Home & Garden

Build Your New Southern Garden Uniform

Style inspiration for digging in the dirt from Britain’s Monty Don

A woman wears a navy smock in the garden


The Land Gardeners smock.

I’ve long admired the purposeful, elegant jackets and coveralls modeled by the British gardening star Monty Don as he gingerly pots daffodil bulbs, plants a row of boxwood, or harvests tomatoes. His uniforms are comfortable, useful—read: plenty of pockets (key in the garden!)—and stylish, with an over-washed look he practically made au currant. Is he the reason the chore-coat-as-streetwear made a comeback? Something tells me yes. And so as we all head into the high season of gardening, I’ve gathered the Don-esque chore clothes that perform best for me as an outdoor-work wardrobe to perhaps inspire your own digging-in-the-dirt duds. 

Pants and Long Sleeves

As counterintuitive as it may sound, long sleeves and long pants are essential to wear in the Southern heat, as they prevent insect bites and sunburn. I love the breathable hemp rompers from Jungmaven, the overalls and chore pants from the Texas women behind Hey Gang, and light-colored shirts that reflect heat from Gardenheir.

A navy blue jumpsuit

Stillwater Polo Pant Romper ($194; jungmaven.com).

A woman wears dark green overalls

The Miner Overalls ($375; theheygang.com).

A woman wears a pair of dark green pants.

The Chore Pant ($275; theheygang.com).

A white cotton oxford style shirt.

Gardening Chemise ($118; gardenheir.com).

A cream tie-dye waffle long sleeve crew neck.

Waffle Crew ($88; gardenheir.com).

Aprons and Smocks

When it’s cooler, I love a good smock, like the ones ingeniously designed by the Land Gardeners. They look like proper art teacher garb, with a thousand pockets for twine, stakes, tools, water, and a cell phone. And when things heat up, I pivot back to a waist apron from the Floral Society.

A woman wears a navy smock in the garden

The Land Gardeners Smock ($102; thelandgardeners.com).

A woman wears a dark green canvas half apron

Canvas Workshop Half Apron ($60; thefloralsociety.com).


I own garden clogs, but I find that I wear the below boots from the Original Muck Boot Company most, no matter the season. Maybe it’s because I’m as messy as Julia Child was in the kitchen when I’m planting and weeding, and they help keep dirt out of my socks. But I also think they prevent fire ant attacks (a Southern thing to be sure) and even a snake bite from a rogue baby copperhead in spring. This particular style also rolls down if you get too hot.

A black muck boot

Unisex Forager Convertible Boot ($125; muckbootcompany.com).

A Wide-Brimmed Straw Hat

Why straw? It breathes! Also, I learned the hard way last summer that a trucker hat doesn’t cut it in the yard—I got the worst neck sunburn of my life, even though I was wearing sunscreen! So if I’m working outside, I’m wearing a hat the size of Texas from here on out. Lack of Color has many, many options to choose from in this category.

A straw hat

The Vista Straw Hat ($149; lackofcolor.com).


Every gardener is picky about gloves, but I prefer the tough leather looks from Womanswork because they feel like a second skin once you break them in.

Brown suede gardening gloves

Original Leather Work Glove ($36; womanswork.com).

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