Gorpcore: Street-Style Fashion
AKA, dressing like you know how to pitch a tent and cook a tin of beans over a campfire in the Lake District.
‘Good old raisins and peanuts’, aka Gorpcore. Raisins and peanuts are a staple of hikers’ diets – just like hikers’ gear has become a source of style inspiration as of late. The combining of performance gear meant for all-terrain adventures with fashion colours, logo-loyalty and stylish silhouettes, is by all means a recipe for success.
So, which brands are at the forefront of this movement in practical dressing?
Their global slogan, Never Stop Exploring, leaves no question that The North Face epitomises Gorpcore. They’ve covere d all bases from ski salopettes, to running shirts and sensible sandals. Don’t worry though – you don’t have to ski down a snow peak or run a marathon to wear these pieces! They’re just as wearable in the big city. If you layer up a signature North Face fleece under an anorak, you’ve immediately got the seal of approval from Gorpcore fanatics
It would only be fair to mention Arc’teryx, a Vancouver-based mountaineering brand. Rebranded from Rock Solid in 1991, Arc’teryx has proven its high-end status symbol among Gen-Z. Thanks to TikTok, most of us have seen their signature Gore-Tex shell jacket:
Yes, you might have to fork out a small mortgage to be able to afford it on a student budget, but surely it would be worth it to look this cool? (Side note: if anyone has a pressing desire to buy someone an Arc’teryx jacket, you know where I am).
Don’t be fooled though, this hiking and mountainwear aesthetic isn’t new. The likes of A$AP Rocky, Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Blanca Blanco all agree that practical dressing should be celebrated.
In my opinion, the pinnacle of Gorpcore done well is an outfit from the legend himself, Frank Ocean. At the 2019 Louis Vuitton show in Paris, Ocean wore this bright orange Mammut puffer jacket. But he doesn’t leave his fashion slay here – he paired this with a cool Arc’teryx beanie, elevating his look as if to say “I wear colour and I’ve got confidence”.
So, there it is: functionality and practicality have become the new luxury and Ocean’s outfit epitomises it. Albeit Gorpcore is a current trend but in my opinion it has longevity. Having arguably been in the peripheral of the fashion industry for decades, it is a wonder we haven’t all been dressing to scale Everest sooner. The layers and warm fabrics, as well as the water-resistance and elasticated waistbands means these breathable looks are wearable throughout all four seasons and suitable for all temperatures.
That’s the great thing about Gorpcore; we can be cool and relaxed whilst still propelling ourselves fashion-forward. Forget “How do I look?” – rather, think “Will I be warm?”. After all, nothing gives confidence like warmth and comfort.
Words: Georgia Monk