Choosing the right ski wear is an all important decision when you’re new to skiing as it can really affect your enjoyment whilst learning. It can be easy to get wrapped up with the ‘steezey’ image of skiing, with baggy hoodies becoming a norm in the mountains. While it looks the part, it’s just not practical when you’re starting out on the slopes. No one wants to be in soggy clothes for most of the day.
We have compiled a list of the essentials for both on the slopes and when you’re hitting the bars for some après ski to stay dry, warm and safe.
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What to wear skiing Checklist
The key thing to take note is layers and sun cream. Wear multiple layers rather than one big thick jacket will help keep you warmer in cold weather and if you get too warm you can always cool down by removing layers. Sun cream is also so important and is where a lot of people get caught out as if the sun comes out, the unprotected areas of your face will get burnt. This is more prevalent with spring skiing, but the sun can make an appearance any time and its effects are more powerful at altitude. Also as the sun's rays are reflected off the snow it makes them stronger and your skin is being hit from all directions. Most people learn the hard way and end up coming back after their trip with a panda goggle burn (i.e. the bottom of their face red). Don't be one of them!
Skiing isn't the cheapest of sports to get into, but kitting yourself out with the right stuff shouldn’t break the bank. Over time you can invest in new and cooler clothing and equipment, but when you first start out you can get everything you need fairly cheaply from reasonably priced outdoor pursuits retailers like Decathlon and Cotswolds or even pick up some hidden gems from the likes of TK Maxx. You don't necessarily need to buy everything, try borrowing kit where possible, and some shops even have ski clothing available to hire.
What to wear to après ski
For those hard-core skiers, hitting the bars straight after a day on the slopes in all their gear is the norm. But for others who want to ease into the après vibe, freshen up and then head out, we can be faced with the question of what to wear. Tied between jazzy party wear and practical clothing, the mountain weather makes it quite tricky to decide. But you can be stylish and practical at the same time! Here are our tips and essentials for boogeying it up in the mountains.
A lighter jacket - It’s good to pack a lighter jacket if your ski jacket is too bulky to carry when you take it off. Also best if it’s waterproof just in case anyone spills their drink on you!
A jumper – The perfect attire for après and if you’re feeling fancy you can always opt for a vintage style patterned ski jumper and you’ll really look the part.
Snowboots or winter boots – Functional and funky, your après shoes should see you through dancing on the tables and walking back across a piste or slippery pavement. Boots need to be warm, with a good sole so you don’t look like Bambi on ice! Timberlands or Quechua snowboots in Decathlon are great options.
Accessories - Sunglasses are a must for when the suns out and a beanie for when it is cold. A beanie is also very handy if you’re like me you get really bad helmet hair! Holding a cold beer outside also means cold hands, so bringing an extra pair of gloves is also a good idea for extra warmth during those particularly chilly months.
The late season sees T-shirt weather and even bikinis when the sun's rays are glistening over the sun terraces. For warmer weather, lighter layers and T shirts are great for when the sun is out – but remember your suncream!
All set for your ski holiday?
Hopefully you now have all you need to help you choose the right equipment for your upcoming ski trip. Essentially, you just need to make sure the clothing you wear offers sufficient protection against the elements, and keep you warm and dry. For more tips on what to take read the first ski holiday packing checklist.
You can find more information on various aspects of holiday planning in our beginner guides section. Need the perfect ski deal for your first holiday? Browse our latest ski deals.
Infographic by Amy Carpenter, Iglu Ski Graphic Designer