Book Lodging

Telluride's Dress Code

Wednesday • February 22, 2017

There is a dress code in Telluride, but it has nothing to do with ties or evening gowns. It's more like wigs and crazy costumes, and if you're spending some time here, you might want to stock up on both.

There are a whole lot of opportunities (some might even call them excuses) to dress up. Obviously, everyone wears a costume to the KOTO Halloween bash, but that's just the beginning. People put on pirate outfits for the Scallywags Ball at the Elks Club in November. Telluriders dress up according to the theme of the annual Chocolate Lovers' Fling, a benefit for the San Miguel Resource Center, whether it's the "Roaring Twenties," the "Love Boat," or even "Arabian Nights." People wear all kinds of outrageous red, white, blue (and beyond) costumes for the Fourth of July parade. During Gay Ski Week there's the White Party, and all the locals and visitors dress in white, and for the KOTO street dance on the last Friday of the ski season, everyone dresses like a pink flamingo — pink wigs, pink clothes, and pink feather boas. Basically, in Telluride, we just love to dress up; and the day that we love it the most is the last day of the ski season.  

The last day of the ski season is when we pull out all the stops and dress in our zaniest and most memorable outfits. Anything goes — from cowboy hats to hot dog costumes to wigs and retro ski jackets, and everything in between. It's been a tradition to dress up on the last day for as long as I can remember, but for the last few years there has been a unique opportunity to show off what you're wearing (or what you're not wearing) at the Pond Skim. The Pond Skim, which could more accurately be called the Pond Sink, involves a manmade body of water next to Gorrono where daring skiers and boarders try to skid all the way across. To the delight of the crowd, they often don't make it. 

Psychologists say that children dress up to feel like grownups, and the tradition behind dressing up on Halloween is to scare away the demons and spirits. But in Telluride, maybe it's just the opposite — grownups dress up to feel like kids again, and to play with their devilish side. So whatever the opportunity or the excuse, pull out the wig and the costume and have fun.