In our local newspaper, I just saw a picture of a young lady with a shovel working in a market garden. She wore a scoop necked, stretch, tank top, yoga pants and low cut sneakers untied. Her mentor also wore a scoop necked tank top (but under a shoulder covering shirt), denim pants and laced high cut sneakers.

In that same publication there was also a shot of a couple of men working on a small road repair. They both wore shoulder covering shirts (one long and one short), denim jeans and proper work boots.

You see it all the time in movies and on TV. The male worker has on a shoulder covering shirt and boots. The female worker is shoulder bare (and most often scoop necked) and wearing minimal shoes. The real world is not a movie. When working outside, you’re in the sun and for long time stretches.

When doing physical labour for pay or for fun, cover the shoulders (and hopefully the arms). All clothing provides protection from the sun’s UV rays, some better than others. Do some research pick clothes that offer higher protection. Note that stretch clothing lessens the protection (stretching opens the space between fibers).

Also, wear proper footwear. If you don’t have work boots, wear sturdy shoes laced up.

A voluntary work that many volunteer to perform is the “adopt a road” program. It’s training requires sturdy footwear. There’s a reason for such a requirement. Work sites are most often on uneven ground and when paying attention to work you might not notice a change in your footing. Sturdy footwear will help you minimize the affects of rolling your ankle.

Some will say that dressing in minimal clothing for working outside in the sun is for cooling. Take a look at what is worn by those cultures whose clothing developed to suit life in the sun. Loose fitting body covering light coloured clothes.


Forget the movies (who are selling their product); working outside is not a fashion show. When dressing for outside work, think of protection in addition to style.
The Plaidneck