by Tom Stratton

What is Gorpcore?

From hiking trails to the streets - this is the rise of gorpcore
What is Gorpcore?
Gorpcore is nothing new: if you’re a hiker or an outdoors enthusiast, chances are you’ve been well ahead of the curve for a long time. Gorpcore is simply the term that describes all that clothing vital to a comfortable, dry, easy outdoors experience. Named after an acronym for trail walkers favoured food (Good Ol’ Raisins & Peanuts) GORPcore has, like workwear before it, moved from its original function to fashion and streetwear.  

What makes it gorpcore?

Gorpcore comes in many different colours but you’l tend to find two schools of pallet - bright or not. I know that sounds, well, stupid, but it’s true. Outdoors clothing tends to either emulate bright colours from nature: red, blue, pink, green, or they tend towards more toned down colours in nature: namely earth tones. Recent collabs with high fashion labels (Gucci X North Face, Salomon X Palace) have tended towards those brighter colours but it all depends on what you prefer and what you find.
Aside from colour you’ll also notice the size of gorpcore: it’s big. The main point of gorpcore is the functionality to allow you to climb, walk, and hike over long journeys in the most possible comfort. Often layered with other pieces - puffer over fleece - there also needs to be enough room to allow for items to be worn underneath. There’s also the addition of drawstrings - on clothing and shoes - to allow for ease of tightening, again, for comfort and warmth.  

Who makes it gorpcore? 

Gorpcore, even when used for its original purpose, is very much about the branding. You’ll see big logos from all the top brands. Instantly recognisable to streetwear and hiking enthusiasts alike. To name a few we’re talking: 

What makes the look? 

Gorpcore is all about layering. If you want to go hiking over rough terrain in British weather you’re going to need those layers but, as is more than likely now, if you want to look banging in gorpcore, you’re going to need those layers. Functionality informs the style, trailwear to streetwear.
Breathable t-shirts: short or long sleeve, usually synthetic materials rather than a simple cotton tee
Big trousers: we’re not talking baggy like 90s hip-hop jeans, we’re talking roomy and straight legged. Loads of pockets to carry all that hiking gear (or, more likely, fags and gear and that)
Fleece layer: you don’t want this on the top, you want this in between your top and bottom layer. Again it’ll keep you warm but, more importantly, it looks cool (as a mid-layer, top-layer makes you look like you work at ASDA)
Rain jacket: this might be your top layer but, again, gorpcore is all about layering so you don’t just have to stop there.
Puffer jackets: this is the one that seems to have taken the world by storm. Favoured by teenage roadmen and middle aged dog walkers, this is obviously your top layer. North Face is usually the go to but there’s loads on the market so you can keep warm whilst walking your dog, dealing drugs, or both. 
Bags: this is where the dealers and the hikers differ. You’re going to want a backpack rather than a little roadman bag. Even if you keep the same stuff in it, there’s nothing gorpcore about a little bumbag. 
Socks and shoes: hiking shoes don’t make you look like a geography teacher on a school trip anymore. They’re actually real cool. Get some Salomons (collabs if you want to splash out) and make sure some big thick branded socks are sticking out the top of them.