When the topic of fashionable skiwear is raised, it can sometimes be difficult not to conjure an image of the classic “ski bunny” in tight-fitting ski pants, a designer fur-trimmed jacket, and blingy, logo-encrusted sunglasses. Yet as those who hit the slopes every year will attest, the reality of dressing for the ski season is far more complex than just picking the newest or most expensive skiwear of the season. Functionality in skiwear is of the utmost importance when making your selection; everything from your hat to your boots has a job to do, and if even one of these pieces doesn’t perform, it can mean a long, cold, and miserable day both on and off of the slopes. The stakes are high, and it seems the bar continues to be raised. Technical fabrics and new techniques in the creation of chic high-performance skiwear leads to an improvement in the garments with each passing season. But when it comes to fashion, will this season live up to the precedent set by seasons past? The following selections from new season brands manage to tick both the fashion and function boxes, incorporate current trends, and are sure to keep you both chic and warm on the slopes for the season ahead.
If just the thought of trying to make a selection from a vast amount of new season skiwear leaves you feeling overwhelmed, you might want to make your first foray into the new season with Sweaty Betty. Sweaty Betty is a boutique UK brand that is completely dedicated to all permutations of women’s fitness gear. Their ski collection is particularly comprehensive, mixing classic ski apparel with current trends and modern cuts. Of particular note is the figure-flattering cuts of all of their jackets, trousers, and salopettes; jackets are nipped-in at the waist and flare out slightly over the hip, trousers are just ever so slightly flared at the leg, and are available in three different lengths. There is also a highly-covetable down ski gillet for warmer days that most women would likely happily wear in and about town, as well as a well thought-out, all-in-one ski suit for days when the mercury really plunges. The colours are basic, with blacks and blues making up a majority of the collection. Like their classic-modern cuts, this colour story not only mimics current trends in outerwear (the line uses a lot of cobalt blue and colour blocking), it is also created with just enough balance that it will undoubtedly stand the test of time without looking dated. Ski aficionados will also want to check out the brand’s base layers. So good looking that you would want to wear them on the outside of your gear, Sweaty Betty’s base layers again incorporate a classic motif and make it modern. The graphic fairisle and geometric prints on these base layers are joyful, and look as fantastic inside the chalet as they do under your jacket.
For skiers who may be looking to make a bolder statement, the trend of graphic and large-scale feminine prints that has been about for a few seasons appears to be ongoing. The North Face is featuring a jacket festooned with oversized grey and (very on-trend) orange flowers. Likewise, plaids are still on the scene, and there are some amazing jacket offerings from L.A.M.B and Columbia that will satiate anyone’s appetite for colour.
For many, what is even more difficult than selecting new-season skiwear is trying to put-together some aprés ski looks for the season. There are always the classics; fairisle knits, cashmere sweaters, comfortable boots, and thick, cozy socks. This season, the offerings are plentiful. If you are searching for that perfect pair of aprés ski boots, Sorel is once again at the top of the season’s wish list. From their popular Tofino fur-trimmed and fully-insulated boot (available this season in a glitter fabrication!) to their sturdy Joan of the Arctic boot, these boots are a perfect example of a harmonious combination of fashion and function; the boots lend themselves well to a dressed-down edginess that keeps your aprés ski look from appearing overworked or trying too hard.
The sweater selection for the new season aprés ski is nearly endless. Without a doubt, some of the most interesting offerings to date come from J. Crew. J Crew have a wide selection of fairisle classics with a twist, embellished and colourblocked cashmere, and winter-themed motif sweaters that are just the right balance of kitch and chic. The brand’s “Handkerchief ” and “Jewelled” fairisle sweaters in particular are aprés ski wardrobe extenders, and will work just as effortlessly with a pair of jeans and boots as they would with a skirt and heels. The brand’s new season offerings also include a stretch pant, the “Minnie”, which is yet another nod to combining function and fashion by offering both comfort and style; a sentiment that is at the very core of the aprés ski ethos.