When packing for a trip, sometimes I just need to get pointed in the right direction. And while most of my packing decisions for a ski weekend are obvious (skis, boots, helmet, goggles, etc.,), nailing that breezy, effortlessly chic après ski vibe (so prevalent in ski towns), does take some actual thought.
I do realize, however, that there are different types of après ski scenes (and yes, let’s absolutely get technical about this). First, there’s the suuuuper legit après scene. The, I Was Here When The Lifts Opened, Skiied All Day And Am Now Enjoying A Beer By The Fire Pit, scene. Frankly, when our kids were young, that was our only après ski option. And if that’s your vibe, I’m still (roughly) following the outfit ideas outlined in my old article, Après Ski Outfits For People Who Actually Ski All Day.
And then…there’s the fancier après ski. This après ski scene is definitely more of a Scene: actual skiing is not required, but looking cute sure is…and this one frequently stumps me when getting dressed.
This year, however, we’ve actually been living in a ski town, so instead of Googling, ‘après ski outfit ideas’, I turned to my closet instead. Ignoring the sweatpants, hoodies, base layers and ski gear (aka what I wear 90% of the time), there are a few pieces I rely on when getting dressed for real.
My Go-To Outfit For Après Ski
I’ve found that my favorite après ski outfits are just basically a cute, fashion-y take on something easy and warm. For some, this means leggings and faux-fur moon boots (haha, I picture Scotti). For me, however, it’s almost always jeans and a sweater. While this formula sounds boring, the key is to make it a little exciting, in a nonchalant, not trying-too-hard kind of way.
Straight-Leg Jeans + GANNI Boots + Sherpa Jacket
This year, I’ve been wearing the heck out of this exact outfit. The boots make the jeans feel a little more fresh and modern (yet are wildly practical), and the sherpa jacket makes it special enough for a night out.
These jeans have become one of my most-worn pairs of jeans this winter. They’re AG Mari straight-leg jeans (in wash ’15 years shoreline’). They are no stranger to a big cuff, and (thanks to their slimmer fit) work equally well with snow boots as they do heeled booties. If I’m going to be walking through snow to get to the bar or restaurant, these are the jeans I wear. Fit is TTS.
For après ski, however, I like to pair my jeans with something dressier than my usual snow boots but not nearly as precarious as high-heeled boots. Enter GANNI’s chunky platform Chelsea boots.
These GANNI boots have been another wardrobe workhorse this winter. While not snow boots, I’ve found that they have really good traction, even on ice and snow, and, thanks to the thick sole, are warmer than typical leather fashion boots. I’ve been wearing these boots to modernize all of my jeans this winter, and have NOT been precious with them (as I type this, they’re currently covered in mud, thanks to a quick warming spell).
These boots will probably get my top nod for mucky spring days to come, as well as next fall and winter, too. They come in a ton of colors, but I’m partial to the green or brown. They’re on-trend and cool, and freaking perfect for après ski.
I know I keep featuring this SAM Sherpa Jacket a bunch, but I’m really impressed. It looks like a fun, furry jacket, but has serious, technical details: thumbholes, drawstring cord at waist, high collar, surprisingly windproof, etc., – I highly recommend it.
A Ski Weekend Capsule Wardrobe (Based On This Après Ski Outfit)
Once I know what I want to wear for après ski, it’s only a matter of adding my usual ski gear, and then deciding on which base layers and mid-layers to take. The base/mid-layer decision is key because if I choose well, many of these base layers and mid-layers can be mixed into my outfits off the slopes as well.
As an example, here’s a sample packing list for a ski weekend, based on my après ski outfit:
The pretty Halfdays base layers can slide under the jeans for extra warmth. In fact, the Halfdays base layer top is cute enough to wear on its own. For a night out, I’ll usually go with a sexier sweater (something off-the-shoulder, perhaps?) but for day, I’ll frequently mix in the base layer and/or mid-layer options.
Perfect Moment ski sweaters (like the white star sweater in the collage) are great examples of mid-layers that can be used on and off the slopes. They’re made from 100% merino wool, so are hardworking, warm and cute.
Shop Sherpa Jackets For Après Ski
I’m just so impressed with SAM jackets (seriously so warm, so technical, so cute), that I rounded up a few other options cute enough for après ski.
Shop Perfect Moment Ski Sweaters (For On & Off The Slopes)
Perfect Moment sweaters are almost never fully stocked; they sell out quickly, even at the end of the season. The retailers below have a few sizes still in stock. I also added a couple of sweaters from AlpNRock. They’re also a solid choice for ski sweater.
Shop Sexy Sweaters For Après Ski
I realize that “sexy” is subjective, but here are a few sweaters that I’d happily pack for après ski.
Cute Base Layers
Oh, hey, Pinners…