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My Favorite Cute and Functional Clothes for Hiking and Getting Outdoors

Finding the right clothes for exploring outdoors isn't always easy. I spent years hiking in any old leggings or shorts and cotton t-shirts before finding clothes that I love!


I'm sharing some of my favorites that I've used over and over on adventures short and long. My priorities when getting out in nature are functionality, comfort, and style -- in that order.


These opinions are all my own and come from years of spending time wearing these exact items. I've put them through the wringer with hiking, backpacking, camping, and rock climbing.


Woman with two long braids standing in front of a forest and lake.
REI Sahara Shade Hoodie, Under Armour Play Up shorts, and Tevas.

Here are links to my favorites in each category to get you started:

Cropped Tank Top: MusesOnly Glory Crop Tank

Cropped Short Sleeve: ENERBLOOM Open Back Crop Top

Insulating Mid-Layer: Autumn Orb Half-Snap Fleece

Hiking Liner Socks: Injinji Liner Crew Socks


A quick disclaimer -- I don't have a huge number of recommendations here for a few reasons:

  • I tend to wear my clothes until they're no longer usable. Many of the items I still love are no longer available, so I won't be sharing them here.

  • I have no shame around wearing the same piece all the time, even back to back days. I'm a proud outfit repeater. That means I haven't tried out thousands of things over the years.

  • I value having a manageable closet size and try not to hoard clothes. I only keep a small number of pieces that I truly love.

  • I'm only sharing items with you that I actually love and have put to the test!


Note: I've included some affiliate links in this article, which means I may get a small commission when you purchase through those links -- at no additional cost to you! Thank you for your support! 🫶🏻


What I Look for in Hiking Clothes


Woman standing on a rock looking across a blue lake.
My absolute favorite hiking top!

I'm pretty simple when it comes to my wardrobe. I don't like to spend a lot of my time shopping and try to keep my closet to a minimum.


I want to be able to get dressed or packed for a trip quickly, so I avoid buying colors or patterns that don't easily coordinate with the rest of the clothes I own. When I find something I like I'll buy in multiple colors, usually black, green, or brown. You'll catch me in the same few pieces nearly every time you see me.


Hey -- I know what I like and I stick to it! Enjoying my time outdoors is what's important and clothing is a tool to help me do that.


Here's what I look for:

  • UPF: I look for pieces that will protect me from the sun and from scratches.

  • Nylon, polyester, or wool: Moisture-wicking materials are a must. Avoid cotton!

  • Pockets: The extra storage is great to have, especially if the pockets have closures.

  • Comfortable: Range of motion is important for scrambling over rocks and fallen logs.

  • Durable: I expect my clothes to last years and through many adventures.

  • And a fun pattern or cute color never hurt anyone. 😉


Hiking Tops

As someone who easily overheats when I exercise, I'm always on the lookout for breezy tops to stay cool while hiking. These are the tops I wear all the time for hiking, backpacking, and climbing. They stay in place all day and don't hold onto all that sweat.


Sports Bras


Tank Tops


Short Sleeves


Long Sleeves


Insulating Mid-Layer 

  • Autumn Orb Half-Snap Fleece: As of now, I'm the only review for this jacket and it still stands true today. This has become my signature fleece and I wear it a little too often in the colder months. 😅

  • REI Co-op Trailmade Fleece Jacket: I have an older version of the REI Co-op fleece, but it looks almost exactly like this one. I wear mine around the house all the time or as a mid-layer on cold outdoor adventures.


Woman walking in front of a large waterfall.
My REI fleece, Under Armour Fly By shorts, Tevas.

Cold Weather Puffy

  • REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie: I believe mine is the 2.0 version, but they're super similar. A great deal on a nice puffy that's warm enough for 90% of my adventures! I love the color, fit, and length.


Hiking Pants and Bottoms

Pants can be trickier than tops since they really need to fit just right. Tops can be a little loose and still work fine for low impact activities. These are the pants, shorts, and leggings I've put through the wringer -- including with rock climbing!


Woman holding a treat for a dog, both wearing puffy coats in front of cacti.
REI Magma Down Hoodie, REI Trailsmith Joggers, REI Wool Socks, Tevas.

Pants


Shorts

  • Under Armour Play Up Shorts: These are the updated version of the shorts I've been wearing for five years -- and still going strong! They're the perfect slightly thicker material without being too warm.

  • Under Armour Fly By Running Shorts: Same as above, these are the updated version of a pair I've loved for five years. My go-to lightweight short that magically doesn't ride up or expose my booty during activities. I will gladly repurchase these when mine eventually give out -- and they're crazy cheap!

  • YOAKUKA 2 in 1 Running Shorts: I went a little overboard when I got into running and bought a 3-pack of these running shorts. I love the two layers, but it would be nice if they had pockets of any kind. Suuuper cute though!

  • MusesOnly Rendezvous Shorts: A comfortable option with surprisingly deep pockets and a nice, thick waistband.


Leggings

  • Hereafter SweatFlow Leggings: I can't remember a single backpacking trip I've gone on where I didn't wear these leggings. They're fast-drying and bacteria resistant, meaning they stay clean(ish) on the trail for days at a time.


Woman wearing a backpack walking through a canyon.
Mountain Hardwear Crop Top, Hereafter Sweatflow Leggings, Merrell Trail Runners (not listed).

Footwear

Shoes

  • Salomon Quest Hiking Boots: The only hiking boots I've ever owned and I still love them to this day. I bring these out for any hikes that require more stability or waterproof shoes.

  • Teva Original Universal Sandal: Admittedly, I wear these 95% of the time when I'm not hiking, but they're also perfect for easy hikes, around camp, and for water crossings.


Socks

  • Injinji Liner Crew Socks: I rave about Injinji socks to anyone that'll listen. These prevent the blisters I used to always get on my toes during hikes.

  • Injinji Liner Mini-Crew Socks: A shorter version of the sock above. I usually wear these when I'm hiking with sneakers or trail runners.


Looking down legs to feet wearing grey toe socks.
The best Injinji Liner Crew Socks and my Hereafter SweatFlow Leggings.


 


Getting outdoors doesn't require the craziest, most expensive gear and I hope this list gave you some inspiration for where to get started. The most important thing is to find pieces you love -- then head outside!


I hope to see you out there. Let me know if there's anything else you'd like to know about hiking clothes. I'd be happy to help :)


Happy adventuring,

A

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