Ski ou Après Ski

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Hubby and I will be heading out for a few days of skiing in a week or two. Maybe. Hopefully. Fingers and toes crossed. We’re not making firm plans because, well, snow. Or the lack of snow, more like it. Our January weather can be unpredictable; we may have a big dump of snow one day, followed by rain, freezing rain and a big thaw the next. But I’m planning my getaway outfits just in case.

woman in white down jacket, black and white top, and black pants, smiling on a show covered lawn by a river
Après ski outfit

I won’t need to pack much. Mostly my ski wear. I have a few much needed new pieces for wearing on the trail. Hubby and I visited Bushtukah, our favourite outfitters store, in December, and he bought me my not-a-Christmas gift. New Helly Hansen Lifa ski underwear (top and bottoms), some cosy ski socks, and a gorgeous Buff neck warmer that is soft and light-weight, and can be pulled up and over my head, and even over the lower half of my face, for added warmth on those really cold days. 

I am a difficult fit when shopping for active wear. My legs are too long for many women’s pants, or long underwear, or anything on the bottom, really. And, if the pants are long enough, they are often way baggy in the rear-end and around the hips. Once, when I despaired of ever finding Gortex pants that fit, a resourceful sales clerk at Mountain Equipment Co-op suggested that I should try a men’s size small. Men’s pants are usually longer in the leg, and smaller through the hips. That worked a treat, and I wore those pants fishing and canoeing and skiing for years. She said that most women’s active outerwear is designed for the women who excel at those sports, and their body is generally shorter in the legs and more muscled through the thighs and butt than mine. But I always have good luck with Helly Hansen. Here and here are the links to the ski underwear I bought. Both tops and bottoms are currently on sale at Bushtukah.  
smiling woman sitting on a wicker chair, in black and white tee and neck-warmer, and black pants
I love my new neck warmer. It goes from ski to après ski effortlessly.
So yeah, I’m happy to have new base layer pieces, particularly bottoms that can slip easily under my jeans, as well as under my ski pants. And a top that doesn’t irritate my neck. Most of the base layer tops are mock turtlenecks with a zipper in the neck, and, ouch, that tiny zipper always leaves a big red welt on my sensitive skin. But the crew neck suits me fine. Especially with this lovely neck warmer, above, to keep my neck and chin warm and toasty.
So I’m all set for the trails. And I’ll only pack one après ski outfit, for wearing to dinner. It doesn’t need to be fancy; we won’t be staying at the Ritz. Not that there IS a Ritz where we’re going. 
two shots of a woman in white down jacket, black and white top, and black pants, smiling on a show covered lawn by a river
I love this outfit. If you see me on the streets of Ottawa this winter, I’ll probably be wearing this. 

This is what I’ll be wearing, above, after the skiing is done. My Stuart Weitzman ankle boots, my old black Vince leggings, and a black and white print Noujica long-sleeved tee which I bought over a year ago at Canopy on Richmond Road, in Ottawa. Noujica is based in Montreal, they have a small collection, design their own fabric, and I just noticed on their website that you can buy pieces from past collections. You can check out my shirt here. I’ll also throw on my new Uniqlo ultra-light down jacket. I love this jacket. It weighs next to nothing and is surprisingly warm. I like the slim cut; trust me, I do not need more “puffa” on top. Ha. And it looks great with my black and white tee, and my new black and white neck warmer, doesn’t it? Oooh… look at me mixing prints for probably the very first time. 

smiling woman in white down jacket, black and white neck warmer, blue tinted sunglasses standing in front of snow covered river
My new neck warmer off the trails

You probably haven’t noticed, but I’m trying very hard to get used to the bolder shade of lipstick I bought back in November. I utilized some lip-liner pencil today, blotted my top lip like there’s no tomorrow, and added gloss on the bottom lip. And I’m quite happy with the results. I’ve also started wearing eye make-up again. I lasted the two weeks after my cataract operation wearing nothing at all on my eyes, then wore only a bit of shadow, no eye-liner, and a teensy swish of mascara for another two weeks, but today I was full-on back to what I normally wear. I am, however, much, much more comfortable with barely there eye make-up now. Which is a good thing, I think. Makes it so much easier just to pop into the village. And I’m sure when we travel and need to be on the road, Hubby will be happy with a few minutes less waiting time in the mornings.

selfie of woman and man in cross-country ski wear on the ski trail
On the ski trail on Boxing Day

The shot above is of Hubby and me on Boxing Day, skiing our turkey and stuffing off, so to speak. I’m sporting my new neck-warmer for the first time. And my new socks and ski underwear. I laughed when I saw this selfie. Hubby’s balaclava comes up over his lower lip, and he looks a bit like a shield biting Berzerker, those ancient Norse warriors who were so fierce they bit their shields before they went into battle. He only needs a shield. Seriously, check them out here. Now tell me that didn’t make you laugh too. 

