Hitting the slopes in style is perhaps less of a priority than hitting the slopes at all—lift tickets ain't cheap, and neither is the gear you need to get up there. But a few important items will make any ski bunny comfortable and attractive, both on and off the slopes, regardless of how much cash you have to spend.
Start with a cute hat or helmet that will make you stand out. The classic ski bunny outfit includes the Bond-girl fur cap, possibly with ear flaps—available, if you're very, very lucky, at Double Take (321 S Guadalupe St., 820-7775). As we all know, fur is not necessarily OK in every circle these days, but some folks will excuse vintage more readily than something new. Still, old fur molts if you're not careful, and you don't want to ruin your great aunt's best Russian cap. If you want to make sure you're not offending anyone, just get something bright and different that'll keep you warm while letting your head breathe. Try the fancy-beanie selection at Maya (108 Galisteo St., 989-7590).
While it's tempting to hide your entire figure under your gear during the winter, thin layers are key for a ski bunny, because bulky hoodies and sweaters make you, in turn, look bulky. Try for thin merino wool and Capilene tee shirts, which wick away sweat and still keep you warm. You can pick up such essentials at Santa Fe Mountain Sports (1221 Flagman Way, 988-3337)—as well as a jacket with plenty of zipper pockets so you can keep your chapstick, beer money and whatever else safe and dry.
The true ski bunny will probably opt for all-white, because nothing screams "I'm totally rich" like clothing that gets dirty easily and has to be dry-cleaned. Times have changed somewhat, so feel free to add a bit of color to your outfit; just try to keep the colors in the same family. Buy pieces that fit you and still match each other, either with a similar color theme or pattern. You should also keep a spare pair of cheap gloves in your car, so you can mess around with your gear or ski rack without getting those gorgeous gloves you wear on the slopes too dirty. (Alternatively, just find a—preferably rich—man to do it.)
If you really want your outfit to match, you may have to shop around quite a bit, although there are a few places in town you can bet on for finding everything in one go. Alpine Sports (121 Sandoval St., 983-5155) has plenty of great hats, coats, boots and gloves in almost every color, including a few interesting variations if you're feeling adventurous. Plus, they've got rows and rows of cashmere tee shirts for wearing around après ski. If you can afford that kind of luxury, the ski bunny in you will definitely shine through. Both Alpine and Cottam's Ski Shop (740 Hyde Park Road, 982-0495) have helpful staff that will help keep your gear useful while allowing you the fashion license you need. REI (500 Market St., 982-3557) is also a safe bet for having a huge selection, even though they're technically not local.
Finally, make sure you can show your ski bunny gear off properly when you're done with the downhill.
Totemoff Bar and Grill at Ski Santa Fe has a nice European feel to it—the perfect place to meet Mr. Bond for a cocktail when you're good and tired.
Santa Fe Reporter