things you can do in the uk at 16 years of age
- get married (with parental permission)
- start a family
- join the army where they use guns and bombs and shit
- move out
things you can’t do in the uk at 16 years of age
- buy a pair of scissors
are you serious
How to Dress for Gardening
Monty Don, an English TV presenter and writer on horticulture (perhaps best known for presenting the BBC television series Gardner’s World) once wrote something for The Guardian on "dirty dressing." That is, how to dress when one needs to get some gardening done. Lots of rules are laid out here, including the things one must wear (high waisted trousers and leather boots) and sartorial no-nos (shorts and baseball caps … though, we disagree with his sentiments on the second). For me, as a guy who doesn’t garden, the best part is reading the opinion of a man who feels strongly about clothes. A long excerpt:
Over the past 30-odd years I have evolved certain rules about my wardrobe. Never wear jeans. They are absurd items of clothing - cold in winter, hot in summer, slow to dry once wet and chafe in places where chafing is not required. I have not possessed a pair for at least 20 years.
Never wear tight trousers. Always buy trousers at least one waist size too big, make sure that the pockets are big enough to comfortably hold penknife, hanky, string, phone, pencil, labels and perhaps a mint or two. The pocket thing is a matter of fine tuning. Too deep and you are rummaging around up to your elbow in them. But I have big hands and if they are too small you cannot find the knife/hanky/label and extract it without causing uncomfortable restrictions or having to let go of the object in order to extract your hand.
Lots of professional gardeners wear shorts all summer, but they always strike me as hopelessly impractical. If I am honest I also feel that, having been bought up in an age when small boys were forced to wear shorts, long trousers are a privilege that I still cling to and shorts are for sports.
Belts are needed to attach your secateurs’ holster to, to support your back when digging and to stop the size-too-large trousers ending up around your ankles when reaching up to prune the apples. Regard your belt as a piece of gardening kit and buy a really good quality, thick leather belt made by a British leather worker. It should mean business. Braces are much more comfy - especially with high-rise trousers - and I wear them most of the time.
If you are not familiar with their joys, highrise trousers are fantastically comfortable and keep your lower back warm. My children still squirm with embarrassment every time they see me in them (which is most days) but that is probably some kind of seal of approval. If you are uncertain about the required cut, check out photographs of agricultural labourers in summer (ie jacketless) circa 1880-1914. The only two fabrics I use for trousers are corduroy and cotton drill. I have two weights of the latter in identical cuts, very heavy and light. Twice as many heavy as light. You have to accept that gardening trousers get wet, muddy and stained, so need washing a lot. If they are ‘good’ they will be much loved and probably expensive, so must last the wear and tear outdoors and in the washing machine. Anyway, good trousers only start to feel right after a year or so.
Wear thick socks summer and winter, if possible of pure cotton or wool. Gardening in light shoes is a joy, but a rare one. I have a pair of handmade leather boots that I use for all digging and heavy work. These cost as much as a holiday for two in the Bahamas but were worth every penny and much preferable to a holiday. I can dig all day in them without any discomfort and they are wholly waterproof. Get a good pair of wear one as a vest in winter. Shirts are the thing. I like pull-on ones that button down to the chest. Get them big with lots of room under the armpit and long enough to cover your bum. Check that the cuffs are wide enough to easily roll up above the elbow. Cotton drill is best. A chest pocket is useful, too. It goes without saying that no gardening shirt (and no other item of clothing of mine) ever sees an iron.
A tweed jacket is really good and I have a number of old ripped ones I often wear at home. They are thornproof, warm, showerproof and have pockets. They won’t let me wear them on telly because they say it looks too patrician. I have yet to work out if that is patronising or right, but I meekly demur. I like waistcoats either waterproof or leather. The latter is by far the best thing for keeping a cold wind at bay and for protecting you from thorns. A waterproof waistcoat with pockets is ideal if it is merely damp. If it is too wet for that to be sufficient protection it is probably too wet to garden sensibly outside. Fleeces are ubiquitous and inevitable, but I wear them surprisingly little nowadays. They are best as an underlayer when it is wet. On the whole I prefer a good jersey. Cashmere is the ideal inner layer when it is really cold and you can pick them up amazingly cheaply nowadays. A thicker roll-neck jersey makes a good outer layer.
I don’t like hats very much. I have no desire to shelter from the British sun and it is rarely cold enough to need headgear. But I especially loathe baseball caps. Not only are they useless but a symbol of a kind of Disneyfied decadence. A wide-brimmed hat is much more effective and keeps the sun and rain off better. Tweed flat caps are good, but distinctly agricultural. I have a Soviet military hat that I bought off a soldier in Berlin. It is great for pruning the more viciously thorned roses.
You can read the whole thing here.
The Ultimate Chinos Guide
We’re pulling the most asked, most interesting and most puzzling Reddit Male Fashion Advice questions and helping you answer them
Chinos get a bad rap. Contrary to popular belief chinos don’t have to be designated 9-5 work wear or fit two sizes too big. The modern man wants his chinos to fit slim, but not skin tight. Here’s how to work them into your wardrobe for different body types.
For guys with muscular legs and a more rectangular frame, finding pants with enough room in the legs is hard. You don’t want your chinos to fit too tight or you’ll look bulky and disproportional.
Take a look at the measurements of the pants - a 17” or 18” leg opening is a good sized wide-leg pant that will look fitted on the body. Tuck your button-down shirt in so you look clean and crisp and don’t forget to wear a belt.
Tall and Slim
Choose a straight-cut, low-rise pair of chinos to keep your look long and lean. Finding inseams (pant length) at 36” or longer is a challenge, which is why these J. Crew unhemmed chinos come with a 37.5” leg so you can tailor the length to your preference or them leave raw. Banana Republic offers a 36” leg chino pant that’s perfect for the office.
Regular and Slim
A tapered leg will give you a slim look without being too skinny at the ankle. Norse Projects is a cool brand to check out for a rugged, casual look. Club Monaco makes pants with a 30”, 32” and 34” inseam with a good cut, zipper fly and quarter-top pockets.
You can roll the pants a couple times and go sockless with a casual pair of slip-on sneakers or sandals in the summer or chukkas in the fall.
For men who fit a waist size of 40” or more, it’s hard to find awesome brands that have a stylish, modern take on chinos and are at a good price point. If your body is rounder, make sure you don’t wear pants with a tight leg opening; a relaxed fit is the way to go. Deep front pockets and back pockets that sit closer together are flattering for this body shape.
Pro Tip: If you’re trying out a new brand or style, you can either head over to the store to try them on or order online and try them at home. Most e-commerce stores have excellent shipping and returns/exchanges policies. The best way to do it is order two sizes in each item and return the one that doesn’t fit.
Now that you’ve read the guide, check out some pants you’ll want to wear on Wantering.