A recent trip to the great outdoors (hiking/camping) presented me with quite the dilemma: what do I wear? Before I left on this trip, I rifled through my closet, which is filled with silk and chiffon tops, premium denim, and cute flats and heels. It shortly became obvious that none of these would survive a week in the woods. I could just see my calf-hair flats caked in mud or my silk shirt snagged on a raspberry bush. It was not a pretty picture.
Bringing Style Outdoors:
I turned to my yoga wear, which had some of the right qualities but still wasn’t perfect. The breathable fabrics and stretchiness were a plus, but I didn’t want to look like I had just walked out of a yoga studio and was unprepared for the outdoor elements.
With my husband and daughter in tow, I headed to the nearest REI STORE one day before my departure. (Please note that I try to avoid last-minute shopping if at all possible, and my personal behaviour in this case is not representative of my professional opinion.) Once we arrived, I was greeted with racks of (sorry REI) relatively shapeless, boxy gear which included straight leg khaki cargo pants and pastel t-shirts.
While this type of wear is probably the uniform for many middle-aged, outdoorsy folk, it was certainly not going to work for Kaity the fashion stylist, even if I was in the middle of nowhere. However, I was able to find a few gems and wanted to share some tips for outdoor style (this applies to other athletic activities as well).
Bringing Style Outdoors
- Clothes should have shape and fit your body. That means even outdoor wear should go in at the waist, flatter your hips, and fall at a right length. Just because they’re “outdoor” shorts, for example, doesn’t mean they should make you (a woman) look like a man.
- Look for outdoor/athletic wear in styles similar to what you already own. For instance, if you like fitted t-shirts make sure the athletic version doesn’t change the shoulder, sleeve length, or add too much fabric around the torso. For sleeveless tops, ensure the strap design and thickness makes your arms and shoulders look toned and proportioned. If you look hard enough, you can even find tops with ¾ length sleeves, which protect your arms and are universally flattering.
- Be careful with color. The wrong color can immediately age a piece of clothing or make it frumpy dumpy material. Stick with bold, rich colors and graphic prints (no florals or anything that could be a window curtain or tablecloth).
- Go techie. If you are practicing a particular sport, stock up on apparel with the latest technology. For biking, try compression shorts with bold stripes in a great length.
Here are some great examples of items I found at REI, and that I really enjoyed during my time in the woods. What are your favorite outdoor or active wear looks? Please share!
| Photo Sources: 1) PANTS, 2) JACKET, 3) TOP |