What is Gorpcore and Why Is It So Popular?

It should be no surprise that today's style trends combine fashion and function. We want elevated clothing that maximizes comfort and can adapt to different environments. Streetwear and workwear have defined urban fashion during the last decade, but a new trend has emerged in the last several years: gorpcore. By merging traditional outerwear with high-fashion sensibilities, gorpcore has asserted itself as a serious movement in fashion that can't be ignored.

What Is Gorpcore?

Gorpcore is a form of streetwear that prioritizes utilitarian, pragmatic outerwear. If you’re looking for a fashion style that provides comfort and allows you to take on an outdoor adventure whenever the mood hits, gorpcore is the right choice for you. Its origins lie in hiking culture but, just as workwear did before it, it’s grown past the utility of its aesthetic. The aesthetic is utility. 

Many people who have embraced gorpcore may never hit the trails. Puffy parkas, rain jackets, and hiking boots can serve you well in the city or climbing a mountain. Gorpcore is balanced, combining sleek with loose-fit and natural with modern.

What Does Gorp Stand For?

The term “gorpcore” was coined by Jason Chen in an article for the Cut back in 2017. The style existed long before then but it never had a name that stuck. “Gorp” is an acronym for “good ‘ol raisin and peanuts,” in reference to traditional trail mix ingredients. Soon after the new moniker was coined, Gorpcore usurped similar but ill-fitting terms like “camping-chic” and “granola-wear” to become the most common way of referring to the unique style.

Gorp Clothing For the Hiking Aesthetic

If you search "gorpcore" on Google Images you'll see an array of celebrities, from A$AP Rocky to Billie Eilish, dawning florescent jackets from Patagonia and Arc'teryx. Bright colors, branding and volume are all part of the hiking aesthetic that gorpcore has co-opted. Let's dive into the different components that define one of 2022's favorite styles.

Colors That Pop

Bright colors define much of the gorpcore look. Blues, oranges, pinks, greens and purples are commonly used, which creates a style that’s easy to spot. This is by design. Bright colors make people identifiable in the wild, making other adventurers easy to find. But those colors also make for a stylish, eye-catching palette that’s fun to wear. 

But bright colors aren’t the only way to go. Gorpcore can also highlight a more organic look. Outdoor wear that tries to blend in with a natural environment features more muted earth tones. These are a great alternative if bright colors aren’t your thing.

Say Goodbye To Skin-Tight Clothes

Forget your old skinny jeans. Throw them away. Burn them if you like. Utilitarian outerwear tends to have a looser fit so that you can move freely. This creates more comfort and allows you to use your body without the restriction of tight clothing. 

Gorpcore gives the body a wider silhouette. Parkas, windbreakers and wide-fit work slacks are all prominently featured to create that signature boxy look.

Wear Layers

Flexibility and comfort aren’t the only reasons for gorpcore’s loose fit. Many fashion styles rely heavily on layering, but the practice is essential to gorpcore. Think coats and windbreakers with a wearable fleece underneath.

Versatility Matters

Gorpcore is all about versatility, bringing clothing that can adapt easily to a variety of environments to the forefront. This prioritizes clothes with more of a one-size fits all appeal, which incorporates well into a voluminous silhouette. Hoodies and jackets are commonly cinched at the hood and the waist. 

As gorpcore has entered the world of high fashion, its defining look has become less concerned with what is purely functional. When Frank Ocean attends a Louis Vuitton show in Paris wearing a Northface puffer, his needs are very different than someone scaling the Matterhorn in Switzerland.

For this reason, you’ll see people buy oversized gear with the intention of cinching to get the desired look. This probably wouldn’t be done by a seasoned hiker, but gorpcore isn’t necessarily for hikers. Gorpcore was derived from hiking wear, but on the spectrum of function and fashion, it leans more toward the latter.

Popular Gorpcore Brands

Most fashion trends have a handful of essential brands and gorpcore is no different. Logos and branding are an important part of the aesthetic. Many of these brands are such staples in the world of outerwear that you likely have a winter coat adorned with one of their logos. Your dad’s old Eddie Bauer jacket might not look too different from the one Kanye West has been seen sporting around the Mountain West.

Part of gorpcore's appeal is its accessibility. While most of these brands are by no means cheap, they're far more common than high-fashion brands, such as Gucci and Balenciaga, that commonly signify popular fashion trends.

Recently some luxury designers have jumped into the gorpcore trend but outerwear exclusive brands remain to be the most popular. Gucci even partnered with Northface to design a $3,490 tent. The product is as expensive as it is impractical, but it proves the need for luxury brands to align with outdoor industry staples to gain credibility.

The North Face

The North Face is well known among hikers and fashion connoisseurs alike. The California-based outerwear company started out in hardware but is now known primarily for its sturdy down jackets.

From a gorpcore perspective, perhaps the most coveted asset offered by The North Face is its logo. Just as the iconic LV of Luis Vuitton signifies status, the North Face logo signifies reliability.

North Face produces a variety of products that have become signature pieces for any gorpcore enthusiast, including the Castle Rock vest.

Marmot

If you're looking for quality jackets and fleeces, you can't really go wrong with any of these brands, but Marmot is hard to beat. While its logo may not be as iconic as the Northface or Patagonia, Marmot outwear is an excellent option for anyone to incorporate gorpcore into their wardrobe.

Looking for suggestions? The Rocklin fleece and Tullus insulated puffer jacket are a great place to start.

Spyder

Seasoned fashion connoisseurs might say Spyder's catalog is more techwear than gorpcore, but the Colorado sportswear brand has plenty to offer the hiking aesthetic. Spyder's jackets are sleek and modern. If you're looking for something with a slimmer silhouette then look no further!

Columbia

Columbia is a tried and true sportswear brand that offers broad variety of outdoor gear and clothing. Like Patagonia, Columbia originates from the Pacific Northwest and is one of the largest purveyors of gorpcore goods.

Eddie Bauer

Established in 1920, Eddie Bauer is one of the oldest outdoor brands in the industry. Over the last century, the Seattle-based company has become a reliable source of high-quality clothing and equipment.

Popular gorpcore items include Eddie Bauer's microfleece jackets and packable windbreaker

Salomon

If one footwear brand could sum up the gorpcore aesthetic it's Salomon. The French sports equipment company produces some the best hiking shoes in the world. In the last few years, their shoes have been featured in premier runway shoes.

But even with their new high-fashion status, they're still some of the most durable shoes and boots around. Solomon is a brand for those who want to take on extreme environments and look great doing it.

Get Custom Embroidered Gorpcore at Thread Logic

Looking to add custom embroidered gorpcore to your wardrobe? Thread Logic has you covered. Our online store features high-quality outerwear that we'll embroider with your custom logo. From utilitarian jackets to t-shirts, we have everything you need to bolster your gorpcore collection.

Check out our selection of clothing from the above brands and get in on the hottest trend in fashion.

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