Arc’teryx on me: Gorpcore Explained


Photo courtesy of Grailed

Gorpcore is a subgenre of the techwear movement comprised of items usually worn by hikers and skiing enthusiasts.

If you have come across any fashion TikToks, you might have seen the term “Gorpcore” thrown around before, but what does it mean? Gorpcore is a subgenre of the techwear movement comprised of items usually worn by hikers and skiing enthusiasts to help protect them from the elements. The name comes from the abbreviation of the staple hiking snack trail mix, or “Good Ol’ Rasins and Peanuts.”

Many pieces of Gorp fashion are made with the material Gore-Tex. Gore-Tex is a water repellent fabric that also allows water vapor to travel through itself. Its lightweight nature makes it a perfect fabric for hikers and those who engage in other outdoor physical activities. The fabric is used by many big-name brands such as, Addidas, Converse, The North face, Patagonia and most notably Arc’teryx.

Arc’teryx’s meteoric popularity is due to two factors, the first of which being celebrity endorsement. Famous musicians Lil Yachty, Frank Ocean and Travis Scott have all integrated the brand into their own personal styles by either going full Gorp or by using branded items as an accessory. There also has been an influx of Techwear inspired footwear like Ye’s NSTLD which have brought sneaker culture and gorpcore together.

The other factor that has made Arc’teryx a household name amongst fashion-minded TikTokers is the Arc’teryx on me trend. People who own Arc’teryx jackets stand under their running showerhead to show off the aforementioned GoreTex properties. The videos are often accompanied by the fitting YT song “Arc’teryx ” and the phrase “look how it beads off,” with it of course being the water from their showerhead.

The trend has drawn the ire of some TikTok users as GoreTex and Arc’teryx items usually have high price tags. Gucci also recently collaborated with Gorpcore staple brand The North Face to create a line of items, including a $1,500 pair of boots. Ironically, they recommend keeping the boots out of contact with rain, going as far as to advise that they should be immediately towel-dried if they come into contact with water, making them completely impractical.

In addition to the high cost of entry, there is also the issue of environmental impact. Brands like Arc’teryx and their imitators use harmful PFAS chemicals in their garments that both serve as a danger to your health and also to the environment. Many TikTokers have comedically satirized the trend by replicating it with non GoreTex items, soaking themselves in the process.

So do I think the trend is going to last? Yes and no. I think that Techwear is here to stay as influencers and fashion icons continue to wear and create new Gorpcore items.

However, the Gorpcore movement will see a massive drop in popularity in the coming months when summer rolls around, and it becomes too hot to wear most of the items. But fear not, I’m sure that next year when winter rolls around, everyone will pull their $600 Arc’teryx GoreTex shell jackets back out of the closet.