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How to Dress For the Outdoors Without Sacrificing Style

Outdoor sports and activities are more popular than ever these days, especially with women. Many women hikers and campers love the feeling of “getting away from it all” that spending time in the woods brings. Outdoor activities are also a great way to spend quality time with friends and family. Several studies have even shown that spending time in nature can provide a number of physical and psychological health benefits, including improved memory, lowered blood pressure, and a decreased risk of cancer.

Not so long ago, female outdoor enthusiasts were stuck with a poor selection of outdoor clothing options, made by just a handful of companies. Luckily, many clothing manufacturers these days begun designing outdoor apparel for women that comes in a number of fun colors and styles and is also functional.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker, trail runner, camper, or just want to try a weekend of glamping, there’s no reason you can’t look great and stay warm, dry and comfortable at the same time. Read on for a few outdoor clothing and fashion ideas you can use for your next outdoor adventure.

Hiking or Trekking Boots and Shoes

The type of shoes or boots you should choose for your next outdoor adventure should be appropriate for the type of terrain you will be spending time on as well as weather and temperature. You won’t have to wear clunky, unattractive boots, though. Women’s trekking and hiking shoes come in a wide variety of styles and colors.

Make sure to try on several pairs of boots in the store, from different manufacturers, to determine the best fit and look. Whatever type of outdoor footwear you decide to buy, try to pick a shoe or boot that is waterproof and lightweight.

Go For Technical Clothing Made from Manufactured Fabrics

The expression “cotton kills” is common among hikers. The reason for this is because, once you get wet or start sweating, cotton holds moisture next to your skin and can take hours to dry out, if it dries out at all. At worst, being wet outdoors can lead to hypothermia, and at best it can leave you very uncomfortable an unable to enjoy your activities. Fortunately, several companies, such as TRU-SPEC, make fashionable technical pants, leggings, base layers and even skirts for women that both look good and wick away moisture.

Coats, Jackets and Outerwear

The jacket or coat you choose to wear for a day spent outdoors can mean the difference between a fun, comfortable day and a cold, miserable one. Failing to wear appropriate outerwear can also impact your safety. It is important to purchase a jacket or coat that is appropriate for the season and for the location where you’ll be spending time. (Remember that the temperature decreases about one degree for every 400 feet you climb above sea level.)

Puffer coats come in a wide variety of bright, fun colors and are made by several companies. These versatile coats can be packed down into a small bag so that they fit easily into your daypack (they are also great for travel or just running out to the store). Choose a puffer coat that is made with down, as opposed to artificial insulation, for the best temperature rating.

Rain Gear

In some popular outdoor destinations, such as the Pacific Northwest in the United States, Ireland, and Norway, rain is a daily fact of life. If you plan to spend time outside in a location where it rains frequently you will need to seriously consider purchasing rain gear. Look for rain jackets and pants made of a durable water resistant, windproof material such as Gore-tex. Although expensive, a quality Gore-tex jacket will last for years and will keep you warm and dry in even the worst weather. These jackets are made by several companies and come in a variety of prints and colors.

Accessories and Undergarments

The no cotton rule also applies to the underwear and socks you wear while spending time outdoors. Even if you don’t think it’s necessary, spend the time and money and pick up a couple of quality sports bras and pairs of briefs made from polyester or Marino wool. You will be glad you did.

Depending on the season, socks can be either lightweight or heavyweight, but they should always be made from a moisture wicking material such as wool or man-made fibers. Hiking socks come in a variety of lengths as well as cool colors and patterns. Try a few different kinds to figure out which are best for you.