Although I’ve never been skiing, I love visiting ski towns in the winter and summer. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to visit such iconic ski towns as Park City, Boulder, Vail and Mont Tremblant. No matter what ski town I visit, I always adore the alpine theming and experience – from the architecture, food options, and, of course, the après ski activities!
Après ski is the French term that refers to anything that you do after skiing. This could mean visiting a hot sauna to warm up, relaxing in the hot tub, grabbing winter-inspired cocktails with friends or just sitting by the fireplace in your ski lodge.
Most major ski towns and resorts are famous for their après ski culture and activities, even marketing these post-skiing experiences as much as the skiing itself.
Après ski culture has been around for decades and over the years, fashion trends – especially those seen in the winter months – have mirrored this ski culture. Today, après ski fashions have become synonymous with winter style, even off the slopes.
For people like me, who have never skied, après styles are a way to appreciate and even embrace skiing and other outdoor sporting activities, without having to actually participate in them. Just like my affinity for stripes, every winter I’m drawn to après ski fashions, even when I have no plans to visit a ski town that year.
From wool hats, to thick sweaters to fur-trimmed coats and boots – or really fur-trimmed anything – there’s something about the style that is cozy, welcoming and chic all at the same time. I like to think of it as the wearable form of Hygge, a Danish quality that helps you feel comfortable and content.
Nowadays, most major brands will have some form of après ski style each winter season. It’s true, that you’ll likely find more ski fashions from outdoor-focused brands like The North Face, Patagonia and LL Bean. But even classic brands like JCrew, Ann Taylor, Gap and Banana Republic usually have some ski-style options each year.
So if you’re like me and have a soft and fuzzy spot for après ski fashion, check out the great pieces below from brands that I love.
1. Ultrawarm Jacket (LL Bean) – LL Bean has some of the best jackets and coats around. I’ve literally had my LL Bean puffer coat for more than 8 years and wear it all the time!
2. UO Angelo Mock Neck Sweater (Urban Outfitters) – I love fitted sweaters, especially turtlenecks and mock turtlenecks. They are warm, slimming and classy – enough said.
3. Oh Mega Fur Pom Beanie (The North Face) – I’ve collected enough wool hats with beanies over the years, including from North Face, that I could wear a different hat every day of the week. The North Face knitted hats keep you warm and the fur pom on top is just plain fun!
4. Textured Fleece Gloves (Lululemon) – Lululemon has quickly become an iconic brand known for making quality indoor and outdoor fitness gear. Their gloves are no exception.
5. Ida Wool Socks (Nordic Socks) – After traveling to Norway and falling in love with Nordic fashions, I just had to purchase a few pairs of real Nordic socks. The styles, patterns and colors are adorable and they are so warm, they feel like sweaters for your feet.
6. Kimchi Blue Snowbunny Zip Cardigan (Urban Outfitters) – Oh my, I am a sucker for zip-up sweaters with fuzzy poms. So when I accidentally found this adorable piece at Urban Outfitters, I knew I needed to add this to my wardrobe!
7. Textured Chilled Out Leggings (Vuori) – If you haven’t tried Vuori pants and leggings – now is the time. They have so many styles for just about any activity – and they are high quality and look great on, even for my petite frame.
8. Turtleneck Tunic Sweater (Caslon Nordstrom) – Leggings are so comfy to wear, but sometimes you need a little something longer to cover your assets. Enter the tunic sweater. Years ago, I thought tunics were for only for those who just wanted to hide their booties – and they are still great for that. But tunic sweaters have really come a long way over the last few years. You can find them in many lengths, styles and materials to suit any taste and any backside.
9. Tivoli Waterproof Tall Winter Boots (Sorel Nordstrom) – Sorel boots are not only crazy stylish but they are also really warm and many are waterproof – great for walking around any ski town in the winter.
Time for a little après shopping!