Now, I really have to finish this post. Since I began writing this morning after breakfast, I started the laundry, then went skiing for a couple of hours. It was so warm out today that most of the gorgeous snow in my shots is now mushy, or melted. The trail was icy and very quick when we started skiing, and melted almost down to the grass on the way home. I did a major butt plant side-stepping down one icy side-hill, then couldn’t get up. It’s hard when your feet and legs are uphill from the rest of you. We laughed that I had “really stuck my landing,” as they say in gymnastics. Except in my case, I landed and then was stuck there. Ha. Then after we came home from skiing, I carried on writing, had lunch, read a bunch of blogs, commented on some, read my book for a while, and finished the laundry. Now it’s late afternoon, Hubby is making dinner, and I’m still pounding away on the computer. I am nothing if not easily distracted.

That’s my serious “What the heck is going on with this thing? What button did I press?” face in the shot below. It’s very similar to my “get back to work” face that I used with recalcitrant students. So I will utilize it here to chastise myself for procrastinating this afternoon. “Sorry, Miss.”  

woman in black pants, white jacket and black and white top and neck warmer, peering into the camera lens
What the heck??
My last job today is to check out the accommodation list that Hubby left on my desk, so we can make a short list for our upcoming (hopefully, fingers crossed) ski trip… and I really have to go do that now.

But before I go I just want to say that ski or no ski, this après ski outfit is going to become my go-to outfit this winter. If you see me out and about around Ottawa, this is what I’ll probably be wearing. I think it looks great. I know I probably shouldn’t say that, but I do. 

Now… off I go.

So, how about you, my friends? Any favorite outfits you’ll be reaching for time after time this winter? Any fun activities coming up in your near future? Even if they are still hypothetical, and might not happen due to weird weather, or other circumstances not in your control? Let’s hear what you’re up to this January. 

Linking up this week with: Visible Monday#IwillwearwhatIlikeThursday Favourite Things#ShareAllLinkup.

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29 thoughts on “Ski ou Après Ski”

  1. It sure is fun to bump up your outdoor active wear look. My cross country ski clothes are pretty much the same year after year, once I got my system down. It’s not just color and fit when it comes to that stuff. The function is super important so once you get an item that works (eg. ski pants) you just wear them every time. Also, such a sport requires lots of layers and pieces ( mitts, touque, socks, layered tops, layered bottoms, and so on).How fun to get a new buff, etc. Looks great. We just got a big dump of snow in Banff so hopefully I’ll get out XC skiing this week. I’ll be wearing red and turquoise��! Happy New Year, Sue.

    1. Hubby bought me my ski pants at least ten years ago. They have a kind of silver, slippery lining that keeps heat in, and a tailored, pretty respectable looking black exterior. I've always worn black bottoms for skiing, that way jackets can be interchangeable. But you're right, ski underwear (top and bottoms), turtleneck, usually an extra light zippered fleece, then Gortex jacket, toque, neck warmer, ski socks, ski pants, two layers of mitts because I can't do gloves, sometimes with my hand warmers inserted in them…then boots. Sheesh it's a task getting dressed, isn't it?
      Last year when we went away skiing I wore my down coat in the car and forgot my ski jacket at home. I thought I'd be snookered for the whole trip since my big down coat is way too long to wear skiing. But I just added layer after layer, with a fleece vest and a fleece jacket that I brought to just laze around in. Hubby said I'd just need to ski faster to keep warm. Ha. So sympathetic!

  2. Heading from Australia to Norway next month to (hopefully) see the northern lights. This trip has involved quite a lot of wardrobe input, as ultra cold weather, ie below 10C doesn't really figure in our lives. Layers seem to be the consensus, with a proper down coat and good boots. I'm rather excited!

    1. That sounds like a wonderful trip, Julie. I'd love to visit Norway. It's amazing how warm down clothing is. And with boots that have a heavy enough sole to insulate your foot, you'll be toasty. -10°C can be beautiful, with sun and warm enough clothing. It's our favourite ski temperature because the snow is perfect. I imagine that your first taste of those temps will be a bit of a shock, though. Don't forget a warm toque; you lose most of your body heat through your head.

