The Gorpcore trend of 2017 is emerging once again, with TikTok discovering the athletic, daggy dad, layer-heavy aesthetic. While some of us may have embraced the trend the first time round, we think a refresher in its fundamentals and origins in necessary after a five-year hiatus from the mainstream. Thus, allow us to unpack Gorpcore and what you should be adding to your shopping carts.
What is the Gorpcore trend?
Gorpcore has been around for some time now – 2017 to be exact. The phrase was first coined by The Cut, inspired by the expression ‘good ol' raisins and peanuts,’ a term for describing trail mix which is the snack of choice by hikers, who largely wear the garb that the trend gravitates towards. In tandem with the no-fuss, casual attire of normore, and Gorpcore was born.
At the crux of gorpcore is the idea that nothing is more stylish than clothes that are, actually, not stylish. Clothing that is practical and functional are the apex, as the clothing is traditionally designed for activities that require functional attire like skiing, hiking, trail-running and mountain biking.
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What are the hallmarks of Gorpcore?
There are five key hallmarks to the gorpcore trend that signify the clothing and accessories it consists of. This includes:
Layering is essential to Gorpcore. When you consider outdoor, active attire, it is rare a hiker would simply be clad in a plain white tee and trousers. You’re more likely to see them in four layers of clothing, a beanie and boots. Gorpcore is about volume, about coat on top of coat on top of jumper. The bulkier, the better.
This one is up to personal preference as some Gorpcore enthusiasts prefer a muted palette of greys, blacks and navies. However, traditionally, Gorpcore is a colourful trend, with this stemming from the practicality of vibrant colours when completing outdoor activities; the brighter the colours, the easier it is to be spotted in danger and for safety reasons.
Common Gorpcore colours include orange, red, yellow, pink and purple, with these most frequently found in matching shell suits, puffer jackets and headwear to be paired in monochromatic looks or in a mixed and matched ensemble.
The correct fit
Clothes that fit in the Gorpcore rota are baggy, but adjustable. Skin tight? Lycra? You are not in the Gorpcore realm, I am afraid to say. You’re on the hunt for trousers that adjust at the ankles or waits, a hood that comes with a drawstring, a backpack fastened across your chest. Allow the practicality to be fully on show.
Tying in with the hallmark of layering, volume s an absolute must when it comes to styling a look inspired by the Gorpcore trend. The look is the antithesis to minimalism, with coats purposely bulky so they are able to be worn over layers. Trousers are wide and straight, typically with large, practical pockets. Fleece jumpers shouldn’t be constricting – in fact, the only clothes that should “fit” are headwear and handwear.
Gorpcore isn’t subtle, if you haven’t already picked up on that. The trend embraces logomania in all its 2014 glory, whether it be reflective brand logos (tying into the safety theme) or emblazoned motifs across the entire surface of a garment. More is more.
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What clothing is commonly worn as part of the trend?
There is a selection of clothes that are inherent to the Gorpcore aesthetic, and now that you know the fundamentals of styling the trend, selecting the appropriate garments should be a breeze. Puffer jackets, techy trainers, oversized knitwear and hiking boots are all key components of Gorpcore, alongside nylon attire and accessories. For high fashion references, think Vetements, Balenciaga and Prada as your muses. Hiking boots have had their moment in autumn/winter shows, including at Miu Miu and Balmain where we had seen their own takes on the chunky lace-up style shoe. Puffer jackets are a staple to Prada, Moncler and Gucci, with its padded monogram bomber from its collaboration with The North Face now a cult buy having written itself into fashion folklore.