Lindsey Morse of The Elegant Hippie is a woman after my own heart. The end of a relationship and the loss of her dream job led her on a year-long journey of self discovery, criss-crossing the American West in her Honda Element, logging over 40K miles and creating The Elegant Hippie in an attempt to make it all mean something.
Born on the road, the Elegant Hippie is an outdoor style blog for the free spirited woman who embraces her authentic self and the contradictions that define her. While she loves to spend time on the trail, she also appreciates a few finer luxuries, like French press coffee or raw denim. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect embodiment of Lindsey herself.
Learn more about Lindsey below, then head over to TheElegantHippie.com for tips on how to flaunt your personal outdoor style with confidence!
You can also follow our adventures in Kings Canyon June 12-14. Lindsey has put together an Elegant Hippie Care Package for each camper to share some of her favorite brands. Packing list coming soon!
Tell us about yourself!
I consider myself an outdoor modernist or modern outdoor enthusiast. I’m at home in the woods or the Four Seasons, and I make no excuse for either. Once you stop insisting on fitting into one box or another, let me tell you, it’s a beautiful way to live.
What motivated you to hit the road in search of adventure?
Life threw me lemons, so I made lemonade. It all started with the classic heartbreak cliché… the guy I thought was totally falling for me, told me in no uncertain terms that he was not. Then 2 weeks later my dream job fell apart.
What started out as a 1-week escape to Yosemite with girlfriends turned into 2 months on the road, mostly solo, camping up and down the California coast. Eventually, I began to feel a funny thing…”happy”, at least in spurts between the tears.
So I kept going…put my condo up for rent on Airbnb, traded in my little red sports car for L’elephant (my 2008 Silver Honda Element) and changed my Instagram handle to @theeleganthippie.
What does it mean to be an “Elegant Hippie”? What inspired you to create TheElegantHippie.com?
I was sick of the labeling that goes on in the fashion and outdoor industry. Why couldn’t I embody both a stylish aesthetic and embrace my inner dirtbag? I was looking for a creative outlet, but I didn’t want to write another annoying blog about how awesome my life was. My life wasn’t awesome… it was pretty damn stressful. So I set out to create the site I couldn’t find for myself, designed to inspire adventure, embrace an individual sense of style and introduce people to the brands and products that I think make it all a bit more fun.
Now I work with brands to help them understand this “Modern Outdoor Woman” and do my best to create and share content that I actually think will be useful and relevant to the people that vibe with my message.
I like to say that being an Elegant Hippie is about letting go of judgement, living authentically and true to the life, the people and the contradictions that define you.
What has been your favorite destination on the journey so far?
It literally changes with each trip. The best is when you come across a place that simply sneaks up on you. I think of Montana De Oro state Park at sunset; An ad-hoc fashion shoot in White Sands National Monument; Driving into a snowy Grand Canyon at night lit up under a full moon; Heading into Monument Valley with no cars in sight and brewing a french pressed coffee roadside. I also have a slight obsession with Marfa, TX. Those are some that come to mind.
Do you have any tips for women wondering how to dress fashionably in the outdoors?
Wear what you love, what makes you feel good and that you can move in. Notice those things you wear all the time. Like your favorite soft button down plaid, or a merino wrap that you can throw over anything. I love cut offs and cardigans that are just the perfect weight. As long as it moves with you, there’s no reason why it can’t be considered “outdoors”. I like to wear earrings and scarves most of the time just because they make me feel pretty. Unless you’re in a situation where it’s dangerous, I believe in accessories.
What are your favorite new brands that we should know about?
To be honest, the life of a start-up blogger does not involve a lot of shopping. But I do have a list of things I wear and use all the time.
All of these can be found on the Style & Gear section of The Elegant Hippie.
- Anything from Nau – They are great for layers. The down shirt is a must as well as their Spring dresses
- Icebreaker Bliss wrap is a travel staple
- A good grandpa wool cardigan – I found an amazing one from Woolrich White Collection
- I believe in roadies, and the mason jar tumbler sleeve from Wood & Faulk does the trick.
- Any camping gear from Snow Peak – The essentials are the chopping board, folding table, French press, Camp stove and Kanpai Bottle.
- Believe it or not, but Ex Officio can be sexy. This spring they came out with a great synthetic underwear line that is comfy and breaths in those moments when Hanky Panky’s are just not gonna cut it.
- My favorite city boots are made by Wolverine – The Arc Boot
- If you haven’t heard of Alite, they make a great camping chair – The Monarch. It only has 2 legs so you can balance it on anything and it’s light as a feather.
- I love my Rumpl blanket. It’s like your favorite down puffy made into a blanket.
- I can’t decide what I like best for bags…either Topo Designs or Kletterwerks.
- Nudie Jeans are my favorite…they are spendy, but last a lifetime and have an authentic sustainability story.
- There’s a shop in Santa Cruz, Sawyer Land and Sea Supply. They have a amazing eye for brands and make my favorite trucker hat (important for long drives with the window down)
- Shwood Sunglasses, sustainable, unique and polarized.
What is one luxury you cannot live without in the outdoors?
My French press. Snow Peak’s Titanium French press
The perfect s’more:
I like the classic. I like it slowly browned until it’s soft and then I burn the shit out of it. Place it between a half graham cracker with Hershey chocolate. Then I make another one because I’m totally fooling myself if I think I’m only gonna eat half that graham cracker.
Where to next?
I’ll see you in King’s Canyon June 12-14th!
Photos © 2015 Lindsey Morse