Vail’s slope styles
Let it snow! For a ski town, opening weekend is a fashionista catwalk on the mountain. Snow bunnies have bragging rights to their new skis and snowboards, but it is the true alpine couturist who unveils her stylish winter wardrobe on opening day. This season, ski and snowboard styles are going everywhere but downhill with bold, chic and comfort-conscious fashions.
Investing the big bucks on jackets and pants is almost a rule of thumb for us alpine die-hards, but when it comes to stocking up on layers, you’ll find that these items won’t break your piggy bank and give mountain chic a whole new perspective. Spyder and Burton make baselayers that cater to all of your cold weather activities. From Burton, our picks are the Burton Tech Tee ($60, Burton) in adorable prints such as cats and wolves and the moisture-wicking The Willow Flannel ($79, Burton). From Spyder, we are digging the Spyder Olympian X Static L/S Top ($100, Christy Sports), Spyder Olympian X Static Baselayer Pants ($80, Double Diamond Ski Shop), Spyder Runner Seamless L/S Top ($60, Pepi Sports), Spyder Runner Seamless Baselayer Pants ($55, Christy Sports), Spyder Runner Seamless Capri Pant ($50, Christy Sports), Spyder Teammate Soft Compression L/S Top ($50, Vail Sports) and Spyder Teammate Soft Compression Baselayer Pants ($45, Vail Sports).
The most fluid and efficient piece of your slope-side gear is your jacket. It needs to be hi-tech, functional and, of course, au courant. Über-chic can be checked off your wish list with the Bergan Stryn Jacket ($639, Bridge Street Ski Haus). This white jacket with amethyst accents is for alpine touring and freeriding, highly breathable, waterproof and windproof. We love it with The Polka blinged-out goggles from Church and State Optics ($169, Bridge Street Ski Haus) featuring Swaroski crystal elements. Be a fashion-spectacle when descending the snow-covered slopes on your board in the Burton/LAMB Gwen Stefani collab Bomber Jacket ($279, Burton), which, according to the bro-boy at Burton looks “rad” in olive green with a hunter-orange quilted sleeve. The flirty turquoise floral print of The Freedom Jacket from North Face ($249, Bridge Street Ski Haus) goes well with an Oakley snowboard beanie ($26, Bridge Street Ski Haus) and a sweet pair of turquoise Electric goggles ($160, Bridge Street Ski Haus).
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When you want street-wear to translate into skiwear, don’t pass up the DC Shoes Vista 14 Jacket ($179.85, Quicksilver) in hot pink. This waterproof, mountain-minded tech jacket will ensure that you are at peak performance. Plus, you’ll be toasty warm with the Sherpa-lined, fleece collar. And, as the moto trend has ruled the runways, we are super-keen on the O’Neill Sparkle Jacket ($300, Base Mountain Sports Beaver Creek). Inspired by biker jackets, O’Neill Sparkle is a design partnership between the brand and team rider Celia Miller.
Just like the city couture-queens who are willing to spend next month’s rent on Prada’s Winter 2014 Wool and Calfskin Vintage Bag ($1,600, Prada), forking over the big bucks for a FAW-bulous ski jacket will set you up for the entire season. The drool-worthy Bogner Karea jacket ($1,499, Pepi Sports, Gorsuch) in metallic platinum gives you an elegant shimmer, while the fuchsia Bogner Kylie jacket ($1,299, Pepi Sports, Gorsuch) is like a vivid bullet down the mountain. On the fall and winter runways, fur found its newly-accepted revival, and we are seeing it on the ski mountain too. Each of the Bogner jacket hoods can be paired with a detachable fur trim.
Sunny skies in the alpine region are deceiving — your thermometer may say a whopping 22-degrees, but the warmth of the sun at 8,150 feet above sea level can be quite toasty. On warmer days, opt for the gold metallic Lole Penelope Vest ($200, Bridge Street Ski Haus).
It’s time to kill the switch on that ‘80s trend of tucking your pants into your ski boots. A boot cut or straight leg pant hugging your silhouette’s most flattering aspects is a fashionista’s dream come true. Audrey Hepburn meets Lindsay Vonn with the Erin Snow Jes ski pant ($398, Bridge Street Ski Haus) in charcoal or heather. This wool version of the brand’s Jes Pant flawlessly bridges the gap between high-fashion and utility. We love these paired with the Lole Penelope Vest!
For snowboarders, you can’t go wrong in the neon green and turquoise accented North Face TNF Insulated Pant ($299, Bridge Street Ski Haus), which is completely waterproof and made with Gortex, or the Zip Pocket Pant ($209, Burton), which is a two-toned, cool pocketed pant with olive on the front and brown on the back. This boarder pant is the ying for the LAMB Gwen Stefani Bomber Jacket’s yang.
Bold hues will sprinkle color on the mountain and help you be spotted by the cute Ski Patrol guys on low visibility days. Our élites to kick off the season include the Bergan Sirdal Ski Pant ($449, Bridge Street Ski Haus) in dark tulip pink and the daring blush of DC Shoes Women’s Scarlett Pant ($149.95, Quicksilver). The Sirdal Ski Pant is a lightweight, premium technical pant made with taped seams and three-layer New Generation Dermizax™ NX fabric. Featuring a slimmer fit, the DC Shoes Scarlett Pant is a high performance insulated cargo pant that features mesh lined venting and boot gaiter.
When the neon glare of your chairlift mate is a bit much, cherry-pick the super-feminine Bogner Rominja Ski Pant ($569, Pepi Sports) in white or the Bogner Franca Ski Pant ($999, Pepi Sports, Gorsuch) in brick red. Both swanking a classy style to sweet-talk your way to the front of the line, the Bogner pants are waterproof and breathable and will protect your derriere should you take a tumble. Pair the Franca Ski Pant with the Karea jacket and top off your look with the matching Salina hat ($169, Pepi Sports).
We’ve discovered the season’s most sought-after pant trend — the no denim-denim look. At first glance, your fashion frienemies will gawk at the fact that you would have the audacity to wear jeans on the slopes, but upon closer observation, they will be coveting your Bogner Ski Jeans Malena ($899, Pepi Sports, Gorsuch). These “ski jeans” have a vintage jean look printed on highly waterproof, breathable and flexible four-way stretch fabric to combine style and functionality. On a warmer day, pull your look together with a pair of Ski Jeans and the lime green and white polka dotted Bogner Marea zipper pullover ($349, Gorsuch).
The Swiss may have coined the art of après-ski, but the Vail Valley has perfected the definition of after-ski festivities. Peel off your sweaty socks and cozy up in a pair of PACT Cranberry Fair Isle Knee Socks ($12, Blue Jeans Bar, Vail) or PACT Navy Argyle Knee Socks ($12, Blue Jeans Bar, Vail) — just the perfect amount of cushion for your après-ski boots.
Handmade from 100 percent natural and sustainable materials, The Aliona Cream Boot from Zdar ($399, Gorsuch) is your fashion statement off the slopes. Featuring German wool felt, The Aliona Cream Boot combines luxury with a casual flair. If it’s more about tranquil feet and less about fuss, try on The Masha Ethnic Natural Boot ($329, Gorsuch) from Zdar, which is like a wool sweater for your feet. These foot-huggers will look on-trend combined with the metallic charcoal Bogner Anica Down Coat ($1,699, Pepi Sports, Gorsuch) when you strut your post-alpine self into the Bully Ranch for a Moscow Mule.