Just because our hearts live in the mountains, that doesn’t mean the rest of us always can. Whether it’s the job, the girl/guy or that pesky thing called responsible adulthood, oftentimes the mountain soul has to make the trek down into the big city.
But that move shouldn’t mean we turn our backs on our beloved alpine lifestyle, nor on our sense of alpine fashion. (Yes, it’s a thing, apparently called “gorpcore” — shudder — and regurgitated by the mainstream media.) Sure, your Carhartts might not be considered business casual anymore, but from sharp flannels to well-designed, functional footwear, there is plenty of outdoor gear that can play nice in the urban environment.
Here is our fashion survival guide for the mountain bum sticking it out in the concrete jungle.
Forsake Men’s Hiker Boot ($129.95)
Thanks to classic brands like The North Face and the rise of the lumbersexual, hiking boots have been welcomed into urban culture in recent years, but no one has made that shift better than Forsake. Originally a Kickstarter dream child, Forsake has given us the Men’s Hiker, a leather hiking boot that could get along as well at a craft brewery as it could at a mountain-town dive.
Featuring a sharp, gusseted tongue and rubber sole, the Hiker is also fully waterproof and ready for weekend adventures.
Pladra Elli Shirt ($119)
Don’t be fooled by the midweight, heathered flannel exterior: The Pladra Elli Shirt is built for the animal in all of us. After work hours, flip your cuffs to reveal the Elli’s unique wild-animal print and show that this beast means business.
Mountain Khakis Alpine Utility Short ($69.95)
Need to shift from office mode to belay mode in a hurry? Look no further than the rugged Mountain Khakis Alpine Utility Short. The canvas short’s triple-stitched seams and reinforced seat panel will handle any action you throw at it and still look good for Taco Tequila Tuesdays.
With all of the Skittles-colored outerwear out there, it’s hard to find a jacket that looks as good on the streets as it does on the trail, but the Helly Hansen Highlands Jacket makes a strong case. The jacket’s M-67 cut offers a modern, slim fit sure to please even the staunchest fashion police, but it’s also waterproof, features a DWR-coated hood and utilizes Helly Hansen’s Helly Tech Protection, making it a durable travel companion under the city lights or above tree line.
Arcade Hudson Belt ($32)
For years, this active-belt builder has taught us that belts don’t need to be static and boring. Their stretchy design has taken us to the coldest lakes and highest peaks, but Arcade’s latest Hudson series adds a level of pro to the package.
Featuring real leather with braided stretch material, the Hudson will hold up your slacks, but is more excited for the bike ride after hours.
More gear suggestions from GrindTV