How to Look Like a Local: Banff

Travel Tips — By meghanward on October 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Banff sits at about 4,800 feet of elevation, making it the highest town in Canada. That being said, there is a local saying: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” The mountains here seem to create their own weather. So, in Banff it’s all about layering and being ready for anything. Often it is significantly cooler in the morning and quite mild during the day, too.

The local trends also vary because of the transient nature of the town. There are a few stereotypes though: you can blend in with the people who look like they’re from Calgary or blend in with the outdoorsy group. Overall, the style is relaxed, comfortable, outdoorsy and active.

In general, certain companies have their hold on Banff. Anything from Mountain Equipment Co-op, Arcteryx, North Face, Patagonia, Burton, Prana and lululemon athletica will no doubt help you look like a local.

What girls are wearing in Banff:

  • Hiking Boots, Uggs or Birkenstock sandals
  • Jeans, black stretchy pants or tights or hiking pants/shorts
  • Flannel shirts, wool sweaters, hoodies, or any active top
  • Shell jacket, down jackets or vests, or ski/snowboard jackets
  • Popular accessories: climbing gear, skis/snowboard, yoga mats, sporty sunglasses, cute but sporty toques and hats

Here I am in your classic Banff outfit: black stretchy tights, a sporty top layered underneath a fleece jacket, sunglasses and light hiking shoes.

Also a typical outfit: Bundled up to be active outside. Hiking boots, gaiters, shell pants and jacket, toque and mittens!

And here's #3: Black stretchy pants tucked into boots, hoodie layered under sporty but casual jacket and a fun pair of mittens and toque.

What the guys are wearing in Banff:

  • Mountaineering boots, flip flops, trail running style shoes
  • Jeans,  hiking pants/shorts, board shorts
  • Hoodies, cotton tees, quick dry shirts
  • Shell jacket, down jackets or vests, or ski/snowboard jackets
  • Popular accessories: climbing gear, backpack, mountain bike parts, sporty sunglasses, toques and hats

Alright guys, your turn: Hiking boots, jeans and a fleece pullover are perfect for an afternoon stroll by Johnson Lake.

I mentioned climbing gear would help you fit in. You don't want around the streets like this, but you can definitely hit the hills!

Typical foot wear for guy or girl: light hiking shoes.

Basically, if you want to look like a local in Banff, wear anything that makes you look active, don’t wear your camera around your neck, and walk like you know where you’re going!

Tags: Banff, clothing, outdoors, style, trends


  • caroline says:

    OMG it’s so beautiful! I miss it so bad! you must really enjoy every single second since you’re overthere! you will miss it soon trust me!

  • Meghan Ward says:

    Oh, I’m not planning on leaving the mountains anytime soon! :)


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