Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Untucked Shirt Question

Someone asked me the other day why my "uniform" tends to be an oversized untucked shirt; since someone bothered to ask, I thought I'd respond.

First, since I'm fat, it's a shirt style that I like, even though it tends to make me look even fatter. Pretty consistently I buy lots of cotton oxford shirts, and wear them in the garden until they fall apart. Anyone who gardens knows they take incredible abuse, so once they are beyond bleaching and scrubbing, they become very effective rags. I have been known to shop for gardening shirts at thrift stores and Goodwill, much to Frank's horror! ("Are you really wearing that outside where people can see you?")

These shirts work beautifully (at least I think so!) with my LLBean slip on black shoes. At any given moment, I have three pairs of the same LLBean shoes. They are my "nice LLBean shoes," "my gardening LLBean shoes," and my "climb in the creek LLBean shoes." Once they have been used a time or two for climbing in the creek, they finally become trash, and I buy a new pair of the same shoes, which become the "nice" ones, and the cycle continues.......does that make sense?

The other factor with the shirts is the bug issue. A couple of years ago, I was walking from the greenhouse into the potting shed, and was wearing a TUCKED IN shirt. From somewhere above the doorframe, a giant "palmetto bug" (that's their nice name in the south) fell into the collar of my shirt. If you ever get a live palmetto bug stuck inside your tucked in shirt at 7 AM, you'll start letting the tails of your shirt hang when you're gardening, as well.....


  1. Aside from physical appearance and bugs aside, I do NOT want to be constrained while gardening, and I do not want to be a bucket of sweat--so loose-fitting, UNtucked shirts are WAY the way to go. Yet another reason I dislike P. Allen Smith's chinos and ironed, tucked, button-down denim shirt... maybe people think all gardeners, even ones without TV shows, dress that way. And yet another reason to admire Paul James, Mr. Untucked himself! :)

  2. I do that with my tennis shoes. I have the filthy degree shoes, medium degree ones and the good ones. When I buy new, I throw the filthy ones away and every one moves up. Bugs in the clothes are bad. I wore a coat today, just because I didn't want anyone up town to see what I was actually wearing. I really didn't need the coat. The LL Bean shoes are nice, maybe I need to start with that and get a rotation going.

  3. These particular LLBeans are fairly inexpensive, water resistant (not creek proof), and require no "breaking in." I take them out of the box and can do a full day of gardening in them! I think the coat is a good idea!