Let's have a chat about fashion, shall we? But not just any fashion. I'm talking about muddy boots, carabiners, and the sort of rucksack I could fit a week's worth of supplies in. That's right, I'm talking about outdoor fashion, or as I like to refer to it, the "Bear Grylls vibe".

Whether I'm on a mountain peak or walking down the street, I find it fascinating how adventure gear has worked its way into mainstream fashion. One moment it was just functional gear, the next it's the trend everyone's sporting.

In the whirlwind of fashion trends, I find inspiration from all sorts of places. As the world goes green and healthy, and I increasingly dream of being kissed by wild Irish winds, the rugged charm of explorer fashion has found a snug place in my wardrobe.

Take those feather-light raincoats that scrunch up super well into no space at all; they're everywhere now. They're not just fashionable, they're functional. Handy for those Irish summer downpours, right? These pieces are the perfect blend of practicality and style, the fashion equivalent of having my cake and eating it too. Who would have guessed that looking like I check the weather app would be cool?

If I were to select a key item for this earthy fashion uprising, it'd be none other than the famous Chelsea boot (like the classic range by Blundstone). This nifty little boot, with its slip-on design and iconic elastic side panel, has a rich history. Once adored by horse riders for its practicality, the Chelsea boot has become a staple of this utilitarian style wave, especially the more modern work boots. They're embraced and advanced by the Aussies, becoming the go-to gear for farmers getting stuff done out on the fields. Hence, the term "Work boot" or "Australian work boots".

Walking in the forest

How I Embraced Mother Nature's Palette in Fashion

The colour palette of my Bear-Grylls-infused-fashion is naturally inspired by the great outdoors. But it's not just about sky blues or vibrant flowers. More understated tones, like tree bark browns, muted leaf greens, soft tans, and the famously invisible camouflage pattern, are now a part of my urban style.

I'm quite literally wearing my love for the outdoors, wrapping myself in shades that echo the natural world. Why wear bright colours when I can match the local land?

A tip I follow is to contrast these relaxed and earthy colours with pops of colour, like bright mountaineering jackets in red or yellow. That's how I show my serious outdoor spirit when I'm out on the hiking trails. How the “Work Boot” Came About, Down Under The original Chelsea boots were quite formal as they were made for horse riding, but they quickly evolved to meet workers' needs.

Work boots have close ties with Australia's mining and farming industries. Tasmania, with its diverse and challenging terrain, is naturally where the "Work boot" was designed to withstand harsh conditions. Blundstone started manufacturing them in 1853! Now, you'll see Chelsea Boots in every shape and colour, on city streets and forest trails. They're usually made of quality leather, which adds a natural tone to my outdoorsy outfits. They're perfect for a day trip up on the cliffs or just for a leisurely stroll through Dublin's winding streets.

7 Tips to Elevate an Outdoorsy Outfit

If you're looking for ideas, here are the top 7 ways I elevate my outdoor-based outfits to be both practical and stylish:

  1. Carabiner Keychain: I attach my keys to a sleek, metallic carabiner. Not only does it keep my keys secure and easy to access, it adds an adventure-ready touch to my look.
  2. Parachute Cord Watch Strap: I've switched my standard watch strap for one made from parachute cord. It's perfect for outdoor use, and its intricate weave adds a rugged yet stylish flair to my wristwear.
  3. Boots with a Pop of Colour: Practical boots are a must, but adding a pop of fun instantly elevates my outfit. Some boots have coloured elastic side panels or laces that can become a focus by rolling up my trousers or wearing shorts with them!
  4. Weathered Accessories: I find cool, affordable accessories that have a weathered or vintage look in second-hand shops or on online marketplaces like eBay. These items give my look a rustic feel.
  5. Chunky Wool Socks: I let my chunky wool socks peek out from my boots. They're not just comfy and warm during colder weather, they add a practical touch to my outfit and are useful during the warmer months too.
  6. Convertible Clothing: I'm bringing back the 90's look with convertible clothing like zip-off pants or a jacket that turns into a vest. Mainstream fashion is starting to see the benefits of these functional items, making my wardrobe more versatile.
  7. Boonie Hat: I opt for a 'boonie' style hat to take things up a notch. Originally used by the military, this hat provides excellent sun protection and gives my look a rugged, adventurous feel.

I hope these tips inspire you! Feel free to share your own ideas!