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Styles for the Slopes

A skiing break is a great New Year pick me up, incorporating a much needed adrenalin boost with calorie burning exercise.

Published on January 27th 2006.

Styles for the Slopes

A skiing break is a great New Year pick me up, incorporating a much needed adrenalin boost with calorie burning exercise. But this season there is no excuse to let your sense of style take a swift dive down a black run. Winter 2005/6 has seen designers such as Dior, Prada and Armani pay particular attention to the skiwear look producing their own lines that are a perfect fusion of function and fashion. This week we take a look at the hottest ski looks guaranteed to make you look your best both on and off-piste.

We have all seen the pictures of the stars frolicking in the snow, most recently Kate Moss in Aspen over New Year, looking sleek and chic in her black all-in-one suit, oversized sunglasses and fur hat. Not exactly practical though- there are definitely two camps for skiwear style. On one hand we have the chic Ms Moss, looking more suited to a couple of glasses of Chablis half way up a mountain, and then there is the functional look sported by dare I say it Posh Spice for once, who does look a little more suited to charging down a black run. Both looks have their merits so here’s some handy hints to achieve your perfect ski style.

Functional yet Funky:

There was a time when preparing your wardrobe for the slopes meant expensive trips to specialist skiwear shops, which often was enough to put the more novice of us off the whole ski idea even before we had stepped foot on the piste! Thankfully those days are long gone and nowadays plenty of high street retailers have jumped on the bandwagon so there is no need to spend a fortune kitting ourselves out.

The High Street is awash with reasonably priced, good quality skiwear at the moment. Some of the best ranges can be found at Marks & Spencer and George at Asda, providing the perfect antidote to overpriced leopard print all in one snow suits still sported by some poor souls on the slopes of Aspen.

Topshop's Sno range, which is sold at 17 branches across the UK, and online at www.topshop.com/sno, has improved dramatically since it was first introduced four seasons ago. It uses the latest fabric and design innovations that ensure insulation and ventilation. The pieces are lightly padded and waterproof and have fleece linings for extra warmth. Topshop's range also boasts similar features to more specialised skiwear labels, such as dedicated pockets for iPods, mobile phones and ski passes.

For a funky fusion of function and fashion try this look from Nike ACG (Hooded ski jacket, xs-l, £175; ski trousers, xs-l, £80; knitted beanie hat, s-l, £15). They have some great styles, which wouldn’t go amiss on the catwalk, never mind the piste, with bold colours, breathable fabrics and funky designs to keep even the most fashion savvy skier happy.

Apr├Ęs Ski:

For those who go skiing to be seen rather than for the adrenalin fuelled highs of the black run, (and lets face it- the après ski is usually pretty good), there is a fantastic array of not so functional winter warmers guaranteed to turn heads.

Although some say the ugg boot is on its way out, it is still an absolute must have in my winter wardrobe for the simple reason that it is the most comfortable item of footwear I have ever worn. This pair of Tibetan Gypsy Uggs are from coco ribbon (www.cocoribbon.com) and are handily reduced from £189.00 to a more reasonable £ 160.00. They provide the comfort of the traditional ugg, but with the stylish addition of a faux fur trim and side fastening toggle detail. A comfortable and chic way to stay warm off the slopes.

There are some fantastic faux fur items around this year and, although not great for skiing, they add a glamorous twist to complete that après ski look. This Khaki version is from Wallis and can still be picked up for £65 reduced from £85 at www.wallis-fashion.com, a great bargain to keep you cosy and chic on those chilly nights!

The compromise:

A great fusion of function and fashion can be found in many of the bug style, oversized sunglasses around this season. Christian Dior’s ‘Mask ski1’ style as seen on Victoria Beckham has been flying out of the shops and is as likely to be seen on the streets of Manchester as on the slopes of Val D'Isere. RRP for the Dior glasses is around £150 but for a more affordable oversized style try www.ebay.co.uk who have a massive selection at miniscule prices.

Keep protected:

Remember, even though it’s cold, the sun has still most definitely got his hat on, so slap on that high protection sun block to avoid the panda eyed, chapped lipped look. Try the selection at Clinique and Clarins for moisture rich products to keep your skin glowing with health.

So there you go, whether you are into black runs through the mountains or Black Russians by the bar, there is no excuse to look anything other than ice cool on the slopes this season. Take Care!

Kathryn Whittaker

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