près-ski! Those two simple (yet profoundly evocative and indulgent) words — a renowned French lifestyle maxim as it were — have the capacity to instantly trigger a gentleman's wanderlust whilst fuelling his thirst for adventure, broadening the range of his sartorial nous and actively calling to arms his competitively sportive spirit.
In objective vitality a culturally malleable idiom alluding to most any pleasurable pursuit, cultural affair or social function (typically post 3pm) that follows a morning of invigorating downhill (and/or cross-country) runs en piste, both the relatively free-spirited nature and rather unpredictable ceremonial happenstance surrounding this revered holiday custom (which can include any and everything from picking up cocktails and socializing through shopping or even a leisurely afternoon passed over at a spa before venturing out for an evening of fine dining/culture) in truth makes it a rather whimsical (and oft dress-code free) sartorial endeavour that at times proves itself difficult to navigate with relative ease (not to mention sartorial aplomb) — après-ski, being rather quite fluid by definition, can mean a great many things with respects to locale, season (i.e. holidays), activity and/or tradition.
My point being is that a gentleman, whether insistent upon an afternoon of après-ski aperitifs at his favourite watering spot followed by ice skating at the nearest promenade or driven by a desire to frequent local art instillations before basking in the creature comforts of a spa, B&B or his own log cabin, should always be well-equipped to navigate both the social mores and dress code parameters awaiting him with ease and sartorial aplomb come the occasion.
Inasmuch, and while every other gentleman opts for wearing his Canada Goose parka, rugged mountain boots and perhaps (overrated?) joggers (all of which have merit in their own right mind you), I'd ask you why not bring back a touch of that old world (St. Moritz inspired) charm and retrograde elegance to your forthcoming après-ski affairs courtesy of some of the finest, most comfortable cold-weather (casual + formal) habiliments available today?
Case in point: The three inspirational ensembles highlighted below whose individual parts collectively encompass what I would deem a subtly provocative après-ski capsule wardrobe due in no small part to elected pillars purposefully curated for their versatility as well as ability to appease the pressing desires of those who typically find comfort (not to mention sartorial solace/reassurance) in the form of timeless navy blazers, velvet loafers, and rakish smoking jackets no matter the season (nor occasion) at hand.
That having been said, I'm of the firm belief that each one of these respective looks (to varying degrees) manages to tastefully marry an undercurrent of formal polish to that of the quintessentially louche and leisurely alpine spirit so as to present a noteworthy variety of eminently practical, sartorial nuanced and utilitarian wears that will feel right at home (and receive compliments aplenty en route) in any ski resort setting.
Take for example the down-filled quilted blazer/coat jacket hybrid (from winter lifestyle specialists Moncler; who are considered the golden standard of alpine attire) highlighted in the graphic below which builds upon a profoundly preppy aesthetic and practical construction with an unexpectedly streamlined element of of sartorial panache that is further bolstered by a (refashioned) timeless form (read: that of the traditionally formal navy blazer) that together deliver a wholly modern garment not merely classic and genteel in reflective appeal and enduring merit but one peerless in inherent characteristic nonchalance and styling versatility — an utterly indulgent yet performance-driven cold-weather marvel.
Speaking of the collective, it bears immediate note herewith that each respective look below champions a discernibly rakish yet approachable aesthetic that is characteristically underscored by a palpable sense of endearingly smart, luxurious appeal; One, which to some may at face value may seem perhaps too formal or stately, is nonetheless eminently comfortable and delightfully punctuated (or rather anchored down) by both the reassurance of fluid adaptability as well as a general openness to smart-casual repurposing however one sees fit.
Ranging from traditionally raffish and outright preppy through downright leisurely and understatedly sportive in styling cadences (with both classic formal tailoring essentials and a helping of contemporary luxury athleisurewear thrown in for comforting measure commingling therein), this carefully considered contemporary assemblage of stalwart winter wardrobing staples predominantly consists of wholesome garments crafted only from durable natural fibres (read: hardy wools + plush/insulating cashmeres) chosen for their insulating forms, universally flattering silhouettes, and infallible cold-weather performance.
Ergo, one would certainly not be amiss in assuming that each component makes for a profoundly functional, easy wearing, sartorially unimposing, and eminently versatile piece capable of being worn not merely in an après-ski context but in everyday (cold weather) life as well.
Extremely elegant smart-casual bridging articles of clothing is how I would actively label them, especially when one considers many were tastefully designed not solely with supreme comfort at the fore but with a desire to maximize freedom of movement in cut as well as to best accentuate most any silhouette in finish and form.
Curated for those with an affinity for always cutting a dashing figure who are non-apologetic in their dedicated pursuit of maintaining a certain level of aesthetic exceptionalism (i.e. dressing above the status quo), this is a truly timeless style edit whose steadfast universal appeal is actively underscored by an endearing sartorial permanence in utility which neither Mother Nature nor the fickle transience of any prevailing seasonal trend dare trifle with -- Jack Frost be damned.
So, here's to casting aside any persistent notion of sporting — from sunrise-through-sunset that is — a technical onesie in lieu of herewith turning your gaze upon any manner thereof the following three looks that will help you properly transform from being a speed demon (in your specialized ski attire) upon the slopes into any utterly charming and elegant gentleman of equitable style and substance no matter what awaits upon the après-ski wayside.
Proceed accordingly (and with rakish aplomb) gentlemen!
MONCLER: Rodin Blazer + Down-Filled Blazer |—| LAND'S END: Birdseye Turtleneck (or Loveless) |—|
RIVER ISLAND: Herringbone Trousers (or J. Crew) |—| KURT GEIGER: Suede Chelsea Boots (or Grenson) | — |
THE WORKER'S CLUB: Striped Merino Wool Scarf (or Moncler) |—| THE WORKER'S CLUB: Merino Wool Beanie
(or Nordstrom) |—| OLIVER SPENCER: Cable-Knit Socks |—| HARRODS Cashmere Gloves (or Ralph Lauren) |—| TIMEX: Mechanical Marlin Watch
And as luck would have it, I do believe that the 3 (three) après-ski inspired looks proffered before you today (which can form a capsule wardrobe of sorts) can most assuredly help in such a regard given they can function as a solid foundation in which to further build upon should you be of the peculiar ilk who fancies jetting of this winter for an alpine holiday with the intent of always looking your finest whether gallivanting about town apres-ski or getting a solid workout en-piste.
Each masterfully toeing the sartorial borderland between wistful formal winter wanderlust and well-merited casual practicality whilst being eminently wearable and noteworthy stars that can carry over into everyday life, it stands to reason that they certainly make for a refreshingly elegant antidote to the prototypical Fair ‘Isle and chunky parka laden contemporary ski aesthetic preferred by most skiers today.
Inasmuch, one could argue they can make for the perfect sartorial compliment to just such a historically chic occasion whose stark changes of pace and scenery demand not only a newfangled (not to mention specialized) wardrobe but also herald in the rare opportunity to test run either ones more ostentatious casual wears or too get more mileage upon those more formal garments that see wear perhaps once or twice a year otherwise (i.e. velvet dinner/smoking jacket).
And so it is with that delectable impression in mind to which I will simply part ways with you wonderful lot by (figuratively) toasting to the eternal pursuit of fixing up and looking sharp so as to always look the proper part as well as confident and worldly in all you do — to sensible sartorial self-indulgence and constant personal growth.
Credible, timeless and tasteful, this capsule wardrobe certainly does tick all requisite gentlemanly boxes in making it a fine reference point for those pinning to cut a dash whilst enjoying some (sensible) après-ski frivolities.
Cheers and safe travels gents!