Critiques

Why “Gorpcore” May be the Best New 2021 Fashion Trend Yet

What is “Gorpcore,” and who is it for? The hot fashion trends for 2021 are becoming more clear, and most are the direct result of life during lockdown for COVID-19. From “ath-flow” to “gorpcore,” there’s a whole new way to dress for work and play right now. One of them is the confluence of camping and street style. Looks that go from the office to the Great Outdoors. Our correspondent Funto Omojola has done the research. And she’s sharing what you need to know about the “gorpcore” luxury fashion trend (also known as hikingcore and “camping chic”); top brands and expert stylist tips on how to wear gorpcore.

the hot fashion trends of 2021 reflect life in COVID-19 lockdown

The frigid and long winter days have arrived, along with one of this 2021 luxury fashion season’s most notable trends: “gorpcore”, otherwise known as “hikingcore” or “camping-chic.”

gorpcore, hikingcore, camping chic 2021 luxury fashion trend, top brands and stylist tips on how to wear it.

Yep, across fashion week runways and sidewalks alike, elevated fashion takes on camping clothes. And outdoorsy, hiking-inspired sportswear is the new style-obsession. 

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The most note-worthy iteration of the aesthetic is the recent North Face and Gucci collaboration, which saw everyone from fashion models to A$AP Rocky donning North Face classics patterned with the famous Gucci logo.

This newest style-trend seems to be for anyone who wants to give off the “I camp” or “I hike” vibes but isn’t, in fact, an outdoorsman. 

What is it about this new woodsy wardrobe trend that’s got us obsessed? And should you add camping-inspired pieces to your own closet? Here’s what our expert fashion stylists had to say about how (and if) to wear gorpcore, and which brands do it best.

gorpcore, hikingcore, camping chic 2021 luxury fashion trend, top brands and stylist tips on how to wear it.

What is “gorpcore” and who is it for?

Coined by New York Magazine’s The Cut in 2017, “gorpcore” has come to represent outdoor wear like fleece; bright puffers; and raincoats meeting everyday street-style.

The woodsy-inspired style movement gets its name from “Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts”, which is a term for trail-mix often used by hikers. But contrary to what the fleece vests and durable jackets might seem to be signaling, our experts say that people who are buying these items aren’t necessarily trying to communicate that they’re actually outdoorsy. 

“They’re trying to communicate that they’re fashion-forward,” Patrick Kenger, personal stylist with Pivot Image Consulting, tells Dandelion Chandelier. “Right now, a key trend in fashion is just ‘outdoor-inspired’.” 

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Eileen Nguyen, styling assistant at The Blanc House, tells Dandelion Chandelier that the fashion items catered toward the camping-core aesthetic are not just for people who want to hike or go camping. “Many of these items can be worn as everyday wear for warmth and comfort or can be styled as part of a chic silhouette,” she says. 

Plus, outdoor brands like Patagonia and The North Face who are leading the camping meets streetstyle confluence aren’t abandoning their core demographic: they’re just taking advantage of what’s in right now. “Luxury brands are diversifying their creative direction a lot these days,” says Kenger. “Outdoor brands are starting to elevate their image a bit, and this recent wave of designer brands loving the outdoor aesthetic has been great for those brands.” 

gorpcore, hikingcore, camping chic 2021 luxury fashion trend, top brands and stylist tips on how to wear it.

We’re itching to get out!

The camping-chic style is not entirely new to the scene. We’ve seen outdoor-centered companies collaborate with higher-end brands in the past. The North Face and Supreme’s 2013 collection is one example.

But surely part of the “gorpcore” trend’s resurgence has to do with our desire to get out after our long year of pandemic-led hibernation.

“Part of me believes that after being inside all year, we all just want to go outdoors,” says Kenger, adding that the outdoorsy aesthetic is building off of current trends we know and love. “In the past few years, we’ve seen a rise in high-priced designer ultra-casual wear — think sweats,” he says. “The [gorpcore] trend is likely an extension of that.” 

