It’s not just about T-shirts and skiing anymore. Rocky Mountain resort communities have expanded their offerings over the years to include a wide array of opportunities, ranging from romantic dinner sleigh rides to backcountry adventure snowmobile tours. And shopping has grown up alongside it, offering something for everyone — from furs to ritzy secondhands — in the quaint mountain villages in Summit and Eagle Counties.
Just on the west side of the Continental Divide, tucked into the Snake River Valley, lies Keystone Resort and its two villages chock full of unique stores. Soft, hand-woven Alpaca sweaters are a steal at Caamanos, while finer men’s clothing is available at Gorsuch, which also has stores in Vail and Beaver Creek. Down the valley a bit, in the burgeoning town of Silverthorne, are the four phases of factory outlet stores, where buyers can pick up everything from the essentials like Levis and Dockers, to stylish duds from Liz Claiborne, J. Crew and DKNY.
Other women’s boutiques include Casual Corner and the upscale Jones New York and Jones New York Country. Men aren’t lost in the shuffle, either, with Geoffrey Beene, Izod, Hagar Clothing Co. and Nautica there for the best men’s clothing at unbeatable prices. Children’s apparel is available at Carter’s, OshKosh B’Gosh and Gap Kids, while teens can find the latest in fashion statements at Big Dogs, The Gap and Tommy Hilfiger.
Frisco is an up-and-coming town in terms of trendy places to shop. The Frisco Mountaineer features a wide array of camping, hiking and ski apparel with names from Grammici to North Face. And All Seasons Sports features ski jackets from K-2, Salomon, Spyder, Obermeyer and others.
For those looking for fashionable bargains, there’s Rags to Riches, a secondhand store where only the best clothing — from children’s play clothes to the occasional wedding gown — is selected for resale.
Just a few miles west of Frisco is Copper Mountain Resort, where the Copper Clothing Company sells logo wear by which to remember a fantastic vacation. The village there is a work in progress, with new stores opening this winter and featuring a plethora of fashions, from simple to luxe.
Breckenridge, long known for its shopping variety, has more than a few options for those in the mood to add a little fashion to their wardrobe. 126 South is among the best shops to get stylish ski outfits, while the North Face and Main Street Outlet store feature durable outdoor gear at sub-retail prices.
There are the steadfast standbys, as well, including Goods, where clothing styles for men and women are updated all the time, and Holly’s Pizzazz, a boutique where colorful, flashy clothes are sold by an owner who still loves to play dress-up.
Cutting edge teen apparel is available at Big City Blues at La Cima Mall and Tom Girl, while the younger set can get decked out at Marty’s for Kids. Another fun, whimsical store is the Joy of Sox, where anyone can proudly display their hobby on a pair of socks.
Over the pass, in Vail, you’ll find a wide array of shopping opportunities. Those looking for a bit of elegance need look no farther than Cashmere Vail, among the best places to get exquisitely soft sweaters; Skandia of Vail, which features original woolen sweaters and scarves from Europe; and Scotch on the Rockies, with its wide array of all things Scottish.
For the sports-minded, Pepi Sports offers arguably the largest array of sports clothing for all kinds of activities. And for those who aren’t quite sure if skiing is the life for them, Vail Ski Clothing Rentals is there to fill the need for warm clothing on a temporary basis.
Vail Sports, with five locations in the Eagle Valley, offers shoppers a plethora of everything fashionably hot on the market today. West of Vail, in Avon and Beaver Creek, you’ll find Blue Sage of Beaver Creek, which features a dynamic array of women's clothing, and the stylish Belle-Harney's in the Hyatt Regency. Kids can get funky hats at Brathats and everything else they need for the slopes — from Burton, The North Face, Spyder and Obermeyer — at Winterkids.
Aspen — where people write the book on fashion — features numerous designer shops along with more casual offerings. Some of the best deals, however, can be found at The Thrift Shop on Hopkins Avenue, where, oftentimes, shoppers can find name-brand items that have never been worn, but were cast off from the rich and famous.
Regardless of the fashion statement you’re trying to make, you can find what you need in the High Country shops. We suggest you start east and march west.
Jane Stebbins is a reporter for the Summit Daily News in the High Country of Colorado, where she bikes, rows, skis and hikes. She lives in Breckenridge with her husband, John, and daughter, Erin.