  3. I do hope that you'll have a lot of snow,just the way you like it,and enjoy skiing
    It is also fantastic that you could step out your doors and start skiing as well
    You have very nice outfit combination,cream (almost white) and black and some black and white graphic print….lovely. How do you keep your Stuart Weitzman ankle boots from snow and salt? Do you wax them or impregnate in other way? I try to wear something old for the snow,slush and salt conditions
    My dark,dark berry ultra light down Uniqlo coat finally came home with my son for Christmas-I was thinking about to wear it,but it looks sooo light (although my/their chocolate brown jacket is warm enough….)….I'll try it. Because,your weather conditions look more like how I've imagined Canada ( Jack London's Canada!!! ),than Frances or Leslie's Canada
    My favourite winter sport is sitting by the fire,drinking tea with rum or hot chocolate,but I've enjoyed nordic walking on snow paths-I always had the same outfit-as Lizette said-when you find something that works…..)
    Dottoressa

    1. Jack London's Canada is a far bit more north than here. But Stu and I travelled to the Yukon a few years ago and loved it. This was in July however, when the sun never went down. This time of year it barely comes up.
      You might find that really light coat is warmer than you think. I've been wearing mine in 0°C to -5°C temps with a cashmere turtleneck underneath and been plenty warm.
      My boots are waterproofed with a silicone spray, but that won't save them from slush and road salt stains. I try to clean them regularly… and should do that today. Thanks for reminding me, Dottoressa.

  4. We are having a mild winter so far, few frosts, not a lot of rain, no winds so I can only imagine what it must be like for you. I shall pick up the running today, having totally abandoned all my running for about three weeks. Fondly, I had imagined me keeping to some sort of schedule over Christmas but nah…not a bit of it. I am rather looking forward to it. Still heading towards my April 19 miler but with my usual stately pace. Skiing and I will never be, despite the urging of friends who tell me what fun it is. Including the one with the leg brace. Enjoy all the cold brightness.

  5. Happy New year Sue. You certainly seem to have picked up pace after meandering into 2019! Agree your outfit is lovely and really like the neck warmer – very versatile. Lip colour is looking good. Hope you get the snow for your trip. It sounds great. Iris

  6. Hi Sue, I may write a two part comment , as a means of testing if it’ll publish, rather than losing a long one, which has happened recently 🙂 As you know I wear pretty much the same things for our visits to Switzerland, definitely a case of “what works” It’s the same as you wear for skiing and I would wear if I skied lol … and it works perfectly for walking/hiking and just generally being out and about. Similar colours to you black, grey, white sometimes heather/ mauve. Just sooo easy! I’m contemplating buying a Uniqlo down vest in the off white shade, like your jacket … I really love your jacket as well! 🙂 However I’m trying hard to have a more disciplined approach to shopping … see , you’re such a good influence on me ! 🙂
    Yay! Looks as though it’ll publish, so I’ll continue…
    I’m wearing the same few selections/outfits from my wardrobe at the moment… enforced , unfortunately, as some fit better than others! 🙂
    It does make life easier though and they can look quite different depending on which boots, coat, jacket or scarf I wear.
    Great post, as always Sue … I hope you get perfect snow for your skiing … have fun! Looking forward to hearing about your trip.
    Rosie xxx

    1. You no doubt need a more extensive winter outdoor wardrobe than I do. At least more extensive with things that are suitable to be worn in public. When you're in Switzerland you are in places where people will actually see you. Ha. No one sees us where we go skiing, except other skiers, and the occasional local in a coffee shop. And I am usually in my ski wear and no make-up. Very freeing, though, to know exactly what one will wear everyday, since there is no other option.

  7. Oh, you had me laughing reading your post. First, hubby might have had a similar smile (grimace?) to the Berzerker, but at least he doesn't have the pointy head and is much better looking, so a saving grace there. As for your distraction yesterday, you have company. Some days I feel like my distracted ways have become an art form. Now doesn't that sound better? You're perfecting your art!

    Enjoy your skiing (love that sweater and the Buff–you look great). Sadly, my ski days ended a couple of decades ago with a torn ACL/MCL in one knee and no cartilage left in the other. Trust me, the slopes don't miss me. I once got my zipped-up jacket caught in a chairlift so that when I tried to exit at a midpoint station, I was dragged, dangling, a bit farther uphill–luckily the attendant stopped the lift–though not quickly enough–I was hanging off the ground. I couldn't stop laughing while they worked to 'undangle' me. Instead, my daughter and I will venture off this week to London and Dublin. We got a chuckle when comparing our clothing choices for the trip…black, gray and white with a few scarves to add some colour.

