Trail clothes that party as well
‘Tis the season when function most easily coexists with fashion on the trail.
Say you’re invited to a holiday party that starts at 6. But you really want to take a late afternoon hike — that fading sunlight, don’t you know. Alas, you conclude, you probably need to cede the hike since you won’t have have time to rush home and change.
Follow our fashion advice and you won’t have to.
We’ve got all kinds of clothing options that play well in the woods, then dress up nicely for a casual holiday party. To wit:
Trail clothes for women
Pants. Kühl Splash Metro Pants. On the trail: performance cotton fabric dries faster than cotton, so a little sweat won’t be an issue; “articulated pant design” for better range of motion (opening the option of hiking a rougher trail where scrambling might be involved); legs roll up to mid-calf (roll up if it’s warm, roll down if you collect a little ankle dirt along the way); cell phone pocket (offering a quick draw for photos). At the party: Stylish, and that stretchiness will come in handy if there’s a particularly enticing buffet involved.
Top. Patagonia Lightweight Better Sweater. On the trail: You can’t beat lightweight fleece in this shoulder season hiking weather: keeps you warm in the 50s, but doesn’t make you sweat. Still keeps you warm as the sun begins its descent and takes the mercury with it. Pouch pockets to store nuts (or M&Ms), or to warm your hands. At the party: flattering swoop shape detracts from suggestion of pure function; pullover with four-button collar says dressy (as opposed to pragmatic zipper); soft to the touch (there can be a lot of hugging at holiday parties).
Shoes. Birkenstock Gizeh. Actually, you do have time to change shoes after the hike. No matter how hard you try, you’re bound to find some mud (or worse) on the trail that even the most diligent of scratching with a twig won’t entirely remove. So stash your Birkenstock Gizehs in the trunk and swap ‘em out post hike. Two big benefits: one, it’s always nice to slip off the boots after a long hike; two, it’s especially nice when you’re slipping on the shoe that may well have spawned the phrase “happy feet,” with its contoured cork footbed that will make hours of party-standing a breeze.
Trail clothes for
Pants. Patagonia Performance Twill Jeans. Jeans!? On the trail!?! They’re doing remarkable things with fabrics these days, including turning jeans — which once fell into the “cotton kills” category of outdoor wear — into bonafide trail gear. Made of 67 percent organic cotton and 33 percent polyester, these pants not only wick moisture, they repel water, have five pockets and and have a stretchiness built in that works with you on the trail. And, they aren’t blue jeans — they’re gray jeans (“forge gray,” to be exact), so your causal doesn’t come off as too casual to Mr. Dithers at the office party.
Top. Hippytree Sedona Flannel Shirt. Is it too “cute” to suggest that you and your other half wear the same Better Sweater (because you can: it comes in a men’s style)? Then how about pairing those jeans with some flannel, pardner? The Hippytree Sedona Flannel offers the warmth of flannel in the woods with get-together-casual style, with its engraved snap buttons, deposed leather labels on the chest pocket and side seam, and a right shoulder rifle panel bound to generate questions about your favorite tree-stand incident.
Shoes. Sorel Madison Chukka Waterproof Boot. On the trail: Be prepared to be stopped and asked about your personal Italian bootmaker, because these babies scream style. That’s all the screaming you’ll hear, though, as your dogs quietly rejoice in the Chukka’s sneaker-like comfort thanks to the removable molded Ortholite footbed combining EVA and memory foam. Worry not about getting wet feet with the boot’s seam-sealed waterproof construction with waterproof leather uppers. Leather laces, too. At the party: With a Bondlike swipe of a damp towel to remove trail debris, you’re instantly transferred from backwoodsman to bon vivant.