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everyone appreciates apparel that multi-tasks

Like all luxury fashion trends (remember grunge?), the woodsy-wear movement will reach a peak and then pass from view. But Nguyen thinks that while we’re still in this pandemic, it’s here to stay. “We’re starting to see how convenient camping-wear can be, not just for outdoor activities but for casual days out as well.” she says. 

“It’s certainly something that you’ll see more of, and because it’s accessible, you’re likely to see others wearing more of it,” adds Kenger. 

Whether it’s “ath-flow” or “gorpcore,” at the root of many luxury fashion trends early in 2021 is a strong desire to not change our clothes very often. Our days and events used to be governed by strict deadlines and rules and divided neatly into categories like “work,” “off-duty” and “big night out.” Now, we’re eating with friends outdoors on the sidewalk, working from home and hurriedly running errands – and we want to wear the same comfortable, functional outfit for all of those things.

Why “Gorpcore” May be the Best New 2021 Fashion Trend Yet

How to wear the gorpcore luxury fashion trend

If you’re in on this, we’ve got good news: pretty much everyone looks good in gorpcore.

It’s not only A-listers and runway models that can make a wind-breaker or oversized rain-coat look good — so can we. Some trends can be difficult to style correctly and then pull off. But luckily, our experts tell us that rocking the outdoorsy look is easier than one might think. 

All it takes is a puffer

“I tell my clientele that when you’re working in any sort of trend, do it in small doses,” says Kenger. “A basic puffer jacket goes with a lot. You’ll also get more use out of it, as it’s a more casual item and can be worn in lots of different scenarios.”

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Add some plaid

And of course, you can’t go wrong with a scarf. “Incorporating a scarf that has a buffalo plaid or check pattern can pair well with a black or white monochrome look,” says Nguyen. “The scarf is a statement piece of its own.”

show some restraint

As a general rule of thumb, don’t go overboard. “A simple puffer jacket, chunkier boots, or beanie, added to a casual outfit can lean you in the direction of this trend, without being over the top.” says Kenger. “The goal isn’t to actually appear like you’re going camping.” 

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the luxury brands that do the gorpcore look best

Here are some “gorpcore”- inspired pieces to spark your imagination and highlight how it’s done.

1. Carhartt Janet Liner

This fleece hooded liner from Carhartt’s fashion-forward line can be the bold statement piece to complete your camping-chic aesthetic. 

the best luxury gorpcore fashion brands

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2. Canada Goose Black Label Crofton Down Jacket

If you’re looking for a higher-end outdoor look, but you want to keep it simple, a jacket like this from Canada Goose is easy to incorporate into your everyday look. 

how to wear the new gorpcore fashion trend

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3. Patagonia Nano Puff™ Scarf

This chicory red scarf from Patagonia will instantly elevate your woodsy look. Its insulated and water resistant material will also keep you warm, in case you do decide to brace the outdoors.  

how to wear the new gorpcore fashion trend

The top brands and how to wear gorpcore.

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4. North Face x Gucci women’s ankle boot

Kenger tells us that if you’re looking for that exclusivity factor, you’re going to have to catch a collaboration, such as the Gucci x North Face release. These products usually sell out quickly and are on the pricier end. 

But at least their versatility and durability make it a little bit easier to justify the investment. For example, this pair of ankle boots from the Gucci x North Face are made for walking to brunch — and for stomping around the hiking trails. 

how to wear the new gorpcore fashion trend

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the gorpcore luxury fashion trend

That’s what you need to know about the gorpcore, hikingcore, camping chic 2021 luxury fashion trend, along with the top brands and some stylist’s tips on how to wear it. What do you think, dear reader? Are you in?

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Funto Omojola is a New York-based features writer covering lifestyle, fashion and money. Her work has been published by MarketWatch, Vice and the New York Post, among others.

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