If you’re bound for a ski holiday, take the ski lift to style before you go.
Whether you’re a whizz on the slopes or an absolute beginner, you need high-tech skiwear and accessories that won’t let you down, even if your technique does.
“There’s a reason why the best skiers and snowboarders always look so comfy and relaxed,” says Andy Barrett, Decathlon ski product trainer. They’re wearing the right gear. “If your skiwear isn’t appropriate, or perhaps not warm enough for the conditions, you may look a little silly shivering at the top of the slope,” warns Andy.
Thankfully, these days, you can hit the slopes in outerwear that’s both functional and fashionable....
The typical ski queen wardrobe has come a long way from mismatched salopettes and jacket rentals.
Turn the mountain tops into your snow-capped catwalk with our guide to looking good on – and off – the slopes.
What you’re looking for is on-piste panache.
Technical clothing is essential to withstand freezing climates – but that doesn’t mean you can’t look ice-hot.
“Make sure you adapt your skiwear to the conditions,” says Barrett. “For example, skiing in America will require much warmer clothing than skiing in Europe.
“For those who are unsure of what to buy, always seek out sound technical advice.”
Base layer thermals are the essential starting blocks for your ski wardrobe. Either go with basic neutral colours, or try bold colours and quirky prints; you don’t have to worry about them matching with anything.
Ski jackets and salopettes are the staples you can really flaunt your fashion prowess with.
For stand-out ski glamour, go for the latest animal prints or outerwear with flashes of neon.
“The trend at the moment is the brighter the better; yellows, greens and blues are currently very popular on the slopes,” Barrett says.
Later, when the stylish come out to play for apres-ski, layering is key. You’ll be hopping from snowy outdoors to bar to sweaty dance floor.
For a trend-led take on apres-ski style, try the Navajo-inspired look.
Choose big knits with shearling-lined collars, bold graphic prints and vibrant hues to brighten up your cold weather wardrobe.
Oversized knitwear that you can pull on and off easily – winter’s poncho shapes are ideal – can be worn over ribbed leggings with chunky contrasting socks or leg warmers.
Heels are a no-go when you have potential ice and snow to encounter – invest in a good snow or moon boot instead.
Famed for its wellies, Hunter has even come up with a patent-trimmed snow boot in time for ski season.
Apres-ski is the perfect excuse to overdo it with accessories, too.
Go wild with woolly hats, scarves and mittens that you can stash in your bag while you’re on the dance floor.
Skiwear - and safety - essentials
Skiwear has to be practical.
Phil Power, head of equipment at Surfdome.com, has this advice on what features to look for:
Vents: Usually placed in the arm pits (pit zips) or on the front of the jacket, these are great for days where temperatures rise.
Snow skirts: They attach your jacket to your ski pants, and are very important for keeping the snow out of your underpants. You can get removable or fully fixed varieties, so investigate whichever you prefer on the jacket you’re buying.
Zips and seams: Ensure they’re waterproof or sealed, because not all are and they can let water in.
Pockets: Those all-important ski essentials, including goggles and ski passes, need a home.
Hoods: Check to see if they have a peak, or are removable. If hoods have a faux fur trim, can you take it off so it doesn’t get wet, or can it be easily dried?
Cuffs: Make sure your jacket’s cuffs are adjustable and waterproof, and that they fit with your snow gloves.
Helmet: A good helmet could safe your life if you fall.
Worryingly, more than half of skiers rarely or never wear a helmet on the slopes, according to a recent survey.
Goggles: A necessity to see safely and clearly.