Monthly Archives: January 2015

Style on the Slopes – here’s how

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.

Kate skiing

Kate Moss on the slopes. Image courtesy of pandathroughthelookingglass

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.

ski pants 1

Lacroix Megeve ski pants. Image courtesy of Matchesfashion


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.


Oakley Splice Goggles. Image courtesy of Snow & Rock


3. Bern Macon Hard Hat at Absolute SnowI’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.

hard hat

Bern helmet. Image courtesy of Absolute Snow.


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.  

fox hat

Inverni Fox Fur Hat. Image courtesy of Browns.


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.


Ultra light down jacket. Image courtesy of Uniqlo

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.


Sorel Winter Carnival Boot. Image courtesy of Snow & Rock


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.

ski suit

Image courtesy of F is for Fresh on Etsy

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.


Seduced by the Sales


Don’t shop the sales! Is what I normally tell people. But every rule has its exception and here’s mine. Shopping online at the very end of the sales can work. Sure, there’s not a great deal left and sizes are few and far between but that just makes it quicker and easier to sift through the dregs. In my case it also happens to be a nice distraction from doing my tax return.

Pick your top 3 websites (I’ve given suggestions at the end of this post), sort by size and see what comes up – you might just find a gem.

Here’s what I’d buy:

Isabel Marant Elmira sequin wrap skirt, now £774 at Matches (was £1,290). If your legs are your best asset, this is a winner. Worn as shown here, or with stilettos and a simple oversized knit, it’s a head-turner, dressed up or down. Note: because the waist is a wrap, it’s adjustable and comes up quite big so you can opt for a size smaller.

Elmira skirt

Image courtesy of

Ann Demeulemeester Drawstring Top, from Browns, now £70 (was £170). I can’t resist a black basic. My spring uniform is black leggings, worn with Lanvin patent flats or Nicholas Kirkwood pointy ones, with a slouchy top. This one’s great – long enough to cover the essentials, with a drawstring to make it more than a t-shirt and a boat-neck that’s kinda sexy. Easy, chic comfort.


Image courtesy of

Tabitha Simmons Byron suede ankle boots, now £372.50 at Net A Porter. I have these in black leather and hardly take them off. If I could justify having two pairs, I’d get these as well – in soft, grey suede, to wear in spring with a simple white t-shirt and old faded skinny jeans.


Image courtesy of Styloko

Bizarrely, my accounts didn’t do themselves while I was browsing. So I have to sign off. But I’ll leave you with these websites. Go forth and conquer.

Ila Spa Kundalini for a natural high

The Ila Spa Kundalini back treatment is what has led me to write this post in a zombie-like state, so it seems fitting that I share my experience. I was going to write about shopping in the sales, but after an hour of being stroked and cupped and goodness knows what (I fell asleep) I can’t even recognise myself, let alone transport my mind back to work and retail.

After the usual over-indulging at Christmas and New Year my family and I sought refuge and detoxification (in the form of yet more indulgence) at the Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa in Hampshire. It’s had a lot of press lately, thanks to celebrities staying in the tree houses which are nestled in the woodland with outdoor hot tubs.


Outside one of the Treehouse suites at Chewton Glen

The hotel is an easy trek from London (around 2 hours by car) and just a few minutes walk from the sea (20, with two small children in tow). The main hotel is vast, traditional and the interior quite bizarre (Fornasetti wallpaper with lilac banquettes and rich red carpet) but the welcome is warm, the food sensational and the spa treatments pure heaven.


Chewton Glen spa pool. Image courtesy of Relais & Chateaux

I love Ila Spa products. The ingredients are really, really pure and harvested to capture vibrational energies. Even if you don’t go for that kind of thing (which I do), they smell divine and work like a dream. I was keen to experience their treatments, to say the least.

Ila spa products

Image courtesy of

The Kundalini back treatment in fact starts at the feet, with a scrub ‘for grounding’. Then there’s a gentle massage which, rather than kneading and pummelling is more of a light sweep along the spine. The lightness of touch leads you into extreme relaxation, which is what the energy-based treatment is designed to do. The seven chakras are cupped, to flush away blockages, before warm herbal compresses are placed along the spine and I can’t really remember much else.

Except that my husband said I looked ‘wasted’ when I got back to our room and promptly booked one for himself.

We booked our stay via Mr and Mrs Smith. Kundalini Back Treatment by Ila Spa at Chewton Glen, £99 (1 hour).