Whistler offers some of the most stunning mountains and breathtaking views – not to mention world-class skiing and snowboarding. The endless mountain terrain and countless pow days attract all who visit Whistler in winter. Let’s face it, when we are up on the hill or out in the village, it is quite evident as to who is local and who isn’t based on the variety of Whistler winter fashion choices. Whistler has a rather – most definite – laid-back and practical sense of style. It’s a bit bold, but fair to say, if you plan to pack a tie or stilettos when visiting Whistler, you may be visiting the wrong town.
Pack Right: Whistler Winter Fashion Essentials for Your Trip
To help you pack for your winter vacation to Whistler, and not have a flashing arrow pointing at you spelling out “CITIDIOT” (a visitor to Whistler who normally resides in a city and refuses to leave city life while visiting a mountain town), we’ve put together some top Whistle winter fashion items, inlcuding what-to-bring and what-not-to-bring. No need to stress if you don’t have these articles, nor do you need to over-pack to compensate, there are lots of shops in Whistler Village that have them for sale.
Toques are a staple in Whistler. If you don’t know what a toque is – besides the fact that you are clearly not Canadian – you may also know it as a “hat” or “beanie”. The toque is not only critical for ear warmth, and not to mention the best “woke-up-like-this” hair accessory, but it is also the ultimate après ski attire. Helmet hair stands no ground thanks to the good ol’ toque. If you don’t have a toque, you can buy one at literally every clothing retail shop in Whistler Village: Roots, Showcase, Columbia, Aritzia, Helly Hansen or The North Face to name a few. Please note: the toque goes over top of the ears, otherwise serving no purpose related to warmth or style.
Whistler is blessed to be on the coast; however, the higher levels of moisture present many types of weather scenarios where you are likely to get wet. It’s not fun to be wet outside in the cold. To prevent putting a damper on your trip, bring a waterproof jacket – jackets with Gore-Tex are ideal. Lots of retailers in the village, such as CAN-SKI, Arc’teryx, Patagonia, etc. carry jackets with Gore-Tex and will happily assist you in finding the appropriate attire to keep you looking fashionable, warm and dry. By the way, it is a well-known Whistler winter fashion statement to wear your ski jacket to the bar, so do yourself a favour and leave the leather jacket at home.
When cruising around the village of Whistler, you will often find Blundstone boots (or a veggie alternative) on the feet of local men and women alike. There is a reason behind this madness. Just as we’ve established that Whistler winter fashion is super casual and practical, Blundstones are super casual and practical, too. What are the odds? This goes to say there are no red carpets to be strutting down in Whistler village – AKA you are safe to leave the heels at home. High heels are not practical, often lead to sprained ankles when mixed with alcohol, and ultimately prevent you from getting ‘first tracks’ and ‘last runs’. You may find yourself a casual and practical pair of Blundstones at Excess Backcountry and Escape Route. Runner up in the shoe department? You can’t go wrong with an insulated pair of Sorel winter boots.
Visitors to Whistler can be easily spotted come nightlife hour in the village. One may easily spot a visitor simply by their lack of pants and/or exposed bare legs. Here in Whistler, the evenings do not magically turn into warm summer nights in the dead of winter – sorry to disappoint. We therefore highly recommend wearing pants, looking your way ladies. Don’t own any pants? No problem. There are at least 15+ stores in the village that sell pants. You’ll thank us as you stand in line to get into the bar and once again, post-bar, when you stand in line at Fat Tony’s.
Whistler Winter Fashion Do’s and Don’ts
- Scarf: Yes but don’t wear it on the chairlift, it’ll get blown in the wind and tangled in your neighbour’s poles. Save it for village strolling.
- Gloves: Always. You don’t need to wear snow gloves or mitts in town, but a nice set of liners will keep your fingers happy.
- Rainboots: Nope. Although these service a purpose and are often “cuter” than winter boots, rubber conducts the cold leaving you with chilly feet!
- Puffy: Absolutely splurge on a nice down jacket. It will soon be your most treasured winter layer. Great for layering while skiing or wear it on its own while you wander around town.
Regardless of whatever you end up packing on your winter vacation to Whistler, we know you’ll fall in love with the mountains at first sight, just as we all do. We simply suggest the items above to help you stay warm, dry and fashionable while doing so.
Looking for ski gear specifics? We’ve got posts on that too. Check out our Whistler Ski Gear Essentials Guide to dial in your on-mountain attire, Ski Layer Guide for what to wear under your shell, or our Guide to Spring Skiing Attire – if the snow’s starting to melt (and you want a laugh).
And now that you are all packed and ready to go, discover the all the things you can do during the snowy season in our posts Whistler Winter Activities and Whistler in Winter for Non-Skiers and Boarders.