How to take style inspiration from the great outdoors
Words: James Nash | Illustration: Ian Skene
From the Kalahari to God’s Eye to Table Mountain, there are countless natural wonders in the country we call home. Deserts, forests, and seasides abound, there’s no question that we live in one of the world’s most stunning places. The real question becomes: how do we take inspiration from it? Once you know how, it’s easy to take cues from a captivating country, whether exploring the outdoors or stunting on the city streets.
Look to earthtones: muted greens, beiges, and browns for your colour palette. You’ll find that an organically tonal outfit will appear when you work with these colours, making your style all the more effortless. Brighter greens and khaki hues help to lighten the mood of your look considerably, adding that little bit of pop that will only elevate your outfit.
Now, if you’ve read anything about colour theory, you’ll know visual balance is key. This is created by contrasting elements of your outfit to make the look as a whole that much stronger.
The On-Trend Option
Take inspiration from hunters and their safety gear. Not only is bright orange an on-trend option, but it’ll serve as an ideal standout counterpoint to your earthy aesthetic.
Bright blues or even white, inspired by our oceans and skies, also help to bring a breath of fresh air to an otherwise muted look.
Other neutral shades like grey or black can be worked to your favour, if applied subtly throughout your outfit.
The Wild Card
Camouflage is yet another on-trend option to create depth in your look, as well as a touch of streetwear edge. However, one must be careful not to over do it, the point here is to stand out, not blend in.
This is a no-brainer. Utilitarian boots are not only in vogue, but also as practical as it can get. Built to withstand a beating, these shoes are almost certainly guaranteed to last a lifetime, which will be about as long as you’ll love them for. Wheat and brown options are a safer choice given our colour palette, but when accented with other accessories of the same kind, black boots can add that extra edge to your outfit.
There comes a time when the outfits we see on influencers and celebrities no longer seem as inspiring. High-fashion and retro looks can become stale, the same aesthetics seemingly recycled without end. By taking cues from something larger and much older than ourselves, we can pay homage to the natural splendour – and even if we can’t make it all the way out, there’s no reason not to at least take a stylistic lesson from the beauty of the great outdoors.