Hey everyone! I’m Graham. It’s currently my favorite time of the year: SKI SEASON! I live in a family with a ski-bum sister, a mom from the east coast who spends her entire ski season finding “chic” ski clothes instead of skiing, and my dad who’s ski outfit might consist of more duct tape than actual fabric. So, having seen a lot, here are my rules for what to wear out on the ski slope.
1. For the love of God, please, please don’t wear anything “designer.” When people wear Louis Vuitton ski gear, the message they send out is that they like the idea of skiing (in Aspen, because lets be real, you’ll only see this in Aspen) more than the actual activity itself. These are the people that spend more time drinking wine at the base than actually skiing. They want everyone to know that they spend stupid amounts of money on a condo and ski gear for the one weekend a year they go skiing. The goal with what you wear on the ski slopes is about telling people you’re a better skier than them, not that you’re wealthier.
Just don’t do it.
If you want a good brand name for ski gear, go with a small company that actually knows what they’re doing. Icelantic, a ski company based out of Denver, has some really cool gear that looks unique and actually functions. Flylow, a company that is currently worn by all of the best Vail locals, makes some great stuff. My sister recently got this pair of Flylow pants.
According to her, these are great. They’re warm, they’re tough, and the brand Flylow will impress all of the good skiers on the mountain. The gist of this rule is if you want to wow people with your labels, don’t go with the usual suspects. Find what the locals are wearing. The small boutique brands are much cooler than Armani or Gucci.
2. Function is above form on the mountain. That should be the first thing in your mind if you’re shopping for new ski gear. You have to remember when you’re picking gear that this stuff is going to take a beating. The worst thing you can do is spend a lot of money on some cool-looking gear, and have it all rip when you go through the trees. Make sure your gear is warm and tough before you consider buying it.
3. Don’t wear matching pants and jackets. The geekiest thing you can do is wear the full ski suit of a really complex design. When find a really cool ski jacket and the matching pants, ONLY BUY ONE. We’ve all seen that guy wearing black and orange stripes from head to toe. Don’t be that guy. Have either your jacket or your pants really stand out, and the other very simple. Or have both just be different solid colors. Don’t go for too much.
4. Learn from what the pros are wearing, but don’t wear the pros’ gear. The pro skiers are the supermodels of the ski industry. All of the companies give them next year’s clothes to wear in competitions and videos so people buy them. They’re always the best dressed skiers out there.
Here’s Tom Wallisch in his jacket from two seasons ago:
It’s awesome; it’s a really cool jacket. However, because Tom has worn it in competitions, it’s now off limits for the general public. If you wear the same gear as the pros, people will just make fun of you. And if you’ve ever fallen under a chairlift, you know getting made fun of by the people on the chairlift sucks. Don’t do it.
I wish I could get a picture for you guys, but I saw someone at the Dew Tour wearing a Hawaiian print ski jacket. I can’t remember who it was so I can’t get a picture of it for you guys, but it was really, really awesome. When that clothing line drops, from whichever brand it actually is, get on that. Just, of course, get a different one than the pros.
5. Have cool goggles. Just do it.
That should about do it for the rules. Now, check out some of my favorite gear:
1. Smith I/O Goggles: The Smith I/O goggles have been really popular. Personally, I don't care that much about having the perfect lenses for the conditions, but I know a lot of people that do. I really like the look of these I/O goggles, especially these I/Ox goggles in particular. I really like the look of the angled nose piece. Another plus to these is that you never see people wearing these goggles, always the I/O's or the I/Os's.
2. The Wrong Gear Warrior Mask: I can't stand the wind on my face while I am skiing. It just gets too cold. But a lot of the time, it's too warm to wear a fleece neck-gator. That's where this thing is perfect. It's light, it has a mesh part for your mouth and nose, and has an extremely cool Middle-Eastern look to it.
3. Flylow Work Gloves: Have you ever wanted to wear work gloves skiing like all of the really good ski bums, but they just aren't warm enough? Here's where Flylow, the company I recommended earlier, comes into play. They have the ski bum style, but actually work well as gloves on a cold day as well. I have a pair of these in black. My only issue is that they don't have wrist straps which makes it a lot less convenient to do things like text message on a chairlift.
Have a great season, everyone!
Article by Graham McLagan. Edited by Molly Mintz.