Fashion in the garden

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Take off your coat, take off your boot,
Take off your woolly hat, your boiler suit.

It’s hard to cut a dash on the veg patch, writes Jane Perrone It’s hard to cut a dash on the veg patch, writes Jane Perrone These lyrics from the song ‘Bag Lady’ by comedian Rich Hall sum up how I dress for working in the garden. While other women seem to look effortlessly chic while tending their plots (I am thinking of Michelle Obama, Carol Klein, Rachel de Thame, to name a few), I start the day by stumbling out the back door in ill-fitting cords and a shapeless sweater, and end it looking as if I have been dragged through a hedge backwards: not so much shabby chic as just plain shabby.*

I realised quite how far from fashionable I’d become when I started mulling boiler suit options on the web as a viable alternative outfit for those sessions turning the compost heap. I console myself with the fact that no one barring my family sees me pottering about in the veg patch with wild hair and mismatching gloves, but what about when I’m working in my front garden, or even up on my new green roof? Not a big problem, the neighbours probablyl already think I am bonkers.

But now I’ve agreed to let photographer Paul Debois take my photograph for a series he’s doing on women garden writers. Panic. So I need help, people. What do you wear in the garden that’s comfortable, practical and effortlessly cool? Or should I continue to channel the ‘Bag Lady’ look and have done with it? Let me know what you’re mowing the lawn in these days: even better if you can supply a picture to our Flickr feed.

*I should say that I did try to find a picture of myself dressed for gardening to add to this post, but of the only two I could find, one was so blurry as to be unusable and the other only showed my muddy boots. Clearly I have an inbuilt desire to avoid being captured on film looking like a tramp.

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