They say autumn is the most beautiful time of the year because every leaf becomes a flower. So as the forests of Whistler alight in reds, oranges and yellows it's time to take a break from thinking about adventure all the time to focus on something almost as important: looking awesome while you do whatever it is you do before winter hits.
To assist us we turn, as always, to The Insider's born-and-raised local fashion correspondent Molly Andrew. Whistler is a multicultural destination resort which means the fashion here pulls influences from all over the world. As a floor manager at Aritizia/TNA, Molly sees the full spectrum of local fashion in the Village and this year she's brought in Ashlen Coombs from McCoo's to talk about what's hot on the ski hills this winter. Take it away ladies!
Molly Andrews rocking the Whistler fall look. PHOTO SIMON D'ARTOIS
"We are seeing more vibrant colours in the fall collections this year," Molly says. "Particularly with sweaters–red sweaters, pale blue sweaters, pastel pink, as well as lots of taupe and camel tones [not camel toes-editor]. And of course the autumn classic–burgundy. Cozy oversized sweaters, with a crew or turtle neck, are hot, literally, and women are wearing tighter, long sleeve turtlenecks that are great for layering."
"Lace tops are in, especially black lace; some sheer and some with underlayers. We're also seeing florals in some collections, even for fall. Black dresses or tops with sheer panels and parts are lingering as well."
Taking cues from the trees for colour and cut.
For women's pants the high-waisted mom jeans are still kicking. "They are not a skinny fit, it's a little looser look like you borrowed your mom's jeans from the 80s," Molly says. "But they fit tight perfectly in the areas that matter most–bum, waist and thighs. At Aritzia we have some from Citizens of Humanity that I think are the best. We're also seeing jeans with tiny embroidered floral patterns. One Teaspoon is the best brand for that."
Whistler is a snowy town so some form of waterproof footwear is essential, but that doesn't mean you won't see loafer shoes out there or other such fashionable items. "Skin-tight, over-the-knee boots in leather or suede are hot," Molly says. "Chelsea boots are still on trend and so are ankle high-heeled boots in a slimmer fit. Channel your inner Kimmy K."
Far Left and Right: Aritzia for the ladies. Middle: Barney Cools for the lads
Men's fashion in Whistler seems slower to change. Flannel shirts are still a hit and pants are tighter fitting, chino style with a comfortable drawstring waist. "Barney Cools is a great brand making trendy menswear that's still comfy and everyday practical," Molly says. "You can find it at The Circle. They also make the best hoodies, a pull over with the Circle graphic."
Perhaps the most important garment of the autumn is a jacket and according to Molly, bomber jackets are the go-to this year. "For both men and women, bombers are big," Molly says, "in black, navy, tan and green. There are a few different styles–puffy, shiny, some have zips on the sleeves– but it's bombers all the way. Although don't be surprised to see a lot of shearling coats this winter either and leather and suede are still strong. Some people will be rocking tweed jackets as well and anorak-style pullover jackets are really popular because they are a practical rain jacket this time of year, but also still stylish."
Jackets three ways. Change it up according to mood or weather.
The other integral Whistler garment is the toque. Molly says toques with fur and pom poms are hot (and Aritizia has lots of them) but her favourite is still the classic Whistler beanie from TMC Freeriderz. "Sometimes you just can't beat simplicity and they have almost every colour." Molly adds that both TMC and The Circle make a great "coaches jacket" that will help you fit in with all the pros.
For on mountain action Molly always reps Ripcurl. "They make great fitting women's outerwear that's plenty technical for any weather but still stylish enough for après."
But even Molly admits McCoo's manager Ashlen Coombs is the go-to expert for fresh on-mountain style. McCoo's has been outfitting Whistler skiers and snowboarders since the 1980s and has seen most styles come and go and come back a couple times over.
"For outerwear we have a lot of earthy tones like blues, maroons and forest green," Ashlen says. "But we are also seeing earthy prints like smoke, trees, flowers and waves. Rip Curl is using photographs of BC Ferries waves from the Vancouver Island route and even a stunning image from local photographer Eric Eichberger! We're also seeing flashback gear with some 80s-inspired prints from Armada and a full denim set-up from Oakley, in his and hers."
Ashlen points out that the big changes this year are in goggles. "Everyone is stepping up their game. Oakley has a new prizm lens and a heated google, Smith has brought their chromopop tech into their winter goggles, Spy's Happy lens is still amazing, Dragon is out with a new Transitions lens, and Anon's Magnet series is really hot."
[Editors note– Feet Banks, the author of this post, would like to point out that locally owned goggle/helmet company Sandbox also has an awesome all-weather lens that was designed and tested right here in Whistler. The googles look great too.]
Yes, you can get stoked for snow. Winter is coming.
For children, Whistler has a few great options. Fun for Kids is the one-stop shop for on-mountain anything, sweaters and boot, including Blundstone boots and The Circle Kids has enough cool stuff to keep any kid happy.
And that's the latest fashion advice from Whistler to see you into the snow season. Perhaps the best thing about shopping in Whistler is the options are almost endless across the stores and there's bound be something to suit anyone's personal style. Time to hit the stroll. Have fun.
Fall is absolutely the best time to come to Whistler for retail therapy, with summer gear on sale as shops destock and pre-season sales on winter gear at the same time – not to mention dining deals and happy hours to with post-shopping recovery. It all comes to a head around The Turkey Sale & Whistler Ski and Board Swap happening over Thanksgiving – check out Whistler.com for more info on the weekend.