How’s your day glowin’? |

How’s your day glowin’?

Caitlin Row
summit daily news

Torah Bright models her signature jacket for Roxy. According to The Associated Press, professional athletes such as Bright like to wear 'sleek, colorful and comfortable outfits that use technical fabrics, trendy touches and the global influences they see as they travel practically year-round in search of snow.'

SUMMIT COUNTY – For those who can remember ski clothes in the 1980s, it was bright – blindingly so.

And it’s back – Skittles-colored snow gear is in again, worn by young and sometimes even old on two planks or one. Whether donning a tomato-orange, matching two-piece ensemble, or mismatching neon tones, day-glo hues are popping up on the mountain once again. Bright outerwear has even made the jump to streetware as well – it’s worn on the mountain, in school and on the street.

Beth Pappas, an Orage ski wear sales associate, said bold colors are big this season – like blues and yellows and Rasta-themed shades. Popular trends that will likely carry over into next winter include: Solid colors, textured fabrics, longer jackets and base layers that can be extra duty year-round as street wear.

People can expect to see a lot of glacier blues and mauves in 2011, as well as more skinny pants on the slopes, Pappas added.

MacKenzie Ryan, a snowboard instructor at Golden Peak in Vail, said she’s seeing a large amount of neon day-glo colors – “Anything from the bright, hunter-orange to a 1980s lime green color. I’ve seen obscenely bright colors, and a lot of mismatching.”

She even recalls seeing some plaid jackets mimicking the flannel-shirt look.

Fun fashion on the slopes isn’t just for the average snow-junkie. Athletes like to look good, too.

Team Summit freestyle ski coach John Dowling said his team likes to wear a snowboarder-type look – “They’re having fun with their outfits,” he said.

But their outerwear can’t be too baggy or low, or it won’t be functional, Dowling added.

According to The Associated Press, professional athletes such as snowboarder Torah Bright, snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler, freeskier Sarah Burke and alpine skier Lindsey Vonn like to wear “sleek, colorful and comfortable outfits that use technical fabrics, trendy touches and the global influences they see as they travel practically year-round in search of snow.” And when Burke is competing, she likes to wear bright colors to stand out.

Regional looks

Fashion can vary regionally as well – from technical to fashionable, and everything in between.

Ryan, who spends a lot of time in both Summit and Eagle counties, said Breckenridge seems to be the epicenter of the Skittle look, with Keystone closely following. Vail’s ski and boarder population dons bring colors but seems overall to have a more toned-down look, she added.

“Visitors are also pulling one-pieces out of their closets,” Ryan said. “It looks like the 1980s.”

Pappas said remote mountain towns, such as Telluride and Crested Butte have people wearing outerwear with a backcountry focus – like technical jackets, though there are still some bright outfits seen in town. Vail and Aspen come across as more fashionable overall, and Summit County lands somewhere in between, she said.

Aspen resident and ski-enthusiast Sarah DeStefano notes that she sees lots of baggy clothes, bright colors and wide skis.

“Older generations are wearing young, hip-colored clothing,” DeStefano said. “At first glance you think they’re young, and up close they’re not.”

DeStefano also notes seeing lots of folks wearing Moncler outerwear – “This material is very shiny, it looks slippery,” she said.

The “snow bunny” look in Aspen never goes out of style, DeStefano added.

“They’re just very sexy looking,” she said. “The whole outfit matches, fur around hood, gloves match their outfit, it’s tightly fitted.”

Style trends change with the times

At the Woodward at Copper retail store – The Cage, the top-selling Woodward brand has lots of color too, including 1980s-style shades, said Kevin Lacy, a Woodward at Copper foreman. Other lines carried there – Foursquare, Oakley, Orage, Signal, Nikita – also sell cheerfully-bright looks.

“Skiers are wearing baggier, and snowboarders are going a bit tighter. Tall tees on the way out for snowboarders, but they’re still in for the skiers,” Lacy said. “A few years ago snowboarders wore the baggier clothing. Trends just change with the times.”

Lacy added that he’s seeing lots of larger sizes worn by both skiers and boarders, especially men.

“It doesn’t really matter as much what you’re wearing as in other places, they just want to have fun,” Lacy said.

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at