Hiking is one of the greatest things you can do for both your mental and physical health, and living in Denver means spending tons of time outdoors. As the weather gets warmer, it’s the perfect time to hit our many scenic hiking trails. While typical hiking clothes are meant for function over fashion, there are ways to spice up your look, but the question always remains: Can a cute outfit for hiking be both attractive and highly functional?

READ: 13 Waterfalls to Hike to This Spring

So, what do you wear on a hike and still look presentable enough for lunch afterward? How do you bridge personal style and function on the trail? A hiking outfit doesn’t have to feel boxy, bulky or dull. Today’s hiking materials vary to include lightweight thermals, dry-fit tops, flannel-lined pants for an additional layer of warmth and fashionable hiking boots. Your hiking ensemble will be determined by factors such as hiking conditions, destination, terrain, weather and length of your hike. 303 Magazine explored different ways to balance out function and fashion on the trails because there’s no reason you can’t get out into nature and look stylish at the same time.

A Hint of Color


On Sangya Yadav, light pack bag, $69 Mountain tank, $38, River short-prints, $79, Ultralight jacket, $89, Town socks, $18 Hiking boots. Price upon request. All available at Topo designs. On George Cimochowski, Cord cap, $32, Ultralight jacket, $32, Reds t-shirt, Price upon request, River shorts-print, $79. Available at Topo Designs. Shoes available at Dillard’s. Price upon request.


The Lowdown: For an outdoor excursion layer up your outfit with lightweight outerwear, adding more fun to your look with a colored lightweight jacket. If your excursion will consist of walking across rocky terrain, then durable footwear should be your number one concern. Pair this with colored socks to add visual aesthetics to your overall look as the right pair of socks can also act as an accessory. When deciding on your options for pants, check the weather and pick something appropriate for the climate. Choose both long pants and shorts that are complementary to your style, either in color or pattern. 

Keep it Light

On Yadav, t-shirt, Price upon request. Global shorts-olive, $59, Corduroy hat black, $32. Available at TOPO designs. Shoes available at Dillard’s. Price upon request. On Cimochowski, minimap hat, $32, tech shirt, $129, wind jacket-olive, $149, field short, $79. Hiking boots, price upon request. Available at TOPO designs.

The Lowdown: If you are heading out to a paved trail or a dusty hiking path, then you probably won’t be exerting a lot of energy that will make you perspire and shed layers. A one-hour stroll means you can get away with stylish walking shoes. For your bottom half option, pick something that is flattering and doesn’t restrict movement. A good t-shirt in any color is always appropriate, but you’ll want to choose something flattering. A button-down shirt is a cute way to add some texture and provide extra pockets.

Bottom’s Up

On Yadav, Desert tee-long sleeve, $44, Boulder pants, $89, Global jacket in Olive, $189. Available at TOPO Designs. Birkenstock, available at Dillard’s. Price Upon Request. On Cimochowski, five pocket pants canvas, $149, Mountain shirt plaid, $ 89, tech trench, $249. Available at TOPO Designs.

The Lowdown: There are a lot of factors at play when picking a pair of pants for an outdoor adventure. In general, though, you want something that won’t easily rip or tear, won’t stay wet for hours and will be appropriate for the climate in terms of insulation or breathability. You’ll also need a good shoe tread that grips and keeps you from falling. The length of your pants is also a consideration here, opt out of floor-sweeping pants as they may get wet or also attract dirt and mud. Your base layer should fit close, provide wicking, a measure of SPF protection and provide maximum ventilation for the adventure.

Always Accessorize

The Lowdown: To finish off your stylish hiking outfit wardrobe, you’ll want to accessorize. Consider carrying a backpack that is versatile. If you’ll be peeling off or adding layers as you go, the extra room of a pack will be a welcome relief. A good backpack can be used both out on the trail and in the city. Don’t forget to protect your head from UV rays and tame your hair by wearing a hat. Not only do you look stylish while shading your eyes but choosing a daring color will also spice up your look.

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Photography by Bridget Burnett.

Models Sangya Yadav and George Cimochowski.

Models provided by Goldie Mae Productions and nxt MODEL.

Hair and Makeup by Oksana Starling.  

Clothing provided by  Topo Designs.

Shoes provided by Dillard’s and Topo Designs.

Styled by Koya Nyangi.