first, to clarify: by swiss, i'm referring to the rugged and mountainous switzerland, deep into the beefy alps. once you get far enough in to these mountains, the primary product of the town gift shops on display is a brutish-looking mountaineering boot, and that is the swiss i'm referencing. i refer to the rural areas of switzerland because they had an incredible effect upon my own personal style - there, the people wore high-quality outdoors gear in their everyday style. the elements of tradition, precise function, and a reverence for the highest degree of quality shaped the whole community. suddenly, my old faithful, bullet-proof marmot soft-shell was the bell of the ball. among the stolid alps, function is king within your wardrobe, and from it a unique style has emerged.

the idea is simple at it's core: only buy things that work forever and can save your life. the alps were originally scaled by old yodeling farmers with leather harnesses and hand-made ropes, they trusted their gear, and that mentality has not readily left the culture. now, your gear is your clothes, but it should remain just as reliable. here's a few examples of clothes and accessories:

like my cousin, nate, explained about his osprey pack, your daypack becomes your true life companion. my little mountain hardwear pack has scraped through the slot canyons of southern utah, rappelled bridal vale falls, and tromped across the lowlands of scotland. i trust her with my life. i like seeing that type of rugged, enduring pack being incorporated into everyday men's accessories - for days when you need something manlier than a leather satchel, and more grown-up than a backpack from your high-school days. whether a small climbers daypack (below), or something more long-term (above), an outdoor bag works well enough for hauling any sort of gear; be it food, laptops, or scuffed rappelling wares.

chambray work shirt - solid, rugged, quality, still stylish. i think that denim shirts are the only shirt genre that compete with the plaid shirt in my style. i'm a huge fan of something born out of function turned into an iconic piece of menswear.

any rock solid pair of jeans will do, the key is to avoid the overly ripped holister types that are in pieces after a few good wears. the folks at levi and nike paired up to make the jeans above; they are water resistant, soft, slightly stretchy, and have a modern styled cut to them to so they look pretty cool but still work like a pair of hiking pants.

i can't be one of those guys in asolos, chacos, or some form of hiking boot/athletic trail-running shoes everyday. you guys know who you are. i have shoes for my outdoor needs, but never have felt the urge to abandon a regular pair of kicks to look like im ready to burst into hiking at any moments notice. luckily, there's been a huge compromise lately, where boot-makers are combining their famed reputations for quality with great style. i advocate this move.

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