Aspen fashion – anything goes |

Aspen fashion – anything goes

Janet Urquhart
Full-length and accessorized goes with the leopard look. Aspen's fashion gurus say anything goes when it comes to fashion, as long as it's comfortable. (Mark Fox/The Aspen Times)

The invitation says Aspen chic. Or Aspen festive. Or Aspen formal. What should you wear?If you have to ask, it’s possible you received the invitation by mistake, but we asked a handful of the fashion-minded, just the same. Almost universally, they recommended clothes in which the wearer feels comfortable.

In Aspen, couture is often just another word for casual. When cultures collide and fleece-loving locals mingle with the international set, anything goes. “There is no such thing as Aspen formal, Aspen chic – it’s all in your mind,” said Peter Helburn, a local event planner. “My initial thought is go with the flow – wear something you’re comfortable in.”There are no rules, agreed Heidi Semrau, owner of Distractions, a boutique for women, and Imelda’s, specializing in shoes.

“It could be anything from jeans with a fancy top to a beaded gown,” she said. “We pretty much tell our clients, wear whatever you feel great in.””In Aspen, everything goes, but I’d recommend at least a clean shirt. And a good sports coat can go along way,” advised Jeff Juneau, manager at Brioni, a luxury Italian clothier. “No clogs, no baseball caps,” he added.For women looking to fit the Aspen chic bill, “fur, fringe and ponchos” was the advice at Polo Ralph Lauren.

Even when formal attire is advised, blue jeans and a jacket, with a starched white shirt and black tie, is as close as many men ever get to a tux, Helburn said.”It’s Aspen. If you go to these parties, people are dressed in everything from very casual to very sophisticated. And even the casual is sophisticated. You can wear just about anything,” Mayor Helen Klanderud said.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is

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