Inspiration: Vintage Mountaineering

I love seeing how passions inspire #menswear.  We see it in workwear, hunting and outdoors, and streetwear.  It’s important, and helps designers create a point of view.  Think about how waxed jackets like those from Tom Beckbe are now a mainstay in everyday outfits.  How heavy duty denim, the ‘it’ distinguishing piece of workwear, are now the choice for dressy jeans.  Selvedge denim has created a cult in every cross section of menswear.  I don’t know much about streetwear, but I hear it’s pretty popular.

It’s not hard to connect the dots between everyday menswear and mountaineering.  Back in the 90’s, The North Face jackets and Vasque boots exploded on the scene.  Keep in mind, these are the days before Instagram and #WIWT posts.  They were all directly derived from the mountaineering culture, and have essentially stuck around.  I got a pair of Sundowners and had a North Face Mountain Light Parka and wore them with pride.  I love the look, and have have always been fascinated by the culture.  Here is a little inspiration to get you in the mood:

What say you?  Are you a fan?

Images: Google Image Search



  1. Barron
    03/02/2020 / 10:29 AM

    When I was in high school I remember saving up to buy myself a pair of Sundowners. Circa 1992. As we all know, they were must haves in the South. I loved my pair and wore those things with pride. About 10 years ago, they had some mold on them, I hadn’t worn then in years so not knowing any better I agreed to let my wife toss them. Regret that now. That said, I rocked the look big time back in the late 90s and early 00s. The Sundowners were a thing of beauty and as comfortable as anything I’ve ever owned. The summer I graduated from high school I spent about two months living in them while trekking around Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite. They were indestructible. Nowadays I don’t really “love” the mountaineer look for to day concrete jungle life. As I get older I feel like I’ve aged out of that look. However, I purchased a pair of throwback Merrell dayhikers a few years ago and wear those a bunch on the weekends. They work great in casual settings. I also can’t ever remember a time in my life where my most worn item hasn’t been a fleece vest. I realize it’s now the staple “Midtown Uniform”, but to me, growing up in the South, it’s always been the most crucial and versatile piece of clothing I’ve owned.

  2. Will
    03/02/2020 / 12:48 PM

    Like Barron (above), I almost chunked my boots when I saw they had mold on them. I have a beefy pair of Vasque Montanas bought in the 1999 for Co. Outward Bound School. I wore these for the next 11-12 years and three pairs of soles they will remain in my hall of fame with my little league glove. . I am rocking some new JAgs. I don’t care what anybody thinks. .
    Funny I still wear some of my original Patagonia that’s 25-30 years old when I head into the mountains, fish, hike- I seem to preserve the newer vests and such as fashion. (Nothing was wrong with the old ones, but it’s not okay the meet someone for lunch with a ten year old black greasy spot, the bears in Jackson hole don’t care!)
    A side note— along with the 90s mountaineering look was grunge and granola. Nothing beats a cute outdoor girl, but being on a college campus then- gals in flannel, and clunky boots ala Eddie Vedder- vs what you see today!!

  3. Tait
    03/03/2020 / 10:24 AM

    Still have a pair of Sundowners….might just wear them to work tomorrow. At 20+ years old now, they are just getting good and broken in!

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