Stroll around the slopes of Winter X Games 11 and you'll pick up on certain patterns of behavior. Pinstripe, plaid, houndstooth, checkered and camo -- just to name a few.
If you haven't noticed, the best dressed folks on the hill have flipped an artistically defiant finger to Regis Philbin's monochromatic movement of yesteryear. A patterned ensemble of layers, textures, stripes and shapes has been enough to send fashion conservatives crying khaki and seeking solace in uninspiring solids for years, but this winter a new school of design has taken hold of the almighty dressing room.
Gone are the days of suiting up to keep warm, today's snow bums and bunnies want to look hot. And the brains behind the brands get the picture. They know that a chairlift line serves as quite the catwalk for much of their fashion-forward clientele and consequently, they've churned out the finest threads this side of your gramma's sewing machine.
Thanks to the likes of Burton, Volcom, Vans and Dakine, the Sopranos of snow are able to rock a pinstripe suit on the slopes if they feel so inclined. Want proof? One accessory to the runway-ready Burton Ronin line of suit style is the 2007 Cufflink Gloves which come in roasted brown or true black, feature leather palms, and come complete with yes, cufflinks. Just in case you've got to go straight from the mountain to the senior prom.
Meredith of Aspen's finest Radio Boardshop confirms that many riders of the storm are really earning their stripes.
"For men, it's the pinstripes, anything plaided or thick horizontal stripes that are really hot this year. Also, prints are now preferred over the old style of big logos. We're seeing a lot of graphic, photo-screened style patterns being used."
The ladies are layering up when they head out. The 3-in-1 jackets are a hit with the fairer sex -- which is what we call multi-stratum chic. Popular prints include Burton's Paisley Plum and Equestrian Antique in Ivory and Brown. Women with especially intrepid style might even dare pair such a patterned shell with something like Billabong's extremely refined brown herringbone Tara Business Pant.
Off the mountain the girls are piling on leggings under skirts or slipping into skinny jeans coupled with longer length shirts under hoodies and military jackets. Sort of like an onion … except they smell a lot prettier and have pink cheeks and shiny lips.
Whether it be corduroy, cotton, felted wool, suede or ever-faithful flannel, no fabric is left unturned. There's enough houndstooth out here in the Rockies to make Bear Bryant wish he was around to shred the gnar.
And if you think the refined slope style is a sign of Xers going soft, check yourself, because there is still plenty of badass to go around. For confirmation, look no further than the Electric EG1 Limited Edition Goggle that come in a Tie-Died/Orange-Blue Chrome and are enough to fill the psychedelic void left by LSD (which was legally available in the United States until 1967!).
Tie-dye, fur boas, chalked-striped parkas, buffalo plaid pinks, argyle undergarments, tapered trousers, even double-breasted coats all facilitate the fact that these kids have perfected the art of subversive sophistication.
The boys and girls of Winter X have never been faint of heart, so it shouldn't surprise you that they're not shy about what they pull out of their dresser drawers. But rest assured though, these cats still put their (plaid) pants on one leg at a time.
Mary Buckheit is a Page 2 columnist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.