près-ski! Two simple words — a renowned French lifestyle maxim as it were — that upon mere mention have the ability to stoke the imagination and call into action both one's enterprising sartorial spirit and his sportive sense of adventure.
In creative essence alluding to any pleasurable affair, occasion or social activity that follows an invigorating downhill (or cross-country) skiing run, its free-spirited nature and rather undefined cultural happenstance make for what is a rather whimsical (and dress-code free) styling endeavour to say the least — après-ski, in truth, means a great many things to each and every one of us (in both style and cultural meaning).
Point being is that a gentleman, whether he is sold on an afternoon of après-ski aperitifs at a favourite watering spot to be followed by ice skating at the nearest promenade or alternatively set upon frequenting local art instillations before basking in the creature comforts that accompany retiring to enjoy some much earned R&R at a spa or perhaps his own room, should always be well equipped to sartorially (and effortlessly) navigate the social tides and après-ski activities that await off-piste during his next skiing getaway.
So, while every other gentleman opts for sporting his Canada Goose parka, rugged mountain boots and perhaps (overrated?) joggers (all of which have merit in their own right mind you), why not bring back a touch of old world charm and an inkling of genteel sartorial elegance to your après-ski affairs by means of packing (and sporting) some of the finest, most comfortable leisure and formal leaning evening livery available at your disposal.
Case in point being the following five inspirational ensembles, which collectively encompass what could be labelled as a subtly provocative après-ski capsule wardrobe whose defining parameters where curated to appease the desires of those who find comfort and sartorial solace in their timeless navy blazers, velvet loafers, and smoking jackets no matter the season at hand.
Playing on that definitive styling characterization, each one of these respective looks (to varying degrees) manages to masterfully harmonize what is a considered level of formal city polish with that of a distinctive casual-leaning alpine spirit in due course of crafting what is an eminently practical, sartorial nuanced and utilitarian aesthetic that will play off well in any ski resort setting.
Take for example the down-filled quilted blazer/jacket hybrid (from winter lifestyle specialists Moncler; who are considered the golden standard of alpine attire) highlighted below that marries what is a profoundly preppy yet practical sense of sartorial panache (gold buttons; insulated lining) with that of a (refashioned) timeless form (the formal blazer) in delivering a piece that is not merely classically genteel in its reflective appeal but near peerless in its innate characteristic nonchalance — a truly enterprising garment that few others could ever dream of matching in rakish spirit (parkas and puffers best be on high alert).
Speaking of which, it must be noted that each respective look does indeed harbour what is an underlying element of endearingly smart, luxurious appeal albeit one in which is ultimately marked and grounded by an otherwise overarching casual occasionwear purposing.
Ranging from preppy wardrobe staples through that of traditional formal tailoring essentials (with a touch of contemporary luxury athleisurewear thrown in for comforting measure), this carefully considered assemblage of stalwart winter wardrobing staples consists of garments that are all crafted from durable natural fibres (such as hardy wools and plush/insulating cashmeres) and chosen for their universally flattering neutral colour palette.
Ergo, one would certainly not be amiss in saying that they are all profoundly functional, easy to wear, stylishly unimposing, and eminently versatile pieces that are capable of being employed not merely in an après-ski context but in everyday (winter) life as well.
Extremely elegant casual clothing is how I would choose to label them, especially considering many were expressly designed with supreme comfort at the forefront of mind whilst being properly cut to maximize freedom of movement and tailored to best accentuate most any silhouette.
All that having been said, and by all accounts, if you choose to take inspiration from this style edit you can rest assuredly in knowing that you will (as consequence) have all but ensured your après-ski style never goes askew irrespective of whether you are destined for the iconically picturesque ski resorts of St. Moritz and Zermatt (Switzerland); the movie theatres of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City (Utah); the glitz and glamour of James Bond's latest alpine eatery (Ice Q restaurant) in Sölden (Austria); or the endearing modern charm and homey confines of rustic cabins resting on the pristine slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Whistler, B.C. (Canada) — essentially this capsule wardrobe is capable of transitioning you from mountain peaks to silk sheets with relative ease.
Curated for those with an affinity for always cutting a dashing figure that are non-apologetic in their dedicated pursuit of personal sartorial exceptionalism (as well as dressing above the status quo), this is a truly timeless style edit that steadfastly displays an inherent sense of universal appeal that is buoyed by an endearing sartorial levity in which neither Mother Nature nor the fickle transience of any prevailing seasonal trend dare trifle with.
Needless to say, cast aside any notion of sporting — from sunrise-through-sunset that is — a technical onesie for that of considering turning to any manner thereof the following 5 looks that will have you properly transitioning out of your specialized ski attire and cutting a most charming and elegant figure no matter what awaits on the après-ski wayside.
Proceed accordingly gentlemen!
MONCLER: Wool Down-Filled Blazer |—| LAND'S END: Birdseye Wool Turtleneck |—| TODD SNYDER: Grey Flannel Trousers |—| ARTEMIS DESIGN CO.: Smoking Loafers |—| MONCLER: Chevron Intarsia Wool Gloves + Scarf |—| SELECTED HOMME: Grey Ribbed Cashmere Beanie (or Locke & Co.) |—| MR. GRAY: Aran Knit Socks |—| TIMEX: Stainless Steel Watch
Each masterfully toeing the sartorial borderland between wistful formal winter wanderlust and well-merited casual practicality, you could certainly do far worse come the time and need to attire yourself for some après-ski frivolity.
Cheers and safe travels gents!