Dress Code: What To Wear If You’re Heading To The Slopes
Winter might be cold, dark and generally a bit miserable, but for those of us who like to strap kevlar-coated planks onto our feet and slide down hills, it’s the most eagerly anticipated time of the year. We’re talking, of course, about ski season, when the prospect of fresh snowfall – not to mention steaming mugs of glühwein and plates of lava-like molten raclette – lures throngs of thrill-seekers to the mountains for a week or two of holidaymaking.
Things are a little different this year, of course, with the ongoing pandemic forcing many resorts to remain closed and others to operate at reduced capacity or with stringent safety protocols in place. For those of us unlucky enough to be living under the strictest lockdown measures, what this means, sadly, is that it may not be possible to ski at all this season. For others, however, there is still plenty of skiing to be had. And the truncated nature of the season hasn’t stopped ski brands from delivering their usual range of new skiwear, either.
With that in mind – and with our sincerest apologies to those who are unable to make it to the slopes this time – we’ve put together five ski-ready outfits featuring some of this season’s best new winter-sports gear. Whether you’re bombing through the backcountry, carving up pistes, or just enjoying the crisp mountain air from the comfort of your chalet balcony, we’ve got you covered.
The big mountain skier
Is a black diamond run your idea of a warmup? If so, you’re going to need some serious kit to match your off-piste ambitions. Advanced skiers look to brands they can trust – and Salomon, with its decades-old reputation for designing some of the finest technical mountaineering gear, fits the bill, providing us with the padded ski jacket and trousers seen here. The same goes for Aztech Mountain, maker of the quilted gilet. Founded in 2013, it won early support from Olympic skier Mr Bode Miller, who joined the company in 2016 as its chief innovation officer. If it’s good enough for him, you can rest assured that it’s good enough for anyone.
The style-conscious skier
When it comes to skiwear, safety and functionality come first – and rightly so. But that doesn’t mean you have to abandon style altogether. Brands such as Bogner and Moncler Grenoble, the former seen here, understand how to create clothes that keep you warm and dry while also impressing the Courchevel 1850 crowd. In this case, it’s the restrained application of colour – the bright orange is a recurring motif throughout Bogner’s 2021 collection – that enlivens an otherwise monochrome outfit.
Sure, skiing downhill runs is fun. But as any seasoned skier knows, the real enjoyment starts once you’re off the slopes, your skis are stashed away and you have a glass of something warm and – ideally – fortifying in your hand. Dressing for après-ski activities needn’t require an entirely new outfit, rather just a few simple changes, so stick with the salopettes you wore earlier in the day. But your waterproof ski jacket and safety helmet are no longer necessary, so why not switch them out for a heavy flannel overshirt and a woollen beanie? As for the ski boots, we’ve replaced them with a suitably sturdy pair of Diemme hikers complete with ankle collars and set on thick rubber soles.
Burton’s [ak] range – named after the US state abbreviation for Alaska, and inspired by its rugged, unforgiving terrain – is where you’ll find the snowboarding brand’s specialist backcountry gear. This is seriously high-end stuff, designed to keep you warm and dry on long days spent charging through waist-deep powder, but there’s nothing stopping you from making it your go-to resortwear, either. The same goes for the SLX, Burton’s top-of-the-line snowboard boot. Redesigned for improved day-one comfort, the 2021 SLX is a boot that you forget all about once you put it on – and when you’re bombing through the backcountry, your clothes should be the last thing on your mind.
The weekend skier
For most of us, skiing is a once-a-year kind of activity, but if you’re lucky enough to live within striking distance of the mountains there’s nothing to stop you from stealing a few days here and there throughout the season. This outfit, then, is designed with the casual skier in mind, who’s looking for something they can ideally wear both on and off the slopes. Aztech Mountain’s Larkspur ski hoodie is cosy and has all the water-resistance you need for a day on the slopes – you can thank the nylon woven through the woollen fabric for that – and doubles up as a winter jacket for the city, too.