LEFT: Snow is coming soon but Fall Fashion is here now. RIGHT: Insider fashion consultant Molly Andrew. ASHLEY BARKER PHOTO.
From fishing lodge to logging town to ski bum hippie paradise, Whistler has continues to evolve with each new winter and these days it's a pretty cosmopolitan little place. People from all over the world come here to enjoy the beauty and adventure of the outdoors.
And (nearly) all of them wear clothes, so Whistler fashion has become a nice melting pot of influences from all over but also a place where trends can be tested and established. Technical ski and snowboard outerwear dominates the local fashion scene but there is plenty of action off the slopes too so The Insider once again hooks up with Molly Andrew, a lifelong Whistler local and a style advisor for Aritiza/TNA.
"Turtlenecks are back again for women," Molly says. "In wool mainly and plain colours –burgundy is big, light autumn browns. Lots of for earthy tones but the white trend from last summer is continuing on. I just bought a white wool turtleneck and 'winter white' is popular from here to Toronto all the way to the UK."
Molly points out that for men the turtleneck hasn't caught on. "I feel like Whistler guy's fashion doesn't change much, or not very quickly at least. Skate and snow brands dominate."
Sleeveless turtlenecks, white turtlenecks, turtleneck ponchos. Hopefully somewhere there are turtles getting royalty cheques.
Ponchos are also back in style in prints/plain colours and a variety of fabrics but mainly wool and cashmere style. "This year we are even seeing the turtleneck poncho!" Molly says. For trousers, ladies can expect a bit more legroom this season, but don't overdo it. "We're seeing cuts in between boot and bellbottom," Molly says, "denims with flares."
But don't worry moms and dads, those uber-giant snowboard pants from the 90s are still a few years away. Instead culottes, a cropped, flared, ankle-length trouser, are popular with both a high-rise or low-rise waistline. "And faux-leather or faux-suede leggings always seem to be hot."
Tie-neck blouses are in. "lots of wild prints and vibrant colours," Molly explains. "Almost 60s-inspired and you can tie or untie the neckline depending on the mood."
Autumn in the mountains means chilly temperatures and even the occasional three straight weeks of precipitation so a jacket is essential and a scarf doesn't hurt either. "Women are wearing manly coats this fall," Molly says. "Wool coats, businessman style, long with a colour in simple colours like charcoal and black. And blanket scarves remain popular, in earthy tones this year."
Scarves that double as blankets make sense for winter in the mountains.
Toques (or "beanie" if you are American) are essential Whistler headwear and the right toque is a very personal choice both Molly and Insider editor Feet Banks choose the TMC branded toques at TMC Freeriderz, a longtime Whistler ski shop.
For parties, soirées and shindigs requiring some up-dressing Molly says denim mini-skirts and suede or denim t-shirt dresses are both hot. "The dresses have square pockets, again almost like a 60s A-line, Mod style. For footwear, boots with clean lines and Chealsea boots are big even for men. Adidas Stan Smiths and Nike Air Max are the hot shoes. The Circle has the best shoes."
Retro a go-go.
And that's the fall/winter fashion scoop for 2015/16. On the slopes, Ashlen Coombs at McCoos Too says we can expect more burnt oranges and blue colours this year, with more patterns on outerwear. "Look for baggy fitting jackets with tighter pants." Ashlen says.
For kids, the hot outerwear is single print one-pieces (which helps keep them warm too). Kids don't care so much about fashion though, they like what they like so take the little ones to Fun For Kids Whistler in the Skier's Plaza or The Circle Kids on Main Street. Remember, looking good is a huge part of feeling good and feeling good is what it's all about. Happy Autumn.
Most people move to Whistler to avoid the rat race, now our kids are wearing one on the ski hill.
With over a hundred great stores in Whistler Village, shopping in Whistler can almost be considered a sport in its own right. And for outdoor clothing and gear there is no bigger event than the Thanksgiving Weekend Turkey Sale. Here comes winter, get ready.
Fashionistas: Sally, Daisy and Molly at TNA Whistler.