The skiers in Slim Aarons’ world make schussing down the mountain look super chic. That’s the fantasy version of the sport. In reality, to stay warm and dry, you have to dress for the conditions—not according to your fashion whims. It’s a challenge to bundle up in multiple layers and the proper accoutrements and not feel stiff, uncomfortable and puffy.
Dedicated, stylish skiers have mastered the art of hitting the slopes in sporty fashion, without freezing in the elements. “I started skiing when I was really little and it took my mom a lot to tuck me into all the clothes and boots,” says Yael Alkalay, the Israeli-Argentinian founder of Red Flower. “I didn’t like the hot feeling of all the layers and the general sense that I couldn’t move.” This early experience, she says, “gave me an extra appreciation for the current lightweight and form-fitting ski attire.” The latest wave of sleek, high-performance apparel is designed to trap in heat without adding bulk and improved technical fabrics help repel water and wind, with a tailored, refined effect that’s reminiscent of a ‘60s ski holiday—only now, with a dose of practicality.
Of course, high-quality skiwear is an investment. Top-notch construction, air-trapping down feathers and thermal insulation provide the most comfort but elevate the price. The best strategy: Spend on the core pieces that will serve you well—the perfect ski suits, women’s snow pants, smart ski jackets, lightweight base layers, streamlined gear—that you’ll never tire of and will last season after season.
With that in mind, we asked skilled, stylish skiers with expertise in fashion and beauty for their go-to essentials for achieving peak comfort—and chicness—on and off piste. Below, they share their favorites.
Women’s Snow Suits
Sleek Racing Stripes
“It feels really good to move in this simple, sleek, lightweight and warm one-piece,” says Alkalay. The stretchy softshell fabric has an “extra sporty edge and makes me feel like I am flying, even though I definitely am not. The materials are breathable, warm and provide the most water-wicking in my experience.”
Chic Chevron Pattern
“For a ski suit, I love Cordova,” says Lauren Gores Ireland, the co-founder of Summer Fridays who recently returned from Aspen. “There’s something about feeling 100% in a ski outfit. It’s a fun excuse for a fashion moment, as long as it’s warm.” This piece fits the bill. “It’s so chic, practical and feels great on.”
“I also love wearing ski suits from Perfect Moment,” says Ireland of the London-based brand. “I wore one on my last ski trip while taking my four-year-old son snowboarding.” For a less expensive alternative, she recommends snow suits from ASOS. “If you’re not wanting to spend so much on ski clothes but still want to feel great, ASOS has elevated and fun looks.”
Women’s Snow Pants
Insulated Ski Leggings
“For ski pants, Fusalp makes really stylish options,” says makeup artist Gucci Westman, of Westman Atelier, who skis multiple times per year. Neada Deters, the founder of Lesse, is also a fan and swears by the brand’s thermal leggings. “I usually wear all black because it it’s timeless, practical and provides a certain amount of visibility on the slopes,” she says. Westman likes the Flared Ski Pants since “the kick flare gives them a little something extra.”
Sporty Ski Pants
These are Westman’s other go-to ski pants: Elevante’s Pure Pants are known for lasting a very, very long time. The Swedish brand crafts its silhouettes for maximum movability and protection. This pair has three layers of Goretex to keep you warm and dry and to ensure it, the seams are folded, glued and sewn for extra durability.
Women’s Ski Jackets
Iconic Belted Puffer
“This Moncler jacket could not be more perfect,” says Poland-born facialist Joanna Czech of the belted quilted design, filled with 90% goose down and detailed with zippered vents and wind-resistant gaiters. Westman and Deter also obsess over the European brand. “The down jackets are incredibly durable, beautifully made and stylish,” says Westman, and Deter adds that they’re worth investing in since “the designs wear just as well off the slopes.”
For adventurous skiing, Westman goes for Elevenate’s Pure Jacket, which can handle hardy backcountry trails. The clean design has a relaxed fit and highly functional details, such as multiple pockets, zippered ventilation and protective storm hood.
Warm And Great For Layering
“Patagonia provides practical and reliable options for any conditions,” finds Deter. This quilted classic is ideal for layering—it’s warm but not bulky. The water-repellent shell and lining are made from 100% recycled and the jacket has nylon-bound elastic cuffs to seal in warmth, an adjustable drawstring hem and handwarmer pockets.
Versatile Base Layers
Cozy, Breathable Crewneck
“Helly Hansen is one of my favorite skiwear brands because of their quality, style and simplicity,” says Czech. Westman agrees, and wears this Lifa Merino crew as her first base layer. “It has a really nice fit and feels super soft against the skin,” she says.
Eye-Catching First Layer
When it comes to Bogner, Czech says, “I love their sleek, chic colors and patterns—and the quality is unbeatable.” This Beline First Layer is her go-to during ski trips. “It keeps me warm while also being more of a fashion statement.”
“Cordova base layers are incredible!” says Ireland, who swears by this seamless ribbed-knit pair with heat technology for natural insulation and a compression fit. Alkalay frequently stocks up on the brand’s basics as well. “I love the fit, variety of colors and styles and that they use ethically-sourced materials.”
Ireland wouldn’t think of going skiing without a few pairs of Bombas socks. “They make the best socks,” she says. “They’re thick and come in fun patterns.” This pair is crafted from soft, moisture-wicking wool to keep your feet comfortable in boots.
Ski Goggles And Essential Gear
“My whole family wears Poc helmets and goggles,” says Westman of the Swedish sportswear brand. “They have their own research labs dedicated to safety testing so I trust their products while skiing.” Her personal favorite pair is the Zonula Clarity Comp, which has a wide-view and is coated to prevent fog and scratches.
After wearing many helmets over the years, Alkalay settled on Goldbergh’s as her absolute favorites. “They have great safety standards and a really simple, sleek design,” she says. The Smart Ski design has a technical hardshell with a matte finish and is made from durable PVC with a padded lining and adjustable chin strap.
Ireland is obsessed with heated gloves that keep your hands warm with a rechargeable battery. “They are worth the investment if you spend a lot of time on the mountain or in a cold climate.
Snow Boots For Après-Ski
Fashionable And Functional
“Moon Boots are the best for skiing,” says Westman. “They keep your feet and toes super warm and are just fun to wear.” Ireland similarly considers the retro-classic an essential part of her ski gear. “It’s what I wore when walking through the snow—and wow—what a difference the boots made in keeping my feet warm. Game changer.”
Cozy Shearling And Suede
After a day of skiing, you’ll find Czech in her “Loro Piana cashmere sweats and these Bogner snow boots,” she says. The Italian-made Alta Badia boots have a suede and shearling exterior, wrap-around laces you can adjust to trap in the warmth and fold-out spikes to give you maximum grip on the snow.
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