Off the Slopes

What happens when the ski boots get kicked off?


Ending the perfect day on the slopes is no easy feat. After a long day of skiing, one wants to relax, rejuvenate and finish on a good note. This is where aprés ski comes into play. French for “after ski,” the term refers to the time spent soaking in the afternoon sun at the base of the mountain, reunited with friends and having a good laugh after a long day of skiing. This laid back aesthetic includes many aspects such as specific food and drink, fashion and activities.

As defined by Oxford Languages, aprés ski is “the social activities and entertainment following a day’s skiing.” The term was coined in the Alps, during the rise of commercial skiing in the 1950s. Since then, the aesthetic associated with skiing and a day on the slopes has become something people aspire to incorporate into their lives.

Even people who don’t usually enjoy the sport of skiing have started assimilating into the culture of aprés ski. Romy Roberts, an avid skier and New York City resident, has observed an influx of people traveling to ski towns for the overall aesthetic over the sport itself. 

“I think more people have realized the fun of aprés ski and how it can be enjoyed even if skiing isn’t for you,” Roberts said. “The vibe can still be created especially when you can visit a place where it happens.”

Roberts visits Aspen, Colorado with her family frequently and it has become a trip she looks forward to not only for skiing, but for the location too.

“[Aspen is] the prettiest, most gorgeous place on earth,” Roberts said. “It is a life changing experience to go there and experience the culture, fun and lifestyle.”

All facets of aprés ski have begun translating off the slopes and into daily life, including the attire, with trends inspired by mountain wear making their way into mainstream fashion. Bright puffer jackets, chunky sweaters and patterned fleeces inspired by the mountain-wear of the 1960s have gained popularity during the wintertime in recent years. While it makes sense that heavier winter jackets would trend in the winter months, the consistent revival of mountain wear continuing to show up is something to note.

Designer brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Coach have all started incorporating the laid back, comfy-cozy vibe and post-mountain looks into their recent collections. While Louis Vuitton showcased their new collection on models skiing, Coach has featured celebrities enjoying a snowy day in New York City for a recent campaign.

In an interview with Fashion Network, Moncler designer Sandro Mandrino goes more in depth about his ski wear collection for Moncler. 

“Moncler Grenoble represents the purely sporting vocation inspired by the origins of [Moncler] in the homonymous capital of the Isère region,” Mandrino said. “Performance, technicality, comfort and lightness are the key elements.”

Outside of the high fashion world, this shift into mainstream fashion and culture has also been recognized by skiers. Nina Smith, a Paly junior who has been skiing for 14 years, recounts the adaptation she has noticed in winter fashion. 

“A lot of brands like Patagonia and that kind of style are becoming really popular especially in winter,” Smith said. “I’m noticing a lot of the clothes that skiers usually wear being worn more regularly.”

For some, the little things, such as the fashion worn at the end of a ski day, may seem unimportant, however, in the world of aprés ski, each choice is purposeful and adds to the mood. 

“People usually get hot chocolate, sit by the fire, eat warm food and put on a bunch of comfy clothes as a part of their after-ski routine,” Smith said.

Each person may spend their time differently, making the experience their own, however, the overall mood remains within the same realm.

“There’s definitely a really cozy energy after you’re done skiing,” Smith said. “It’s a really good vibe and something that you look forward to.”

Other skiers such as Elle Eggleston, a lifelong skier and resident of Aspen, echo this statement. 

There’s definitely a really cozy energy after you’re done skiing. It’s a really good vibe and something that you look forward to.”

— Nina Smith, 11

“There is definitely a more cozy and warm vibe, like curling up around a fire and laughing with friends,” Eggleston said. “It’s very social and fun but also relaxed for the end of the day.”

Not only has aprés ski grown outside of skiing with its popular fashion, but the overall aesthetic of aprés ski has grown throughout the country. Eggleston emphasizes how this vibe has recently been spreading, even outside of ski towns. 

“It’s especially interesting to see, after growing up in Aspen, how the trends that started spreading more [in Aspen] are spreading to other places,” Eggleston said. “I’ve seen more and more people adopting the trends I see at home which was not really the case a few years ago.”

Whether you get mountain passes each year or have never skied, aprés ski is a lifestyle and culture that can be integrated into your life. 

“Who wouldn’t want a comfy, social and fun end to their day on or off the slopes?” Eggleston said.

Photos by Kellyn Scheel

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