    1. Hubby was not impressed when I showed him the Berzerker picture, just said a sarcastic "thanks"… I still think it's hilarious.
      I've been there with the down-hill ski lift accidents. Strained my knee when Hubby's and my skis crossed one time getting off the lift, and the back of his ski carried my ski away and twisted my leg. It still bothers me. Maybe that's why we stick to Nordic skiing and mostly flat trails. Our downhill days are done. Besides the possibility of accidents, hills are too crowded, more difficult for us to access, and the lift tickets are much pricier than access to cross-country trails. Plus we can step out our door, walk up the street and ski on a snow-covered golf course for free, without driving anywhere.:)

  8. Hi Sue
    Love the mix and match, very subtle. When I'm in Ottawa for Winterlude, I'll keep my eyes open for your cheerful go-to outfit. 😉
    My winter uniform is pretty basic…due to life's curveballs, I kept my shopping very simple. I went into Marks Work Warehouse and purchased 3 sweaters… two chenille sweaters the same style but in plum & navy and another sweater in a softer plum. A new scarf from the Bay and I'm good to go!
    I hope you get the snow your dreaming for…enjoy!
    Robin

    Sent from my iPad

    Sent from my iPad

  9. The outfit is perfect!! Love the black and white colour scheme and would very much choose something similar since my wardrobe is based on black and white…gorgeous on you especially with the brighter lips. (I am learning to love red lips even though they take a few steps to look perfectly done) Hope the snow conditions are favourable for your upcoming ski trip…Winnipeg is forecast to receive 10 to 15 cm of new snow today and overnight and I can hardly wait! Heading out to visit what is hopefully going to be the world's largest snow maze…winter is here to embrace! Cheers, Alayne

    1. Thanks, Alayne. I'm still trying to get used to a darker shade of lipstick. I won't wear it all the time… too overly done for me for most days. I'd love to see that snow maze… must be a-mazing. Ha. Sorry bad pun:)

  10. Hi there.
    Read your blog but have never posted. Felt the need to throw a comment in this time – that outfit looks great! Hope your ski trip happens.

  11. Love that outfit! I'm a big fan of black and white (or ivory) and that sweater and neck warmer add just the right amount of pattern for my taste. I'd be wearing that on repeat, too!

    We have no snow. We had some in November and it lasted about 10 days and then we got rain. The weather team keeps promising snow, but nothing enough to X-country ski. We will have to go north to find some. But my DH had hand surgery in November and is still recovering, so I'm thinking this isn't our year. Hope you get snow and have a grand time!

    1. Thanks. Hand surgery does kind of jettison any ski plans. Same with Hubby's shoulder surgery a few years ago. We took to walking everywhere we could and then driving places to be able to walk somewhere different. Needs must, I guess.

  12. I actually work at a ski resort (I plan the weddings and events) so I wear apres ski clothing to the office all winter long! I must get back out on the slopes this year, though….it's been a couple of years, I worry my pants don't fit me any more! I have one of those neck buffs I got from Sahali a while back, I love it – and when I'm done on the slopes I pull it up as a headband to cover my helmet hair!

    1. That's office wear I could get behind! I'd love to have been able to wear boots and chunky sweaters to work. I guess technically I could have but would have felt a bit silly. Thanks for the tip on how to use my Buff neck warmer to cover hat head! Great idea.

  13. That's a great outfit – would stand up to a chic French ski resort! The Uniqlo down is great. We don't have Uniqlo in Scotland, so my purchases are from London, Antwerp and most recently Bordeaux. My husband and I stocked up on winter staples this September in Bordeaux on a day of 30 degree heat. It was a bit taxing trying on woollen jumpers in that heat!
    Am so envious of your XC skiing. I broke my coccyx doing XC skiing in Norway, so my skiing days are at an end – I'm not going to risk another long and painful recovery like that. So now I just watch on TV – very soothing, all those Scandinavian forests. Hope you have a great and bump free ski trip!

  14. have a great time skiing. Love the black and white outfit. My 14 yr old daughter and husband love to ski. In fact, she will blow off her friends most weekends if Dad will take her skiing. It's kind of sweet.
    x, Julie | thismainlinelife.com

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