Gorpcore puffer jacket
Gorpcore puffer jacket
Gorpcorp puffer jacket look
Gorpcorp puffer jacket look
Gorpcorp layered jacket look.
Gorpcorp layered jacket look.
It’s finally happened, dressing in a functional manner has now become fashionable. This is good news for those who are done with looking amazing, while suffering on the inside

Shun the winter chill by embracing fashion's latest fad - Gorpcore. We're a few short weeks away from spring and although the sun is out nearly every day (with no rain in sight), Cape Town is still freezing. Which is a huge problem - for me, at least.

Perennially cold, I'm the woman wearing between four and seven layers on any given day, the one who has a heater beneath her desk, who sleeps with a heated blanket and rechargeable hot water bottle, and who could live in boots all year round if the fashion world permitted it.

So it's no wonder that fashion's newest obsession is my new best friend. Gorpcore, as named by New York Magazine's The Cut in late May, is all about functionality. Forget “suffering for beauty” (or, in this case, fashion) and herald in a new age where dowdy dad clothes - think oversized puffer jackets, fleece vests, socks and sandals, outdoor gear and moon bags - rule the coop.

Although function over form is the name of the game, it's not all one big fashion faux pas. For those who prefer runway silhouettes and trendy touches, gorpcore may be your ticket to nailing trends for the next season or two.

And it's not just the street style set who've been courting this new trend. Some of gorpcore’s key components have slowly been infiltrating runways for the past few seasons: from camper backpacks at Prada and moon bags at Givenchy to Marques Almeida’s puffer jackets and even Birkenstock-like footwear at Celiné.

While designers’ looks were more of an elevated, high fashion take on camping chic, the gorpcore seen on streets - and cool kids everywhere (I'm looking at you ASAP Rocky and Drake) - is more ugly, for lack of a better word.

Mixing high and low fashion isn't anything new but there's a sense of anonymity with gorpcore, a feeling that you're exempt from making any fashion decisions. Feeling chilly this morning? Just throw on a K-Way puffer and beanie and get on with it. If you're thinking it all sounds a bit like normcore, the three-year-old trend characterised by straight-leg jeans, plain T-shirts and sneakers, then think again. While its predecessor favoured unpretentious dressing, gorpcore is all about outdoor apparel - and the romanticised idea of being an intrepid adventurer. Not everyone's able to reach the top of Everest but we sure can dress like we do.

The best bit? Even the most unfashionable of us - yes, that includes the men - can pull off this look since it's more about clothing that serves a purpose, even if that purpose is more a symbolic one (as much I love my oversized parka, I'm definitely not heading up snowcapped peaks anytime soon).

While we may be un-ironically wearing hiking boots, it's still all tongue-in-cheek because we're in on the fad. The Cut goes one further and likens the rise of gorpcore to a political act, wearing your environmental consciousness on your sleeve without actually attending a protest.

Gorpcore’s inherent principle lies in its exaltation of activities and awareness of both our environment and our dress sense.

So whether you're wearing socks and sandals in solidarity with Mother Nature or simply because you're cold, gorpcore is feel-good fashion at its bestt.

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