Over the past few months, it seems every man in a hip New York neighborhood is wearing a pair of Patagonia bags or loose cargo pants with a plastic buckle around the waist. Or, if you went 20 minutes outside of town for a ‘nature walk’ you would see herds of dudes dressed in comfy but functional hiking sandals, perhaps teamed with a funky bootleg t-shirt with a few facts. on Walter Benjamin on this. If you’ve seen these things, don’t worry. You are not crazy. Everyone dresses like a climber now.
Many of them even climb on their own. Rock climbing, like darning socks and naming your sourdough sourdough, is among the many hobbies people have turned to during the pandemic. (Of course, that was also a time before the pandemic.) But escalation is different from these activities. It’s a solitary activity, but it’s also fun to do with friends. There is something soothing and methodical about finding its way to some sort of Paleozoic piece of Earth, or just man-made Nickelodeon-colored walls.
There is also, not surprisingly, a whole way of dressing for this. Rock climbing is not just a question the climb– it’s also about what you wear to do it.
Designer Spencer Phipps is perhaps the perfect example of this new climber. Phipps, who lives in Paris, set up a climbing gym in his own home just before the pandemic. It ended up being a good move: he used it all the time in the darker parts of the lockdown, and still uses it quite often today. Phipps says he likes how low-tech rock climbing is. When making an ascent, he tends to wear a lot of surplus vintage military clothing. But when I ask him who is the most stylish person he has ever seen climb, he says there was a man in his eighties at a gym he frequents in Paris who had the best cuts he has ever had. never seen. “He would wear those leggings. But he was, like, so skinny and old that they were kind of like loose jeans, skinny jeans or something. It was just a little skinny and droopy, ”he says. “And then he had those salmon-colored Crocs.” And this hat with a pompom.
Erin, who works at VITAL, a gym in Williamsburg, says she can spot climbers around the world quite easily. “I will notice,” she said, “people in the subway with an Osprey bag. You can usually tell this is a very serious climber or hiker. Erin’s favorite rock climbing clothing is Gramicci pants: “I wear them everyday because I can wear them for pretty much anything. They also look super cute, much like a pair of baggy chinos.