Gardening Clothes

Ever since Eve, gardens and clothing have had a problematic relationship – particularly for women. Before I even made my passionate avowal of regular gardening, I had made a frustrating discovery in this regard. As suitable as my long-skirted dresses are for many a pursuit, gardening is not one of them.

Ladies' Home Journal Vol.10 No.11 (October, 1893)
Elegant train – doubles as weed mat!
What clued me in? Standing on my hem with muddy gumboots when bending over my work. Frustratingly unavoidable.

And yet, women (and even ladies) have gardened lo these many centuries. The problem, I deem, is the combination of ladylike attire with unladylike gardening. A full sweeping skirt is all very well for a little light flower-gathering on a dry summer’s day with a Sussex trug over one arm, but squatting down in the muddy grass uttering dire threats against a dock root is in an altogether different class of gardening.

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What’s It Called?

It has a back, two fronts (overlapping), two arms, usually a belt of some sort round the middle, and often pockets. It comes in all sorts of materials, from light and thin to warm and snuggly.Continue & Comment

Over Your Cold Dead Body

Tomb Effigy of Dorothy Bampfield, Lady Dodderage, 1614
Elizabethan corset: so rigid you can’t even lie down when you’re dead.

If there’s one kind, style, or feature of garment you wouldn’t be caught dead in, what would it be?