June 12, 2024

What Is Gorpcore? A Guide To Hiker-Inspired Style

What Is Gorpcore? A Guide To Hiker-Inspired Style

Frank Ocean likely never imagined he'd become the face of the Gorpcore trend when paparazzi photographed him attending Paris Fashion Week in 2019 - but he did. Sporting an Arc’teryx toque beanie, a Mammut puffer, and Diemme hiking boots, paired with straight-leg jeans and a large leather bag, his outfit seamlessly blended practicality with high fashion, inspiring many to follow suit.

Soon after, brands like Salomon and Arc'teryx expanded beyond ski shops and mountain bases, appearing in well-known fashion retailers like SSENSE and Net-A-Porter. The demographic these very brands made product for changed, shifting from hikers and rock climbers to marketers and designers - all thanks to Gorpcore.

Gorpcore is a word that has been seemingly inescapable in online fashion forums for the last eight-or so years, but what exactly is Gorpcore? This is what we know.

Celebrities wearing Gorpcore-style outfits

The Origins of Gorpcore

The term "Gorpcore" comes from "gorp," an old-fashioned word for trail mix. Gorp stands for "Good Ol' Raisins and Peanuts," a popular snack for hikers. Gorpcore fashion is inspired by the practical and functional clothing worn by hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Think of waterproof or puffer jackets, cargo pants, beanies, and sturdy boots.

Gorpcore as a fashion trend first appeared in the mid-2010s. The trend could have been response to the growing interest in outdoor activities and the desire for comfortable, functional clothing that still looks stylish. Or it could have very much been another element of 1990s style that had been left out in previous trend cycles, but eventually came back.

While some Gorpcore adopters wanted to incorporate their love for nature and adventure into their everyday style, it's more likely that the trend spread like wildfire off the fact simply it looked good and was comfortable.

Who Coined the Term "Gorpcore"?

The term "Gorpcore" was coined by Jason Chen, a fashion writer for The Cut. In 2017, he used it to describe the trend of wearing outdoor gear as everyday clothing. This new style quickly caught on, as more people started to appreciate the blend of function and fashion.

Slowthai the musician wearing an Arc'teryx jacket

Popular Gorpcore Brands

If you want to dress in Gorpcore style, there are several brands you should know about. These brands specialize in outdoor gear that's both functional and fashionable.

Patagonia: Known for their durable and eco-friendly outdoor clothing, Patagonia is a go-to brand for Gorpcore enthusiasts. Their jackets, fleeces, and backpacks are perfect for both hiking and city life.

The North Face: Another popular brand, The North Face offers a wide range of outdoor clothing and accessories. Their iconic puffer jackets and fleece pullovers are staple pieces in any Gorpcore wardrobe.

Arc'teryx: This Canadian brand is known for its high-performance outdoor gear. Arc'teryx jackets and pants are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, making them ideal for Gorpcore fashion.

Salomon: Initially for their ski products, Salomon hiking sneakers have taken the world by storm with their easy-fastening lace style and comfortable construction.

ROA: Based in Italy, ROA has become the premiere designer hiking boot. Collaborations with ALYX1017SM, Brain Dead, and JJJJound have made the brand synonymous with streetwear fashion.

How To Dress Gorpcore?

Now that you know what Gorpcore is and where it comes from, let's talk about how to dress Gorpcore. Here are some key elements to consider when putting together a Gorp outfit.

Layering: Layering is essential in Gorpcore fashion. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer, add a warm mid-layer like a fleece or insulated jacket, and finish with a waterproof and windproof outer layer, typically made with Gore-Tex material.

Practicality: Choose clothing that's functional and practical. Look for pieces with multiple pockets, adjustable features, and durable materials. Items like cargo pants, utility vests, and waterproof jackets are perfect for Gorpcore.

Comfort: Comfort is key. Opt for loose-fitting, breathable clothing that allows for easy movement. Footwear should be sturdy and supportive, like hiking boots or trail shoes.

Color Palette: Gorpcore fashion often features earthy tones and muted colors like green, brown, and gray. However, don't be afraid to add pops of color with bright jackets or accessories.

Accessories: Complete your Gorpcore look with practical accessories like beanies, backpacks, and hiking socks. These items not only enhance your outfit but also add to its functionality.

Balenciaga ski-wear collection

Gorpcore in Luxury Fashion

While Gorpcore started as a practical and functional style, it has also made its way into the world of luxury fashion. Many high-end designers have embraced the trend, incorporating elements of outdoor gear into their collections.

Balenciaga: Balenciaga is known for its bold and innovative designs. They have incorporated Gorpcore elements like oversized parkas, cargo pants, and hiking boots into their runway shows.

Gucci: Gucci has also jumped on the Gorpcore trend, blending luxury with functionality. Their collections feature items like quilted jackets, utility vests, and hiking-inspired footwear.

Prada: Prada's take on Gorpcore includes sleek and stylish outdoor gear. They offer items like technical jackets, cargo shorts, and durable backpacks made out of their signature nylon.

Louis Vuitton: Louis Vuitton has embraced Gorpcore by incorporating outdoor-inspired pieces into their collections. Think of items like waterproof jackets, rugged boots, and functional bags.


Gorpcore is a fashion trend that combines the practicality of outdoor gear with the style of streetwear. It originated in the mid-2010s, but is very much present in popular culture almost a decade later.