The Rake's guide to dressing for après ski

Wherever you’re jetting off to in search of that adrenaline rush down the slopes, The Rake’s expert après-ski guide will certainly help ruffle a few feathers back at the chalet.
Gunter Sachs with wife Mirja Larsson in St. Moritz. (Photo by Rolls Press/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images).

A few post-piste steins or a restorative vin chaud are as much a part of skiing as hitting the slopes themselves. The custom dates all the way back to the 19th century, arriving shortly after the introduction of skiing as a leisurely pursuit. What began as an informal drink to warm the bones became après-ski as we know it by the time the Christiana Ski Club was founded in 1877, with history books regaling us of afternoons spent drinking aquavit and eating large, starchy dishes to reinforce the constitution. Today it is all but mandatory to down skis at 3.00pm and settle into an afternoon of mirth and merriment, with the change of pace (and location) necessitating that you slip into something slightly less cumbersome than on-piste clobber.

The aim of the game when dressing for après-ski – aside from proving your sartorial nous – is to choose layers that can be added and removed as and when needed. A down-filled gilet is precisely the sort of thing to help you traverse the path from open air bar to fireside debauchery with class. Those from the Edmund Hillary collection are tailor-made for such pursuits, taking inspiration from the classic mid-century styles worn by Sir Edmund and his 1953 expedition team. Those looking for something less technical might consider an alpaca gilet by Grenfell, or a sumptuous sheepskin body warmer by the Cromford Leather Company, either of which would look just as dashing layered over a half-zip sweater and a flannel plaid shirt.


    Reiss Smith


    November 2019


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