Don’t worry about heading home for a full outfit change after your last run of the day. Just swap your ski boots for a pair of waterproof boots you can actually walk in—and pop on a beanie to cover your helmet hair. You can wear the rest of your slopeside outfit straight to the pub and fit right in everywhere from Jackson Hole to Zermatt. While well-worn fleeces may be the norm in casual ski towns in California and Vermont, après-ski attire hits its peak in places like Aspen, Colorado, and St. Moritz, Switzerland (pun very much intended).
In these resort towns, dressing practically for the weather doesn’t mean sacrificing personal style. You’ll see locals wearing European designer labels and technical brands in tandem. Staff at the St. Regis Aspen say it’s not uncommon to see people wear Perfect Moment, a French line of luxury ski wear known for its bold patterns and bright colors, alongside Ball and Buck, an American sporting brand that makes waxed cotton jackets and buffalo plaid flannel shirts.
To help you find your own après-ski style, we spoke to a few locals about après-ski attire these days in the most stylish ski towns in the United States and Europe.
Who wears it well?
St. Moritz, Switzerland
According to Barbara Granetzny-Görtz, correspondent for German fashion and lifestyle magazines, based in St. Moritz, Switzerland
Born in Germany and raised between the U.K. and Switzerland, Barbara Granetzny-Görtz has worked in the fashion industry since the early ’90s. After many years in Milan and London, she now calls tony St. Moritz her hometown.
“People wear everything from cool ski clothes to the latest runway looks,” Granetzny-Görtz says about mountain fashion. However, she says a typical St. Moritz outfit would be cashmere from locally based Cashmere House LAMM paired with Italian handmade Santoni leather boots, a long colorful scarf, and a Borsalino hat to top it all off.
This season, she’s especially excited for the new Bogner x St. Moritz capsule collection, inspired by the 1980s Alpine styles in the Swiss Engadine region. “I can already tell you after seeing so many people wearing it, it will be a hit,” Granetzny-Görtz says.
According to Lee Keating, owner of Performance Ski in Aspen and Snowmass and Tommy Bowers Ski in Vail, Colorado
Lee Keating believes Aspen has the greatest ski style in the world, and she would know: She owns three skiwear shops in Colorado that stock sleek European brands like Moncler, Frauenschuh, and Authier. One thing she’s noticed helping dress people for the slopes: The women are not afraid to show off their personal looks.
“Aspen’s an independent-thinking place, and [locals] don’t care what people think,” Keating says.
But that doesn’t mean they flout practicality or stay inside all day either. Many of her customers will buy uber-technical clothing from brands like Mammut for a day hiking Highland Bowl and then change into something more glam for a day of skiing and lunch at Ajax Tavern. (We’ve seen 10-gallon hats, fur vests, you name it.) Recently, Keating has also noticed more and more women opt for stretchy one-piece ski suits on the slopes over traditional separates.
“The black stretch suit has become the little black dress for après-ski,” Keating says. “People will wear a ski jacket over the one piece for skiing and then change to a long shearling vest for après.”
Another trend gaining speed: cropped bomber jackets—rather than traditionally oversized jackets and shells—that are functional on the slopes, stylish enough for après, and layer well over one-piece stretch suits. Perfect Moment makes a pink houndstooth version of this trendy style, while Dutch label Goldbergh designed one inspired by Mondrian’s abstract art.
For men, Aspen-based Aztech Mountain makes beautiful plaid shirts with incredibly soft brushed-cotton fabric and magnetic collars to keep out the chill that go from slopes to après to dinner.
Wild Card: Telluride, Colorado
According to Bryan Woody, general manager of Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection in Telluride, Colorado
Before Bryan Woody moved to Telluride to be the GM at the Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection, he was the COO at Spring Place, a members-only social club in New York, and skied everywhere from nearby Aspen to France’s Old World chic Megève to untouched terrain in Mongolia.
Of all those places, Telluride has the “modern après attire,” says Woody. Guests and residents at the resort’s Timber Room are upscale yet individualistic, he says, expertly pairing brightly colored sweaters, jackets, and ski sets with one-of-a-kind vintage pieces. (Imagine Ralph Lauren coming into town from his nearby Double RL Ranch outside of Telluride.)
That doesn’t mean you won’t see more laid-back styles from local boutiques. Woody says two popular spots are Crossbow Leather, known for its handmade leather goods crafted in the back of the shop, and Telluride Trappings & Toggery, which opened in 1972 under the assumption that even cowboys and hippie ski bums needed a place to buy clothes.
For more high-altitude fashion, check out these great Assouline photo books:
Buy Now: St. Moritz Chic, $95, assouline.com
Buy Now: Aspen Style, $95, assouline.com
>>Next: The AFAR Guide to Après-Ski