Ski Season, My Favorite Season!
Winter sports are the best sports and dressing for them is half the fun.
We should all probably thank our mothers for forcing us to carry our skis when we could barely walk, getting us up for the Blizzard bus early on weekend mornings and refusing our pleas for a warm weather vacations. That and doing the actual schelpping that comes along with raising skiers! I’m so grateful that my happy place is outside, in the snow, adrenaline keeping me warm. But even if you don’t love to wake up for fresh tracks (or enjoy excessive baggage), dressing for ski season is the most fun. Sweaters! Socks! Sporty layers! An excuse to wear color even if you would only wear black most of the time. So today, mountain get-ups. One of my very favorite things to shop for. The qualifications today are sort of simple, sort of complicated: ‘Would I actually want to wear this?’ meets ‘Is this technically sound?’. There are a billion options out there, and fit for physical activity is so personal. But finding the ski suits that scratch the fashion itch while remaining highly functional was a fun challenge. All of this is to say, today’s newsletter is a bit more personal, because that was really the only way I could narrow it down. Everything will pass the tech test, however, which will allow me to focus on color, fit style, etc. And assuming you are a bit like me - meaning you want it to work AND look good, I thought it was a safe way to put our edit together.
So bookmark this page for when you are ready for your next occasion to suit up and get out there.
Are you a Sportif or a Schickimicki?
To find your perfect set, you have to determine what your ski style is going to be (that day.) Are you going to go full sport? Or do you like a bit of fluff? It’s ok to be both. And/or change your mind, I should say. I love feeling like I’m dressed like a local and fantasizing that I’m not actually terrified to get too close to the edge of Corbet’s. But I can also be tempted with a bit of drama. The best looks lean in to their personalities. The one element they share is that the mountain is a great place to play with color, even if you usually stick to neutrals. Not only will it allow people see to you better (Safety first!!) but this is meant to be fun! Live a little. Unwind. Try a dash of neon. Or a retro block print. You’re on vacation after all (or at least your day off.)
5 Fantastic, Sporty Ski Sets
It’s hard not to giggle when you say it, no!? As you can probably infer, schickimicki is ski speak for fancy/fluffy ski gear. (Really it’s a German term for fancy shmancy but I…an American…have only heard it used in ski communities.) 10 years ago I would have said I’d wear one of these sets over my dead body. I took myself so seriously. But one of the most fun parts of getting older is getting over yourself! Now I CRAVE an overly ridiculous, gigglishly fabulous ski outfit. I mean, how can you not smile looking at these!? Best part is, these looks are all just as technical as the five above. I’m already having fun just looking at them.
I could put “ransacks internet for vintage Bogner/Spyder/Descente with vigor” on my resume. Searching for old ski gear is my meditation. Trouble is…it’s not warm. Or waterproof. So while I love love love it, you either need to size up to fit MANY base layers underneath, or save it for a silly spring skiing day. It’s not going to be your hardest working jacket.
Some good news this season, though. While I rarely find a “faux” vintage look that I like (it’s usually too obviously “inspired”), this season I found TWO! I keep coming back to this Bogner Fire + Ice set below, left. (Is it just me or is Fire + Ice better than Bogner proper lately!??!) It’s the perfect non-girly, non-chalky orange. And Perfect Moment’s dramatic 70s collar, right, is singing me a love song. Both feel like they are from the pre gore-tex era but with the benefit of keeping me 2024 levels of warm.
Some real vintage eye candy….for an April bluebird day
For the girl who wears The Row and refuses to conform to mountain style. God forbid she runs into some she knows…in lavender. :)
Here is how to remain warm and dry…while staying committed to your daily style. With a caveat.
I’ve been testing out this Arc’teryx Veilance jacket because I have been so enamored with it since it launched this fall. I even put the longer version in our coats newsletter last weekend. And let me just say, it has been absolutely amazing off the slopes. Featherweight. Super warm. Semi-dramatic shape that makes me feel like I’m not wearing a snooze puffer. I’ve been skiing long enough that I can imagine how it transitions. And I’m not sure I would choose it for my ski outfit of the season if I were choosing something that was JUST intended to be worn on piste, as they say. And this is simply because it doesn’t have the internal skirt that you can snap underneath the hem to keep snow and wind out. That being said, if you are looking for a hybrid jacket that you can wear for your entire winter off the slopes and are just going on a five-day family trip where you might only ski three or four of those, it might be worth pairing with a bib pant or tucking in your better sweater. It does, for what it’s worth, have a drawstring cord on the bottom to cinch it closed, so it won’t be totally tent like on a blustery day. It’s just SUCH a good jacket. I think fashionistas will be willing to make it work as the cost-per-wear might be the lowest of anything in this entire letter. Below, the two ways I want to wear it. <3
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NEON! COLOR EXPLOSIONS! JUST TRYYYYYY IT.
It will keep you safe. And you’ll like it more than you think you do once you are in any-ski-town-USA. When in Rome…
As you all know by now, I’m extremely sensitive to color. And neon suffers the same sad fate as bolds and pastels in the women’s activewear market. They’re always just a tad bit off in an effort to make them “feminine.” When I am looking for my neons, I want them to feel tough and outrageous. Sharp pinks. Acid yellows. Not a a chalky, pale neon yellow paired back to evergreen and faux fur. For some some reason, neon in particular seems to be hard for brands to nail down for women. For men, there are amazing options in electric blue and construction orange. For ladies, not so much. But there is always hope in an endless sea of e-commerce. And that is why you have me! I have found THREE great sets (mixing brands for the most part!) that deliver awesome, vibrant shades worth our dinero.
And five little notes that address my personal slopestyle schtick and maybe yours?
Always keep a low volume beanie in your pocket. Something small enough that it fits in your pocket all day. You might want to sit alfresco for lunch and take a break from your helmet…but you have hat hair! It’s also always a great feeling to swap out of your helmet at the end of the day. Just look for something with a compact knit and a fleece lining. You will be itchy and glad you heeded my warning. No fashion hats!
Opt for ski socks with padding. My first few days skiing after an extended break will undoubtedly leave me with bruised shins. Padded socks will help…a little? But I’ll take anything I can get.
Hestra Mittens. THESE in particular.
This sweater might be replacing my Patagonia better sweater as my top layer this winter. Especially as I am starting to lean toward insulated outerwear instead of a shell and will only need a merino turtle and a knit under my jacket. How perfect is this!? For the rest of the time too, no?! This is a size medium, fyi. I am head-over-heels for her. She is slightly scratchy, be warned. If you are sensitve to that, you’ll need a turtle or long-sleeve tee underneath. But you were going to do that anyway. And the scratchiness makes it MORE AUTHENTIC! lol.
Powder Puffs! Shout out to friend of 5 Things Jillian M. who lives in Jackson Hole and makes these brilliant little cashmere lined neckwarmers. (Full disclosure I style her campaigns but that doesn’t mean I love them any less!) I wear them in the city and on the slopes!
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Now get out there. Get moving and enjoy that crisp winter air. It will keep you young!
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