The Rake Guide to Ski Style
Anyone with basic skills can swoosh down slopes, but why look basic doing it? Here, a few tips to dress fashionably and functionally for your next ski trip.
Skiing isn't just a sport, it's an art form, and what you wear is as much a part of the experience as the snow and the slopes. Ski style has evolved dramatically since the early 20th century, shifting from bulky, purely functional wear to sleek, fashion-forward outfits.
The transformation began post-1936, after Alpine skiing debuted in the Olympics, and it really took off in the midcentury as designers like Christian Dior and Emilio Pucci introduced sport lines. Brands like Obermeyer and Bogner brought technical advancements without sacrificing style, with Bogner pioneering the first stretch ski pants in 1948.
As we moved through the decades, from the slim silhouettes of the '70s and '80s to the splatter prints of the '90s and the oversized looks of the early 2000s, ski fashion became a reflection of broader fashion trends. Today, we see a rich variety in ski wear, from retro, tight-fitting ski pants to gear made from recycled fabrics by environmentally conscious brands like Helly Hansen and Patagonia. It's a vivid tapestry that mirrors our times.
When choosing a ski jacket, remember that warmth is in the details: snug-fitting collars, cuffs, and hems are key. Layering is essential, so pair your jacket with long underwear and a quilted midlayer. For pants, the right fit is paramount. If they're too long, professional alterations are worth the investment to maintain waterproofness and the correct fit over your ski boots.
In terms of accessories, don't underestimate the power of a good hat or cap for post-ski socializing. It can save you from the dreaded helmet hair and keep you warm. Handwear is equally important – mittens provide warmth, but for more dexterity, opt for gloves or even 'lobster claws'.
Color and pattern play a crucial role in ski fashion. Not only do they make a style statement, but bright colors and bold patterns can enhance visibility on the slopes, which is a crucial safety aspect. However, if your closet is predominantly black, fear not. Black has its own elegance and can be accented with colorful accessories for a touch of flair.
Lastly, while high-fashion brands do offer ski wear, remember that these are often more suited for après-ski lounging than serious skiing. Brands dedicated to ski gear offer the technical features required for the slopes.
Skiing style is about balancing function and fashion. It's about expressing your personal style while being equipped to enjoy the sport to its fullest. Whether you're carving down a mountain or enjoying a hot drink after a long day on the slopes, your outfit is a part of the experience – make it count.