twists, but fail when used for digging earth. “The flappy bits tend to collect mud and wet grass clippings under them” Sarah was over-heard saying to a fellow plot holder.
Finally, the mum of two, would never be without a pair of gardening gloves. “I just picked these up randomly in the sale in Sainsbury’s” she said. “I tend to buy most of my clothes in the same shops I can buy toilet cleaner these days and these ones were cheaper than anything I’ve ever seen at a garden centre. Although, I’d love a pair of those Gold Leaf gloves that everyone at GLEE was banging on about“.
Insta-blogger: Lucy Clements
Lucy Clements is a career change gardener and Insta-blogger who went back to college to get an RHS diploma and follow her gardening passions! If she’s not on her allotment she’s found ferreting around in other people’s shrubbery.
“I’m outside all day, every day. In our ever changing weather the right clothing is essential. The key to this is layering, in fact my friends call me ‘Lucy Layers.’ I always wear a vest (thermal in winter) a T-shirt (often long sleeves if wrestling with brambles) a fleece, a gillet and a waterproof coat.”
Lucy’s top fashion tips are:
- Rigger Boots: These have steel toe caps for protection and great for slipping on and off without having to faff with laces or heaving off wellington boots.
- Bum bag: This is where I keep my phone, keys, wallet, penknife, secateurs and strimmer line. I’d be lost without it….and so would everything else.
- Men’s coats: I buy men’s coats and waterproofs in the smaller sizes. They are often cheaper than the female equivalents! Always get a coat with a peak on the hood so the rain doesn’t drip onto your face.
- Rock T-shirts: Because all gardeners are repressed rock stars.
Get the allotment look TODAY:
Come back tomorrow when I review ‘His and Hers’ allotment fashion with some surprising technology accessories.