A head-to-toe guide to what to wear while gardening

Spring means it’s time for horticultural therapy for you and your loved one.

The fun thing about gardening clothes? You can dress to impress, while keeping the combination of comfort, practicality and functionality as a priority.

Here’s what to wear from the bottom up to keep you and your loved one comfortable, dry, and safe from the sun, insects, and scratchy twigs and branches.

Comfortable, waterproof clogs or boots

Gardening boots are great, but sometimes it’s nice to get some sun and some fresh air on those toes. That’s when you need comfortable, durable and supportive clogs that you can water.

Meet OOFOS. Research shows that OOFOS reduce loading, decrease compressive forces and promote foot mobility compared to traditional footwear. Accordingly, each OOFOS style bears the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Seal of Acceptance. Plus, they’re designed with closed-cell foam, so they’re machine washable. This design also keeps them odor free.

Of course, gardening boots are standard for any gardening job. Try the highly recommended Bogs Sauvie Slip On Boot, which is water resistant with a cushioned sole to keep feet comfortable. Or, for a knee-high boot, try the equally popular Hunter Original Tall rain boot, with a latex coating, rubber sole and cinchable buckle on top.

Gardening socks

Knee-high socks are imperative for gardening, regardless of your footwear choice. A good pair of gardening socks will protect your feet and legs from insect bites. They can also protect your legs, allowing you to wear shorts or capris on those really hot days.

  • The Insect Shield Sport Crew Sock will keep those pesky bugs away while protecting most of the lower leg from the sun and thorns, twigs, etc.

Solid overalls

The overalls do not restrict range of motion and are pre-built with plenty of pockets for small items and tools, which is very convenient. Moreover, they remain upright. We all know how irritating it is to constantly have to pull up our pants after bending down to trim a plant. The combinations completely remove this inconvenience.

UPF Long Sleeve Shirts

Did you know you can get sunburn through your clothes? A typical cotton fabric can transmit 15-20% UV rays (UV radiation); this increases to more than 50% if the garment is wet. Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) is a measure of how much UV radiation a fabric allows to reach your skin. According to the recommendations of the Skin Cancer Foundation, a UPF of 30 to 49 offers very good protection, while a UPF 50+ is excellent. There are countless style and brand options, so here’s a filterable list of the best UPF long sleeve gardening shirts for men, and here’s a similar list for women.

Knee pads or a floor mat

Knee pads or a kneeling mat are essential if you have to kneel on concrete, rocks or gravel to reach your flowers.

Consider a garden kneeler (TomCare Garden Kneeler or Truly Garden Kneeler and Seat for your loved one. These completely eliminate the problem of kneeling.

Gloves

While there’s something very special about digging straight into the dirt, gardening with gloves has its perks: no splinters, no thorns, and no dirt under fingernails to scrub off later. We recommend either wrist-length nitrile gloves thin enough to not compromise dexterity or, for more intensive work, elbow-length gloves such as the Magid Rose Pruning Gloves.

Protect your noggin (and your neck) with a sun hat

Most people know to wear a hat while gardening, but many don’t know that many gardening-specific hats have additional protective features such as wide brims, neck guards, and UPF fabric.

Hats are hot. And hot hats are removed, leading to a tender, sunburned scalp. The Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Hat is so light you’ll leave it on, but not so light it’ll have you chasing the wind. It has full neck coverage and UPF 50 fabric.

This Lenikis sun hat has coverage adaptable to all conditions. Its UPF 50+ fabric will block 98% of UV rays with a wide brim, and removable side flaps will keep your face, ears, neck and the back of your head shaded at all times.

sunscreen

Sun glasses

Wraparound sunglasses are ideal for gardening, especially for the elderly. Gravity doesn’t take over when you lean forward, and they can also double as safety goggles when trimming with a hedge trimmer or performing heavy pruning.

  • Outdoor Tinted Safety Glasses: These versatile safety glasses with tinted lenses provide UV400 protection against UVA/UVB rays and are scratch and impact resistant.
  • NoCry Work & Sports Sunglasses: These highly customizable frames can be adjusted to the right size. Wraparound anti-scratch lenses, non-slip handles and UV 400 protection make it another excellent and safe choice for the garden.

Now that you’re dressed and ready to garden, make sure you have the right gardening gear for seniors before heading out. Also be sure to read about how therapeutic horticultural activities are for your loved one. But hurry up! So many weeds, so little thyme.