The Rail | Going Off-Piste: How to Dress for Après-Ski
With the skiing season in full swing and winter style in abundance, it’s time to consider your ‘off the slope’ après-ski attire with this edition of The Rail. From skiing to snowboarding and the growing number of alternative winter sports, the modern ski holiday attracts a multitude of generations, groups and tastemakers. Ski attire and gear safely stowed in the chalet for tomorrow’s skiing, you shower and change, then head off into town for a taste of the nightlife.
It goes without saying then, that choosing a go-to look for ski-wear (such a trend-heavy area of the style landscape) can be a challenge for the modern gent. Europeans often favour a traditional approach, in an ode to the culture of Alpine fashion across the decades. Across the pond, old-school Americana reigns supreme, with what often becomes almost a Winter Wild West approach taking centre stage. There’s also the more modern, extreme-sport inspired school of thought, with skater-esque designs and colours invading the slopes in recent years – think Winter X-Games. Even individual resorts can have their own subtle cultures and dress codes.
For this reason, our guide disregards fleeting trends, providing instead a source of timeless, functional inspiration combined with the benefits of modern functionality and technology. Perfect for the inevitable parties and bar-culture that follows a hard days ski.
Austrian National Ski Team, Winter Olympics 1956, Cortina d’Amprezzo (top) wearing a variety of heavy-duty wool sweaters, Daniel Craig in Spectre (left) for a modern approach to après-ski (leave the Heckler & Koch VP9 at home) and Gianni Agnelli in Saint Moritz wearing all navy in heavy, warm fabrics.
Of course, looking good is always important, but the functional aspect is equally so, especially when it comes to the testing conditions of a cool mountain resort. With that being said, you’re not on an expedition, so ultra-technical apparel isn’t necessary- not for après-ski at least. What should be favoured are items that will ensure warmth, but won’t prove too stuffy during active movement. Layering also has great advantages in this environment- pile items on for a cold commute from chalet to nightlife, and remove layers as appropriate.
-Aspesi Lightweight Down Jacket in navy, £590
-John Smedley Arlington Roll Neck in grey, £260
-Danner Mountain Light Hiking Boots in brown, £297
With a navy Aspesi Lightweight Down Jacket as its centrepiece, this 007-inspired modern look allows the wearer to confidently sport warm down without the risk of resembling a lost Michelin man. The down fill of the jacket is perfect for the bar, providing warmth when needed but also releasing excess body heat after long durations of activity. A merino roll neck provides layering potential, as well as incorporating the wooden construction popular on Continental slopes. A hardwearing wool will trouser trouser comes courtesy of Jigsaw, whilst Danner supplies practical yet stylish footwear.
-HERNO Detachable-placket quilted-down coat in navy, £595
-Everlane Wool-Cashmere Rib Crew Sweater in Black, $98
-A.P.C. Petit New Standard Slim-Fit Dry Selvedge Denim Jean in navy, £145
-Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger Boots in amber, £269
For a style decidedly born in Italy, look towards HERNO and their quilted-down coat. The design gives a more modern, sporty impression, while maintaining a smart appeal- a good combination for ‘sporty’ wearing of down. Also perfect for urban winter wear, the versatility of the jacket may help to justify its somewhat hefty price tag, while an Everlane crew-neck provides a warm, solid base that can double up as the top layer of an Après-Ski outfit. Underneath we suggest a flannel shirt such as this from Sandro. A.P.C. jeans allude to the traditional winter cowboy-ish styles popular on the stateside slopes, as do Red Wing’s sturdy heritage boots.
For those of you in doubt, you can never fail with a Moncler down coat- as displayed here in this mid-1980sMoncler advert.
Winter is always a great opportunity to give your outfit more depth with a range of accessories, and ski season is no different. A well fitting beanie cap for example, is ideal for providing extra warmth as well as a touch of elegance, while a cashmere scarf fleshes out even the simplest of silhouettes, if you know how to wear it. Of course, you’ll also need thicker socks to keep those feet warm and a rich moisturiser to replenish the skin overnight.
ARKET Recycled Cashmere Beanie in grey, £45 | ARKET Recycled Cashmere Scarf in grey, £69 | Panthrella Two-Tone Knitted Socks, £15 | Feed your wind-bitten skin with a generous application of D R Harris Moisture Cream, £16.50
Technical functionality and elegant style are required in equal measure when it comes to après-ski wear. Versatility is also a bonus. There are countless trends available from all eras and locations, but avoid blindly following them- he who finds a timeless look tailored to his individual personality will always come out on top.