The NOLS Guide to Fall Clothing

By NOLS Blog

Oct 2, 2015

We think clothes should be both stylish and functional. If you look good, then you probably feel good, too. As you get ready to head out in search of some leaves to crunch (so satisfying), check out our recommendations for this fall’s must-have clothing.



Utilizing Buffs while Climbing The buff is an excellent style piece to keep those long, luscious locks out of your face while crushing some boulder problems. Photo courtesy of Kevin Wallingford.


The scarf is so last year. Whip out your buff of choice and show off how creative you are by wearing it differently each time you leave the house (hair tie, ear warmer, neck warmer, face warmer … the possibilities are endless!).

Down Booties


Down Booties for Foot Warmth Nice and toasty. Photo by Molly Herber.


These babies will keep your toes warm throughout the fall and all winter long. Plus, unlike Uggs, you can easily stuff them in your backpack for those late fall camping trips (or sneak into movie theaters for your viewing comfort).

Fingerless Gloves


Fingerless Gloves for Fashion and Function Stay warm without losing finger function. Photo by Katherine Boehrer.


Great for texting or typing without missing a beat, as well as performing very important stove repair wizardry without your hands getting too chilly.



Leggings for Fall The more colorful your leggings, the harder rapids you can run. Tutus optional. Photo by Susan Elliott.


Leggings transition perfectly from your post-work or -school workout into eveningwear for meeting up with your friends. Ignore everyone who tells you that you that it’s inappropriate to wear the same leggings for all occasions.

Long Underwear Top


Long Underwear: Perfect Fall Layer So many many ways to layer. Photo by Katherine Boehrer.


Wearing layers is a timeless clothing strategy, and the long-sleeved long underwear top is the timeless piece that’s a must-have for any wardrobe. We recommend wool or synthetic materials, since they’ll continue to insulate even after you get sweaty from powerwalking to stay warm outside (note that wool tends to get much less stinky than synthetic materials).

The Paul Petzoldt Wool Sweater


Paul Petzoldt Wool Sweater 50 years and still in style. Photo courtesy of the NOLS Store.


The sweater worn by Paul Petzoldt and all students in the school’s early years. Classic, classy, functional. Need we say more?



Looking Fancy in a Vest and Plaid Plaid+Vest=automatic winner. Photo by Molly Herber.


So versatile and perfect for layering. You can dress them up, dress them down, or use them as the “pop” of color to bring an outfit together (especially if your outfit involves plaid).

The Puffy Jacket


Matching Puffy Jackets Bonus points for matching with your buddy. Photo courtesy of Eryn Pierce.


The ubiquitous “puffy” jacket goes with anything and belongs at any occasion. At least, any occasion worth going to. Because who wants to go to an event where your stories about each stain, patch and repair on your jacket won’t be appreciated?

This guy appreciates it.


A Puppy in a Puffy A Puppy in a Puffy. Photo by Katherine Boehrer.


What are your must-have fall clothing items? Leave a comment on our Facebook page!

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