What is Gorpcore?
The term ‘Gorpcore’ made its initial debut in 2017 in an article in The Cut written by Jason Chen. The name stems from the acronym for trail mix, ‘good ol’ raisins and peanuts,’ a snack often found in the possession of hikers. But what exactly is Gorpcore? Typically, Gorpcore refers to a style or trend that focuses on hiking-inspired pieces. Mixing functional outerwear and practical garments, Gorpcore sits somewhere between futuristic techwear and everyday apparel. This hiking and mountain wear aesthetic has been growing over the years. Because of this, we’re taking a deep dive into the influence of Gorpcore, its connection to streetwear fashion, and spotlighting our selection of premium brands that authentically display the Gorpcore aesthetic.
Gorpcore Aesthetics + Influences
Often taking on a ‘camping chic’ aesthetic, Gorpcore tends to be influenced by outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and rock climbing. Traditional camping gear and outerwear apparel tend to feature bright colors, often referencing colors of things found in nature, such as green plants, blue water, and pink sunsets. Additionally, earth tones are more often than not heavily associated with the Gorpcore style, such as beige, grey, brown, and olive. These colors reference practicality and utility. As for the cut of Gorpcore apparel, it currently aligns perfectly with the ‘oversized’ trends. The essentials are often cut in a boxy manner, as the pants are wide and straight, and the fleece is just as wide as it is tall. Jackets are crafted to house layers underneath, providing the wearer with the range of movement to do whatever needs to be done in the great outdoors.
The Rise of Functional Fashion
The functionality and timelessness of Gorpcore pieces make them timeless in any wardrobe, further emphasizing the overall aesthetic's popularity. It’s all part of the ‘functional clothing movement,’ which prioritizes clothing that works in various environments, and may or may not have technical features that protect the wearer from natural outdoor elements. This is an integral part of Gorpcore, as it sticks to comfortable apparel and footwear that offer a good range of movement for the wearer. Gorpcore’s priorities when it comes to its apparel is color, volume, laying, branding, and most importantly, functionality. Additionally, common materials found within Gorpcore offerings usually include Gore-Tex, Cordura, and Fleece.
Staple Gorpcore Clothing Pieces
When it comes to Gorpcore, layers are essential. It all starts with a lightweight fleece base and then some sort of jacket that offers a technological component, such as it being waterproof and windproof. This can be offered through outerwear apparel like puffer jackets and parkas that tends to be worn unzipped with a fleece silhouette peeking out underneath. Making sure these layers are breathable is integral so that they can be worn in conditions that involve both dryness and humidity. The same can also be said for the pants, which is a prime opportunity to include additional functionality by choosing a silhouette that includes an array of pockets to keep necessary items close. Alongside the apparel, utilizing functional and elevated headwear and accessories like socks and bags also accurately represents the Gorpcore aesthetic.
Streetwear = Gorpcore?
Gorpcore is considered to be a prominent offshoot of streetwear fashion. This facet of the fashion industry has been the most susceptible to the influence of the outdoors-influenced fashion style. Over the past few years, as outdoor apparel has bled into the streetwear realm, Gorpcore crawled its way out of it, which reflected in streetwear fashion more often than not becoming heavily inspired by full-scale outdoor clothing. Outdoor activities are ever-growing among Americans, and brands are paying attention by combining luxury labels with lifestyle brands to continue capturing the attention of streetwear fashion lovers.
Our Favorite Gorpcore Brands
With that, our selection of Gorpcore-inspired brands have just what anybody needs to craft the perfect Gorpcore look. Regarding sneakers, iconic footwear brand Salomon knows just how to strike the perfect balance between function and fashion. Serious hikers approve of Salomon, while lifestyle apparel enthusiasts tend to gravitate toward the label for their choice of sneakers. One stand-out option is the Salomon Odyssey 1. Besides Salomon, another notable brand to consider is HOKA. Hoka’s mission is to inspire people to move and empower athletes with their footwear. Gorpcore enthusiasts’ respect for the athleisure label continues to grow, and is a common suspect among any premium Gorpcore looks. Besides their signature hiking boots and shoes, such as the Kaha 2 GTX and Kaha 2 Low GTX, HOKA also introduces its new Hopara, a hiking-inspired sandal ideal for the upcoming warmer months.
As for accessories, incorporating headwear can be achieved through Nike’s iconic ACG line. As an acronym for ‘All Conditions Gear,’ Nike ACG is an outdoor sub-line of clothing and footwear for athletes who partake in outdoor activities. The brand offers a wide range of products that take on an outdoors ‘90s throwback style, as seen in the Nike ACG Cuffed Beanie. Another great functional headwear option is the South2 West Bucket Hat.
Regarding apparel that accurately reflects the Gorpcore aesthetic, one notable brand that has to be mentioned is none other than South2 West8. What started as a literal fly-fishing outfitter has grown to become one of the most prominent Gorpcore-inspired labels in the industry. The South2 West8 x Ben Miller Belted C.S. Pant and L/S Round Pocket Tee are must-haves for any Gorpcore wardrobe. Additionally, our FEATURE Keane Cargo Pants also take on a Gorpcore approach with their array of cargo pockets, adjustable stoppers, and tunneled bungee cording that takes on an elevated yet functional aesthetic.
For a closer look at our favorite Gorpcore-inspired brands like Nike, Salomon, HOKA, Acronym, Stone Island, FEATURE, South2 West8, Sacai + more, click here.