Well after the huge dump of snow that the US have just received, I think we can all agree that the ski season is almost upon us. The following 3 months will see many of us heading off to the Alps to spend a week pretending that we’re James Bond, which means that our wardrobe needs to be top notch. Just because it’s below zero doesn’t mean that all style awareness has to go out of the window – Bond always looks well-dressed no matter the occasion. Even if you’re not hitting the slopes this season, you can still adopt the Apres ski look for the winter months – You don’t have to live the lifestyle to wear the uniform…. The Polar Explorer trend has been a recurring theme each season, with many designers favouring the padded jackets and chunky silhouettes that are usually favoured by the outdoor adventurers – not the fashion elite. In this week’s article we’re looking at what’s on offer for this staple trend and which are the essential items you’ll need for it.
Winter woollies are staple when it comes to apres ski, it’s the uniform of the Alps. You want chunky higher gauge knits for time spent out in the cold, a good layer of insulation. The traditional fisherman jumpers are always a good choice as well as the Nordic style knits, keeping it fairly classic but still current. The variety of designs is vast, each jumper having it’s own chain, plait or ribbed knit. Roll-necks have made a big comeback this season and this is the prime situation to wear one. In the evenings layer up with a t-shirt underneath your jumper and a lighter jacket over the top.
The most essential piece for anyone spending time outdoors in the winter, you need a good barrier between you and the chill. There are so many technical coats and jackets out there now but our favourites will always be Stone Island, CP Company, Paul & Shark and Canada Goose (available in all 6 JA stores). This season the Stone Island design team have gone all out and created the Ice Jacket, a piece which changes colour in low temperatures – made for the snow! A feather down padding is always dependable, providing insulation that will keep you feeling warm and looking snow appropriate. If you want Arctic-ready gear look to the expedition leaders over at Canada Goose, the parkas are ridiculously cozy. In the evenings swap out the heavy gear for something a little lighter in the form of a hunting jacket (AKA the lumberjack). Giving enough padding to keep you comfortable but offering a more rugged option for a casual evening in the bar.
It’s an unwritten rule that boots should be worn in extreme weather conditions, it’s the sensible thing to do. A practical, sturdy and masculine boot will keep the snow/ wet out and the heat in – don’t forget a thick pair of wool socks will help this along. Swims offer the water resistant brogue boot which is a fantastic option if you’re wandering around in the slushy remnants of snow – they are Norwegian so know rather a lot about dressing for the cold… Grenson and Dr Martens both offer a Goodyear welt on their soles, which pushes the boot’s durability and waterproof qualities making it another wise choice.
Jeans are always appropriate wherever you go so it’s safe to say that you’ll need a pair or two in your suitcase. An alternative (or extra option depending on suitcase allowance) is corduroys. A prominent style for the well-dressed skier, corduroy is a warm fabric that is highly comfortable to wear when you don’t want to be restricted to denim. For a casual kind of day, cotton-jersey trousers will fit the bill quite nicely – this is a fine example of incorporating sports luxe into your style.
You can’t go to the Alps without a superb selection of accessories. This is the environment that wooly hats and scarves were made for, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb in an apres bar without them…You loose a lot of heat from your head so trap it in with a nice beanie or bobble hat. There are some brilliant bold shades out there this season from Penfield and Polo Ralph Lauren, but if you want something a little more low key Barbour and Armani Jeans have got your back. I personally prefer a hat and scarf combination which doesn’t match exactly, but this can only work if they have one common colour.
(Penfield, Polo Ralph Lauren, Paul Smith, Barbour)