Vail’s snow bunny fashion

Jennifer Geisman
Haute Alpine Couture
Samantha Bertolino, an employee at the Burton store in Lionshead, models a B By Burton Sydney Snowboard Jacket ($279.95, Burton).
Charles Townsend Bessent | Special to the Daily |

Now that the Polar Vortex has reared its arctic head on Golden Peak and the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail kids are training side-by-side with the cuties from Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland and Slovenia, us diva-die-hards should take this shopping opportunity to debut très chic styles on the slopes. The rules for alpine-wear are simple — super-cute, effortlessly-posh and über-snug for those cold, blustery days. Skiing and snowboarding may be considered in the couture fashion world as simple-minded athletic activities, but here in the Vail Valley it’s an alpine fashionista’s catwalk. On or off the slopes, it is important to keep your reputation intact and not come across as a butt-dragger or gaper.


Add shreddin’ the gnar to your California-surfer-turned-snowboarder vocab and sport either the Burton [ak] 2L Altitude Snowboard Jacket ($379.95, Burton) or the B By Burton Sydney Snowboard Jacket ($279.95, Burton). Debut your boarder steez with the guarantee to stay dry in the Burton [ak] 2L Altitude Snowboard Jacket featuring storm-proof GORE-TEX fabric with the function and fit demanded by life in the backcountry. The crunchy B By Burton Sydney Snowboard Jacket ($279.95, Burton) is perfect for peaking and stomping on some serious freshies on Vail Mountain. The rib and quilted detailing add varsity jacket styling to this long and slender silhouette, while at the same time liberates your fluid-riding prowess from the restriction of bulky, puffed-up layers. Even if you end up in a total yard sale on your first run, the Burton Prowess Snowboard Jacket ($239.95 — $339.95, Burton) is the perfect collab of super-feminine style with rider-driven features.

Powder hounds will come out of the woodworks, especially when your super-keen fashion sense has you on the chairlift in an Obermeyer Luna Jacket ($289, Vail Sports). This ultimate performance jacket fuses together lightweight stretch fabrics and the signature Obermeyer flattering feminine fit. Get fired up for the fresh season in the Helly Hansen W Silverqueen Jacket ($700, Beaver Creek Sports). Take the Prima Cornice by storm and swoosh passed any slowpokes on Chair 4 in your sweet Helly Hansen W Stella Storm Jacket ($375, Christy’s Sports). This highly breathable, waterproof jacket features PrimaLoft-insulation to keep you warm and dry.

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It’s really only the top half of your mountain motif that invokes your fashion nemesis to gossip about your style, but you still need the pants to complete your day on the slopes. No need to get your panties in a bunch over finding the picture-perfect pair! The Obermeyer Turin Pants ($169.50, Pepi’s Sports) will summon merry-making on both freshly, white powder mornings and bluebird sky afternoons. Cargo pants may not be on the high-style runways, but on our red carpet, they are ideal for a snow day. The Helly Hansen W Switch Cargo Pant ($200, Christy’s Sports) offers a sweet fit and is the ideal all-mountain ski pant with a technical edge. The mechanical-stretch Helly Tech Professional insulated pants will keep you warm, dry and have you look mega-fetching all the way from the Village parking garage to après ski at Bol.


We could not think of a more off the beaten path fashion brand collab, than this one between Burton and Frye — it’s got our fashionista brains in a total tailspin! The Burton x Frye Snowboard Boot ($399.95, Burton) is style-savvy and built to shred. Teaming up with the legendary Frye Company, Burton set out to recreate their best-selling Harness Boot, while at the same time giving the nod to city slicker fashion.

Seeing is actually believing when you don the Gordini Sure Shot ($75, Performance Sports Lionshead) goggles. The Sure Shot goggles are anatomically designed using a split “V” nose tech to self-adjust to the contours of your face. For a bit of indulgence without breaking the bank, the Gordini GLC S-Frame Goggle ($100, Performance Sports Lionshead) is part of the Gordini Luxury Collection featuring Optics by Carl Zeiss Vision and fleece-covered memory face foam.

Keep your digits comfy-warm in the Gordini Leather Goose III Mitt ($95, Performance Sports Lionshead), which features genuine goatskin, Naturaloft insulating, Hydrowick microdenier lining and Aquabloc insert for an ultra breathable, waterproof and windproof fit. For more performance flexibility, try the Gordini Venture ($50, Performance Sports Lionshead), which also includes the Hydrowick microdenier lining and Aquabloc insert details.

Protecting your noggin is a must on the mountain, but you still need to look cute during prime flirting hours. Twin sister to the Bern Watts Helmet, the Bern Lenox Helmet ($100, Buzz’s Boards) was designed specifically with women in mind. Complete with a smaller shell size and feminine details, the Lenox combines the brand’s signature visor profile with seven curved vents to create the ultimate in women’s head protection. When looking for dual-functionality in your helmet, the Bern Muse Helmet ($100, Buzz’s Boards) is the right choice for you. This certified helmet is designed to absorb impact whether you’re on a bike or skis. In addition, the Muse comes with an EPS Summer Comfort Liner or an EPS Winter Liner, so you can alternate the liners based on your activities.


H.L. Mencken once described the iconic martini as ‘”the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet.”’ And, this sonnet is the unspoiled way to end your first day on the Mountain. Vail Village is full of après ski activity and we have the holiday season sneak peek at what Bol’s innovative bartender Tracy Rowland has up her sleeve for winter bevvies. “The Yuletide Martini takes inspiration from some of the brighter flavors of the holidays, and incorporates cranberry, orange and spices to evoke the feeling of holiday spirit,” says Rowland. This flavorful martini will surely warm you up on a cold afternoon and features Bombay Sapphire, a full-bodied spirit featuring exotic botanicals including almond, lemon, liquorice, juniper berries, coriander and cassia.

Heat up your later afternoon and evening in the traditional patterned Helly Hansen W Mountain Knit Sweater ($100, Vail Sports) or Helly Hansen W HH Warm Flow FZ Hoodie ($140, Christy’s Sports). And, if you are stripping down a few layers because the windows at the Red Lion are fogging up, your Helly Hansen W HH Warm Flow High Neck ½ Zip ($100, Beaver Creek Sports) baselayer’s weave directs moisture away from your skin for the ultimate in dryness and warmth.

So, we never like to send you anywhere for shopping other than the Vail Valley, but we found two awesome pieces that get a noteworthy mention. The Nau Allee Down Pullover ($300, The Mountain Goat in Breckenridge) and the Nau Randygoat Shrug ($125, The Mountain Goat in Breckenridge).

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. Email comments about this story to

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