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Vail Daily fashion column: Shop like an alpine couturist

Jennifer Geisman
Haute Alpine Couture
Ted Baker Opulent Bloom Noorie sweater ($195, Blitz) and Rebecca Minkoff Bowery Tote ($325, Blitz).
Special to the Daily |

Sometimes being a super-fashionista surrounded by Rocky Mountains and the occasional ZZ Top-esque posse stocking up on hunting gear can put a damper on your fall retail therapy strategy. But, it’s not hard to uncover the shopping tricks of the trade and hidden gems available here in the Vail Valley. To really succeed as a superbly-savvy stylista, you first must be clued-in about haute trends coming your way and how to wear the “it” items that graced autumn’s catwalks. The key to giving your alpine fashion frienemies something to buzz about is setting your sights on those trends, channeling your fearless fashionista instincts and becoming that coveted queen bee the minute you walk into the store.

We spent an afternoon shopping with local style guru Whitney Hathhorn, personal stylist and owner and manager of Kiwi Boutique in Edwards, for tips on creating fashion mountains out of molehills. First and foremost, Hathorn says to do your research.

“Look on Pinterest for things you like and trends that are practical for Vail,” said Hathorn.

Avoid the sizzling and when-will-I-ever-wear-this styles featured on the runways — such as the flaunting feathers showcased by Marni and Alberta Ferretti — as these looks are not necessarily suitable here in the Vail Valley, especially once the weather turns.

TREND: Distressed jeans

Stress-free and multipurpose, distressed jeans are oh-so-chic. Hathorn says to pair the worn-in Mcguire Denim Majorelle Flare Jeans ($228, Kiwi Boutique) with a chunky knit sweater such as the Blue Pepper neutral sweater ($58, Cashmere & Coco). For a more slimming style, pull on a cute tee like the Wildfox Once Upon a time … Happily Ever After graphic tee ($73, Blitz) or the Wildfox Wild Horses tee with unfinished edges ($88, Blitz). Tuck these in and combo with a chunky brown belt to show off your waistline. Dress up your threadbares with the Ted Baker Opulent Bloom Noorie sweater ($195, Blitz) and finish off this well-worn denim trend with the slate gray Rebecca Minkoff Bowery Tote ($325, Blitz). Of course, you can always create a lackadaisical Sunday afternoon style with a traditional white T-shirt such as the LA Made 24-Hour Tee ($48, Kiwi Boutique) and give your ensemble a little fall color and drape the LA Made Rust Scarf ($48, Kiwi Boutique) around your neckline.

TREND: Skater skirt

The skater skirt was fly when Avril Lavigne charmed us with her “Sk8er Boi” rag and has yet to leave the fall trend scene. Embrace this all-flattering, A-lined silhouette look, as it will quickly become a staple in your wardrobe. Hathorn picked out the heather-gray wool Banjo & Matilda mini skirt ($250, Perch), which accentuates a high-waist and can simply be worn with a T-shirt, tights and your favorite motto boots. On the flip side, dress up your skater girl guise with an embellished, printed blouse such as the Milly Brooke Blouse ($275, Perch) featuring an architectural motif of windows and doors. If you are trying to show off a slimmer you, opt for a darker flare — Hathorn adores the Miss Me chocolate brown faux suede skater ($49, Valley Girl).

TREND: Mini skirt

It’s time to give summer’s minis the big heave-ho and flirt with fall’s leg-bedecked trend. As we enter into the chillier months, fabrics boast unique textures to reflect the season. The best adornment to showing off your ski bunny legs is the mini skirt, and we fell head-over-heels for both the black Nicole Miller Quilted Skirt ($320, Perch) and IRO Watney Skirt in Ecru with buckle detailing on the sides ($480, Perch).

“Both are total investment pieces, but can really be worn 10 months out of the year,” Hathorn said.

TREND: Mad for plaid

Fall’s not-so-structured plaid is shabbier and snazzier and ditches the stiff-upper-lip Sherlock Holmes notion. This swanky style will look smashing and give dimension to your wardrobe. Hathorn’s picks include the Frank & Eileen red and navy plaid shirt ($198, Perch), BB Dakota Plaid Shirt Dress ($84, Kiwi Boutique) and BB Dakota Red Plaid Motorcycle Jacket ($98, Kiwi Boutique).

TREND: Layered necklaces

An outfit isn’t complete without a little decor. Layered necklaces are still in abundance on the tony catwalks, but for fall, they are less chunky and in your face. Hathorn says to play with different lengths and shapes and create a cocktail of mixed gold tones — shiny and bright with flat and antique.

Combine the Satya gold necklace with sundial ($189, Valley Girl) with the Satya teardrop emblem with tree detail ($98, Valley Girl) and the Tat2 arrowhead with Swarovski crystals ($121.90, Valley Girl). Together, these pieces go perfectly with an open neckline such as a V-neck or traditional button-down.

Haute Alpine Couture quenches your thirst with a cocktail of cravings that turns an “insider’s favorite” into your monthly buzz. With an eye for uncovering the most sought-after trends, Jennifer Geisman is a self-professed product junky. Geisman fuses her expertise in PR and the beauty and fashion worlds to deliver quintessentially modern hot spots, styles and trends.


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