Ski town fashion is all over the place. The average après party will see fancy luxury brands literally rubbing elbows with duct-taped Gore-Tex with more than a few skin tight animal prints thrown in. It’s part of the fun of sports like skiing and snowboarding — it’s not so much about the gear on your body as the smile on your face.
But there will always hot-ticket clothing and popular styles for every season and with a healthy mix of hard core mountain people living here and a worldwide clientele visiting, Whistler will always be a place where trends are established.
To get the lowdown on 2014-15’s fall/winter looks The Insider hooked up with Molly Andrew, a lifelong local and floor manager at Aritzia/TNA. According to Molly, some of this year’s hot looks are a throwback to ski towns of the Hotdog era.
ASHLEY BARKER PHOTO
“Turtlenecks are big this year,” she says. “That is a classic, but we’re seeing them a bit more oversized but still with a clean style, mostly in black and grey. Turtleneck dresses are also hot.”
Speaking of hot, staying warm is important in the mountains and so, randomly, mini-skirts seem to back this winter. “Yes,” Molly explains. “In that 60s style — high-waisted with zip pockets — and a lot of people are pairing them with thigh-high socks and Chelsea boots. Those are back.”
For actual warmth against the elements this autumn (while still looking fantastic) Molly recommends larger-style cardigans or, “Longer sweaters over pants are back,” she says. “It’s a bit questionable for me but you see it a lot.” She adds that mustardy yellow looks like the big colour for knit sweaters and, and particularly blouses.
“Also, big blanket-style scarves that you can wear as a cape or shawl. Muted colours like pale blues and burgundies or in stripes or diamond patterns.”
“For headgear, toques are classic,” Molly says, “And the TMC beanie is the quintessential Whistler toque. Faux-fur accents on hood trim and gloves is also popular and you will see some ridiculous, over the top faux-fur jackets this winter too.”
Thanks Molly! Over-the-top is never bad with ski town fashion but this post only covers styles for the Village and Valley. On-hill ski and snowboard fashion is an entirely separate beast, one that we’ll get into more as winter draws nearer. Opening day for skiing on Whistler is set for November 27,2014. Until then, get out the turtlenecks and start practicing for Après.
Whistler Village is full of great shops that carry both local and international brands. If you are looking for a particular store or brand just pop into the Whistler Visitor Centre and they’ll help you out and draw you a map.
New Clothes on the Block: Fjällräven
Life is good in the mountains but the weather can be anything but. “Fjällräven” means “arctic fox” in Swedish, honouring the small but adaptable creature that lives in some of the harshest weather on the planet. Even though the luxury brand has been around for over 50 years, Fjällräven is a newcomer to the Whistler style scene.
Always keen to try something new, The Insider was happy to test-hike a few Fjällräven garments on an autumn mushroom picking trip up near Whistler’s Ancient Cedars trail.
“Our products offer timeless designs and hard-wearing, functional materials that can withstand Whistler weather and help make the outdoors enjoyable for all.” says Fjällräven’s Nathan Dopp.
And it’s true. From kneeling in the mud to posing by waterfalls the clothing seemed comfy, durable and pretty sharp looking. Welcome to Whistler Fjällräven, I’m sure we’ll be seeing you around.
Find Fjällräven garments at Showcase Snowboards in Whistler Village or check out their website. They even have jackets with faux-fur trim!