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Ask Chris Black: Can You Help Me Put Together an (Effortless) Après-Ski Look?

Photo: Cobey Arner

If you’re looking for the most powerful hair dryer or the handiest chef’s knife, those things can be easy enough to find. Other objects of desire are a little more taste-based. What’s the next status water bottle or hand wash, for instance? Chris Black is here to help in the form of a regular column. If you have a burning question about the next fanny pack or Noah rugby shirt, drop us an email with the subject line “Ask Chris” at

I couldn’t scroll through Instagram over the last week without seeing someone posting from Aspen. Your thoughts on what to wear to get après-ski style without looking like I’m trying too hard?

LOL, me neither. Where was my fucking invite?! SMH. Whether you are in Aspen, Jackson Hole, or Kitzbühel, there is nothing chic-er than a well-done après-ski look. You need to stay warm but still impress your fellow winter athletes.

Start with some classic winter boots in all black. I like this pair from Danner: super light, Vibram sole, Horween leather, Gore-Tex liner. Pair the boots with L.L.Bean’s soft, thick, navy (and machine washable!) wool socks.

Sweatpants would feel a little too casual, and cargo pants a bit too … utilitarian. Instead, go with this pair of single-wash selvedge jeans from OrSlow. Real heads know.

So far, this look is feeling a little understated. Acne’s patterned, pastel Fair Isle sweater adds some FLAIR. It’s almost guaranteed to attract a well-heeled snow bunny.

Top it off with a simple resin-coated parka from Stone Island. It’s warm without being bulky. But for goodness’ sake, take the arm patch off. Don’t embarrass me.

Of course, you will need some sunglasses. That snow is reflective! The Primo frame in quartz acetate from Los Angeles–based Dom Vetro will have you stunting in the chalet. Godspeed, and have a vin chaud for me!

I need a new pair of slippers. Preferably ones I can run outside in if need be, that will keep my feet warm and feel cozy, but don’t look like the ubiquitous moccasin style you always see. Ideas?

I got my dad, a legendary slipper-wearer, a pair of the North Face’s ThermoBall Traction Mule V in black, and he was delighted. They are cool-looking, warm, and have a proper tread on the bottom, which makes leaving the house an option.

The Haflinger GZL Leather Trim Grizzly in black would be a reliable option. The German brand has been making boiled-wool footwear for 50-plus years. (It technically calls these clogs, but their warm fabrication means they’re really more like clog-slippers.) This pair also features real foot support: The wool-covered, cork-and-latex midsoles mold to feet, making these a great alternative to Birkenstocks.

This luxurious, handmade pair is a collaboration between footwear brand Mulo and British company Hamilton and Hare, which specializes in nice basics and loungewear. The backless slippers are partially lined with plush shearling and have a rubber sole for running downstairs to grab the newspaper and macadamia-nut latte. In these, you definitely won’t be embarrassed if you run into someone you know; in fact, you may even want to run into someone you know.

While the holidays are still a recent memory, what were the best gifts you got this year?

As longtime readers of this column can probably tell, I … gulp … shop a lot. But this bad habit is a plus for my loved ones, because it means they can focus on gifting affordable essentials I will use often.

Because I am still in a giving mood, I am going to share a little secret with you, my beloved global readership: The place to find affordable workout gear is Tennis Warehouse, a no-frills website that stocks the simple (and cheap!) stuff from my favorite brand, Nike. This year, Santa (a.k.a. my mother) brought me a few Core Legend 2.0 long-sleeve shirts and a few packs of Dri-Fit Everyday Crew Socks. PRO GEAR, PRO ATTITUDE, BABY!

I also received, from Santa, a Bottoms Up vase from Hay, a brand I have mentioned many times. The amber shade will work nicely with my green marble table, and the large size seems perfect for holding my weekly haul of white lilies. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to cop designer on my dime in 2020. Why should my family suffer because of my extravagant taste?! Plus, giving is more fun than receiving.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Ask Chris: What Do I Wear for (Effortless) Après-Ski Style?