Whether you’re seriously schussing or simply styling, your success on the slopes will be determined by clothing that is functional, stylish, and comfortable.
Function. It’s all about shells. They can be layered and then peeled off, flexible for varying weather conditions. The North Face’s Glacier Pant ($185) and Patagonia’s Ice Nine Jacket ($460) are breathable and waterproof. Giro’s Nine.9 ($125) is for single-impact use, but is lightweight and ventilated, important elements for snowboarders and skiers. It has cushy molded ear pads and snap-in earflaps. The Smith Turbo CAM series of fog-free goggles ($190) features built-in, silent, electronic fans that eliminate moisture on the inner lens surface, even in extreme weather conditions.
Style. Salomon’s black space jacket ($279), Nils’ Kristine one-piece ski suit ($470), and Nils’ Marsha waterproof stretch pants ($278) or Bogner’s waterproof stretch pants ($278) are indications that ski clothing is becoming urban, taking apr├ęs ski gear way beyond the slopes. “A woman could pack only Nils for an entire weekend for daytime skiing and nighttime entertainment, and then for resort wear or on the street,” says Tricia Cosale, assistant buyer for the Princeton Ski Shops store in New York City.
Comfort. Hot Chilly’s Micro Elite Performance Warmwear separates ($47 to $56 each) win hands down for undergarment comfort and warmth for men and women. Their base layers, in white, black, and gray heather, hold in warmth, not moisture. The Rossignol Soft 1 ($549) performance boot changes skiers’ no pain, no gain attitude. Constructed with less plastic to alleviate tired, cold, and sore feet, this design does not skimp on performance.