9 Unexpected Ways To Take Your Outdoor Fashion Faves From The Mountains To The City

There's a saying in Colorado that goes, "If you don't like the weather, wait an hour." It's barely an exaggeration to say that it can be warm and sunny one minute only to have a blizzard sweep into town the next (with some hail thrown in for good measure). That's why layers aren't just stylish around here — they are also essential. The good news is that there are ways to prepare for the wild weather fluctuations while staying fashionable. To show you how, we've partnered with Nordstrom Rack for tips on how to take outfits from the mountains to the city and everywhere in between this spring.

Of course, it's not just the weather that changes quickly around here; as a local, it's pretty common to spend the morning hiking in the mountains and the evening taking in a concert at Red Rocks. And because Rocky Mountain residents are never ones to pass up on good opportunities for fun, it's vital to have clothes that can easily transition from one event to the next. Even if you are blessed with slightly more consistent weather, you can take a cue from Colorado style by stocking your closet with these fashion staples.

This post is sponsored by Nordstrom Rack. The new Nordstrom Rack opens on April 28 at Chapel Hills East in Colorado Springs. Get details here!

1. Buy Button-Down Shirts In Bulk

Shop Plaid, Nordstrom Rack

There is good reason for all the plaid around here: It's lightweight but warm, easy to throw on over other tops, and can be buttoned up or worn open with the sleeves rolled up. Really, they are so versatile, you may want to stock up on one for every day of the week — or month. No judgment. Pair a button-down shirt with jeans for daytime or dress it up with a statement necklace and booties for night.

2. Keep A Sweater Handy For Cool Nights

Shop Sweaters, Nordstrom Rack

The one weather guarantee in the mountains is that the temperature will plummet at night. Whether you are staying out past dark at a local brewery or taking your time getting back to the trailhead, a sweater is a must. A light pullover in the spring is totally sufficient, and basically the definition of casual-cute when paired with skinny jeans and ankle boots.

3. Backpacks Aren't Just For School

Shop Backpacks, Nordstrom Rack

Whether you are scrambling over some rocks at Garden of the Gods or browsing clothing racks, it's just practical to keep both hands free with a backpack. Retire your old Jansport for a leather or embellished pack that works double-duty for hiking and strolling around the Broardmoor's grounds.

4. A Good Hat Is A Must

Shop Hats, Nordstrom Rack

On the border of the Sun Belt, Colorado enjoys an average 300 days of sunshine per year — which is glorious, except when you get a sunburn in February. A good hat with a wide brim will protect you from the harsh rays and look adorable when paired with anything from a drapey sweater to a boho maxi dress.

5. Leggings Are Essential For Staying Active

Shop Leggings, Nordstrom Rack

Without a doubt, leggings are one of the greatest fashion trends for anyone who loves adventure. They work just as well with casual shirts for summertime trips into the woods as with longer tunics for nights at lower elevations. Diversify your legging collection with some bold colors, prints, and embellishments.

6. Boots Are Staples — But Don't Have To Be Basic

Shop Boots, Nordstrom Rack

These aren't just for the snow around here. No shoe collection in Colorado is complete without a good pair of booties, which are effortlessly cool with jeans and a button up for weekend road trips or paired with a sundress for date night. The perfect pair will work throughout the year, for so many occasions — which is great for those of us who prefer comfort over stilettos.

7. Get Sold On Vests

Shop Vests, Nordstrom Rack

Coloradans know there is a point to vests: not only are they functional, but they give any outfit a cool, outdoorsy vibe. You can even pair a military cut over a fun, feminine dress for an unexpected, festival-worthy look.

8. Withstand Any Weather With Sweat-Wicking Tanks

Shop Activewear, Nordstrom Rack

If you plan on running around all day and going out at night, a sweat-wicking tank is a must-have. By pulling the moisture away from your body with special fabric, you will stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer — so you can keep exploring even longer. Nab some trendy styles with ruffles or bold colors to give your activewear a cool update that also works for a night out.

9. Stash A Skirt For A Nighttime Update

Shop Skirts, Nordstrom Rack

Instantly elevate your outfit by swapping leggings for a great skirt — or you can even throw the skirt on top! A mini skirt paired with thick tights and a sweater is perfect for winter nights around a fireplace, while a thinner maxi skirt with a crop top fits right in at a summer concert.

No matter whether you are heading to the mountains for a visit or making them your home, you can't go wrong with these staples in your closet.

Images: Unsplash/Micah H. (1); Nordstrom Rack (9)