Fact: Women can be rad, badass, hard-core adventurers and look good while we're at it.
Your Doc's and cute, cropped puffer work great in the city, no doubt, but they're no match for the Pacific Northwest wild ways once you venture out of the concrete jungle. With rain, snow, sun, wind, beach, and mountains, on hikes, climbs, you name it, you'll want a solid collection of gear that's not just cute, but performs too.
It can be super tough to build a well-rounded closet that works in any conditions the Pacific Northwest throws your way (and doesn't break the bank).
So how do you prepare for all environments with minimal gear? With a few carefully selected clothing items that keep you warm, dry, and feeling your best no matter the destination.
Here are 10 cute and functional clothing staples every Pacific Northwest woman needs in her closet from head to toe.
Hey, friends! I love recommending the gear that I'm stoked about and use on the regular. As such, this post contains affiliate links to some of the products I love, and I'll receive commission upon any purchases made through those links at no additional expense to you.
1. A Beanie with a Poof
Everyone loves a good poof, and they look good both in nature and downtown! Here's one from Smartwool that I think is super adorbs.
2. A Moisture-Wicking Base Layer
These are key to staying warm and dry on those sweaty hikes! I almost always go for my quarter-zip, so I can zip it up when it gets chilly or unzip to let in a breeze when I'm huffing. This Merino 250 Base Layer is top-notch, but if you're looking for something a little cheaper, go with the Avalanche Wool Half Zip.
3. A Puffer
A warm, down puffer is perfect for sunny winter days when you want the windbreak but not the
waterproofing. I love my REI 650 Down Jacket 2.0 (pictured above), especially for its price ($100!), but it has been losing some of its feathers, so you definitely get what you pay for!
While I haven't personally tried it out, the Ultralight Packable Down Jacket with Hood by Land's End is highly rated for its super warm, lightweight, packable, and sleek design. It's 800 down, water resistant, and even retains heat when wet.
4. A Cozy Mid-Layer
The Patagonia Quarter- Half-Zip is part of the Pacific Northwest uniform. These things follow PNWesters everywhere we go: to the mountains, to the ocean, to the breweries and restaurants, and more. They're used as outerwear on summer adventures and as mid-layers when the weather gets cold. They're comfortable enough to sleep in, whether you're tenting or passed out on the couch, and come in all kinds of dope designs and bright colors.
5. A Wind- and Rain-Repellant Soft Shell Jacket or Windbreaker
Soft shells are lighter, pack up smaller, and are super versatile. They still offer decent protection from light wind and rain while also being super flexible, which is great for outdoor activities like hiking. I'll typically wear my Cotopaxi Half-Zip windbreaker in the morning and at night to protect my upper body from any light wind chill. Once midday comes around, I usually strip it off and stuff it in my backpack. It's a great layer to carry along on every adventure!
Here's a soft shell jacket by Outdoor Research that's not quite as loud. This one's great for city-to-mountain same-day adventures!
6. A Rainproof Jacket
Having a jacket that keeps you dry when you're out and about, whether that's in the mountains or the city, is key. Look for Gore-Tex. It's a little more expensive than other materials, but this is probably one of the things you're going to use most–you want to LOVE it and make sure it works incredibly well.
More for the City, Less for Hiking: Arc'teryx Codetta Coat
This is a thigh-length, parka-style Gore-Tex raincoat, which means it's windproof, waterproof, and cute as all get out, especially for city adventures. It's a little long for hiking flexibility, so I'd recommend wearing this on short and easy nature strolls. $349
Great for Hiking: Patagonia Ascensionist GTX Jacket
This weatherproof shell is great for all-mountain activities. It's minimal, primed for mobility, and even has a helmet-compatible hood. I personally don't have one of these yet (because it's still pretty pricey even with the 25% off discount, but it's on my list!!) Now $375 (25% off $499).
For the Snow: Patagonia Snowbelle Insulated Jacket
This is the snowboarding jacket I've used for years. It's equipped with H2No waterproofing and features eco-friendly insulation. I usually wear it with just a moisture-wicking base layer so I don't get too warm. $399
7. City-to-Mountain Leggings
Yes, in the PNW, leggings are pants, and I'm so here for it. The good news is, you don't have to pay an arm and a leg for a solid pair if you don't want to! Two of my favorite pairs of leggings are from Amazon. No joke.
8. Waterproof Pants
So, this is one of those "do as I say, not what I do" scenarios. I've actually gone seven years hiking in the PNW without nice waterproof hiking pants, mainly because they're not cheap, but this is next on my list. It'd save me so many uncomfortable, sopping wet days on the trail.
These Columbia Saturday Trail pants received great ratings and come in a ton of different colors! I could easily see how these could go from city to nature, and I'm super tempted to try them! If you do, let me know how they are!
9. Warm and Stylish Wool Socks
Have fun with these! There are so many rad styles of socks out there. Choose one that matches your vibe! Things to consider: sock height (most choose crew socks for hiking), the sock material (wool is the most popular), and the amount of cushioning (this varies with climate). If you need help deciding or want to know everything that goes into choosing the right pair of socks, check out REI's guide. It's pretty incredible!
10. A cute and comfortable pair of hiking boots.
A pair of durable, waterproof boots with good traction that look cute too? Yep, it's possible. These Timberlands are great city-to-mountain boots, perfect for shorter trails. I have backpacked in these but definitely wouldn't recommend. It was a last resort, and I was definitely hurting the next day. But these are great for short day hikes where you expect to be in lots of photos!
If you're looking for cute boots that can handle a distance, I freaking adore my Danner's. These are the most comfortable boots I've EVER had, and they're super cute too! Love their red laces. They're also waterproof with a Fuga outsole for crazy good grip.