Stylish on the Slopes
We are in Vail this week for our annual outing with family. My first trip to Vail was 24 years ago and I felt that I had been transported into a wonderland. The charm of the village is enhanced by clear Christmas lights on trees throughout which gives a fairy tale effect. Whether walking through the village or being up on the slopes you are struck by the myriad of different ski wear. Some of the boarders look pretty – well, stereotypical of boarders. However, the variety of skiwear reflects every color in the rainbow and every personal preference. Which brought to mind my first skiing experience.
When I was seventeen and a freshman in college, I was dating someone who invited me skiing. The little college I attended in Eastern Oregon had two small ski stations within driving distance from campus, neither or which offered any rental gear. That meant that I needed to come up with my own gear. Now, being on a very tight budget, I was challenged as to how to make my money stretch as far as possible. So first of all, I had to have boots so that was purchase number one. The next most important, of course, was my outfit. I chose some navy ski pants, a beautiful white ski sweater and topped it off with a medium blue parka that really enhanced my blue eyes. By this time I was nearly out of money but still needed skis. Being quite creative, I remembered my dad having a pair of skis that he had used to ski over the mountain into the Hells Canyon on the Snake River during the winter to check on cattle he had wintering there. (Remember that I was raised on a cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon.) Now the fact that the skis were wooden and seven feet long never posed a big problem in my mind. After all, this was the days when long, straight skis were the style of the day. I took the skis to a shop and had metal edges and downhill bindings added and I was set. Of course, the reality was that even with the trend of the day being longer skis, these were nearly a foot too long for my 5’ 7” frame. That fact was born out when I found doing turns quite challenging. In the several times I skied, I never made it off the bunny slopes but I always looked good. As my husband says, “You haven’t changed!”
Based on my perusing the ski shops here, I doubt that a college student on a tight budget could buy his/her stylish outfit. Even though skis and boots can easily be rented, it would take a good chunk of the “What Not To Wear” budget to just buy the outfit. (And, let’s don’t even think about Aspen. The ski outfits pale in comparison to the ladies you see on the streets sporting in excess of six figures in furs, jewelry and purses.) That aside, if you think you would like to take up the sport, try Peter Glenn’s big sale that is held every fall. After all, part of the fun of skiing is looking great on the slopes!