If you saw someone walking down the street sporting an outfit consisting of Birkenstock sandals, Patagonia shorts, complete with a NorthFace fleece you would logically assume that he or she was headed for a day in the great outdoors. And while this assumption could very well be correct, there is a chance that this outdoorsy outfit is purely a fashion statement. This sharp dresser you have observed may be practicing the latest trend to take the fashion world by storm in recent years of outdoor-wear-inspired fashion.
This has been labelled GORPCORE by Jason Chen in May 2017 for The Cut; GORP being an abbreviation for trail mix (Good Ole Raisins and Peanuts), every backpacker’s favourite nutritious snack. This style of donning a mix of clothing engineered to withstand the elements such as parkas, rain jackets, fleeces, utilitarian pants, hiking boots, and trail runners have been adopted by runaway models to college students and everyone in between. At the core of this fashion today brands like Soloman rule with their hiking boots and shoes, while The North Face and Patagonia continue to produce clothing that ranges from colourful fleeces to down vests built for the trail but styled on city streets across the globe.
This trend is nothing new, North face puffer jackets have been hot in places like New York since the 1990s and Nike has been releasing outdoorsy garments with its ACG (All Conditions Gear) line since 1989. But as of late the aesthetic has come into its own, with several runway collections highlighting the granola-chic fashion such as Prada spring/summer 2017 as well as Balenciaga fall/winter 2020. Meanwhile, the look is alive and well on a lower scale with celebrities like Kanye West and Frank Ocean sporting Arc’yterx jackets that would make any camping enthusiast green with envy.
The truest fashions always draw inspiration from their surroundings, and GORPCORE is a brilliant example of just that. Sweatpants and hoodies were originally used only for sporting events, and now it’s impossible to imagine what lounging at home would be like without these garments. By pulling inspiration from campgrounds and hiking mountains the amount of creativity and ingenuity that goes into this breathable waterproof clothing can be appreciated in a new light. So next time you’re looking to turn some heads, instead of the jeans and t-shirt go for the rain jacket and multi-pocket pants and watch the compliments come in from fashionistas and campers alike.