To look stylish and effortless on the slopes takes a bit of planning. There’s nothing worse than looking like you’ve tried too hard – we’ve all seen people in their four or five-figure ultra-fancy outfits, really bad at skiing or refusing to try, preferring to hog the best sun-spot and not move an inch. Their more hardcore counterparts, meanwhile, are head to toe in neon, or eighties onesies, tearing down the mountain making perfect turns. Good for them. I know which I’d rather be.
Fortunately though, there’s also a middle ground. Being both a stylist and a rubbish skier causes me some angst but also puts me in the perfect position to advise. It pains me that my peers ski with style and finesse, while I’m awkward, over-thinking my moves, and I’m chicken. I broke my leg the first time on skis so I reckon I have an excuse for my fear, but since I wasn’t actually skiing at the time I’m not sure that counts.
Next month, my Rescue Remedy and I are returning to the slopes of Serre Chevalier. There’s no doubt that feeling good in what you’re wearing goes a long way, and if I’m going to tackle the reds and not be shown up by my kids, then here’s what I’d like to be wearing:
1. Lacroix Megeve ski pants and Cortina coat, at Matches. White is always chic and feminine, as long as it’s with one other colour only (preferably navy blue or black). With this set you get warmth without bulk.
2. Oakley Unisex Splice Goggle at Snow & Rock. You can go a bit wild on the goggles if you stick with block colours for your clothes. These would look great with white, above, or with all-black. They are super-comfortable and won’t mist up.
3. Bern Macon Hard Hat at Absolute Snow. I’ll be wearing a helmet. This one’s great because it’s matt (should I be talking about it’s performance?). It’s one of the least-bulky ones too, so you won’t look like you’re about to get on a motorbike.
4. Inverni Fox Fur Hat at Browns. If you’re opting for a soft hat and trying to perfect the Kate Moss look, this one’s for you. Its simple, elegant shape works on and off the slopes, year on year.
5. Ultra-light down jacket at Uniqlo. Here’s a great liner to go under any jacket and perfect on its own if you get a warm, sunny day on the slopes. Comes in a variety of colours – the inky blue is best for softening an all-black outfit and looks great with any skin tone. Underneath, you’ll need thermals. I like Icebreaker‘s base layers.
6. Sorel Winter Carnival Boot at Snow & Rock. Elle MacPherson has been papped in her Joan of Arctic ones (around £165), but did you know you can get a thoroughly decent, basic Sorel boot for £85? For off-piste warmth you really can’t beat these.
7. Vintage one-piece ski-suits, available on Etsy and Ebay. I’m not joking. Some of these are quite brilliant, if – here’s the rub – you can ski well enough to carry them off. Admittedly, I’ve picked this one because it is truly dodgy, but if I do see you in it, whizzing past, you’ll forgive a rusty skier for asking you for tips.
If I may have the last word, it has to be about après-ski. Remember, off the slopes it’s a level playing field. My post-ski look is quite another thing. I may have my moment yet.