The beginner's guide to skiwear: 5 essentials for your first skiing trip

11th Jan 18 | Beauty

Hitting the slopes for the first time this year? Here's how to assemble your gear.

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You’ve chosen a trendy resort that guarantees days of pristine snow and nights of apres-ski fun, gathered your gang, found a stunning chalet and the flights are booked.

The scene is set for an awesome first skiing trip – but now the prospect of packing appears and one question remains: what do you actually wear?

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When it comes to outdoor activities in sub-zero temperatures, getting the kit right is more than just a matter of looking good (although, there’s that too, of course), which is why we’ve enlisted the help of a skiwear expert to explain the key components of a slope-ready wardrobe.

Whether you’re whooshing down red runs in Whistler, or going off-piste in Alpbach, these are the five essential items to consider when shopping for skiwear…

1. Base layers

The innermost garment in your ski outfit (apart from underwear, obviously) should be a lightweight base layer top and leggings.

“Base layers are supposed to act like a second skin, so the most important factor to consider is that they are comfortable,” explains Avril Moran, Head of Buying at Mountain Warehouse.

“Choose a fabric which is going to give you an extra layer of insulation and keep you warm, but also ideally one which has sweat-wicking properties. Even though you’re out in the snow all day you can still work up a sweat, so a fabric which keeps you dry by wicking the sweat away from your body is key.”

model wearing Sweaty Betty Vienoisserie Seamless Long Sleeve Base Layer and Seamless Ski Leggings
(Sweaty Betty/PA)

Sweaty Betty Vienoisserie Seamless Long Sleeve Base Layer and Seamless Ski Leggings, £65 each

model wearing Zakti Men's Uninterrupted Seamless Base Layer Top Dark Grey and Seamless Pants
(Zakti/PA)

Men’s Uninterrupted Seamless Base Layer Top in Dark Grey and Seamless Pants, both currently reduced to £14.99 from £29.99, Zaktiactive.com

2. Mid layers

Next comes a mid layer, which should be looser than a base layer, to allow for movement, and thicker to provide extra insulation under your ski jacket.

Zip-up fleeces and hoodies work well for this layer, and snug high collars help to keep the cold out.

Roxy Harmony Full Zip Fleece in Blue
(Roxy/PA)

Roxy Harmony Full Zip Fleece in Blue, £55, ASOS

model wearing Zakti Men's Positive Charge Blue Midlayer and Power Knee Length Shorts,
(Zakti/PA)

Men’s Positive Charge Blue Midlayer, currently reduced to £14.99 from £25), and Power Knee Length Shorts, currently reduced to £14.99 from £18, Zaktiactive.com

3. Ski jackets

Ski jackets come in many different styles, but for novice skiers, Avril recommends three key features to look out for when shopping for yours.

“The first is, make sure your jacket is snowproof to keep you protected, the second is that it is has a light padding for insulation, and the third that it comes with a snowskirt, to help prevent snow getting into your ski pants!” she explains.

“I also recommend you make sure the jacket you choose isn’t restrictive, that it fits comfortably under the arms and allows you to bend. It’s surprising how much you actually move when skiing.”

family of four wearing Mountain Warehouse Ski Outfit Packages
(Mountain Warehouse/PA)

Mountain Warehouse’s Ski Outfit Packages include a jacket, pants, hat, gloves and socks, currently reduced to from £64.99 (usually £148.95) for kids and from £89.99 (usually £190.95) for adults

Helly Hansen Women's Hooded Jacket in Purple
(ASOS/PA)

Helly Hansen Women’s Hooded Jacket in Purple, £220, ASOS


4. Ski pants

“Similar to the ski jackets, it’s important as a first-time skier or snowboarder that your ski pants are comfortable and not restrictive, to make sure you are able to bend with ease,” says Avril.

“Make sure they are also snowproof, are insulated to keep you warm, and have integrated snow gaiters to keep you comfortable and protected from getting snow inside your pant leg or in to your ski boot.”

woman wearing Zakti Women's Beat the Blizzard Coral Jacket, Women's Beat the Blizzard Ski Pants and man wearing zakti Men's Aerial Printed Ski Jacket and Black Alpine Ski Pants
(Zakti/PA)

Women’s Beat the Blizzard Coral Jacket, currently reduced to £49.99 from £79.99, and Ski Pants, currently reduced to £34.99 from £59.99; Men’s Aerial Printed Ski Jacket, currently reduced to £39.99 from £79.99, and Black Alpine Ski Pants, currently reduced to £29.99 from £59.99, Zaktiactive.com (shoes and accessories, stylist’s own)

Roxy Women's Creek Pants in Blue
(Roxy/PA)

Roxy Women’s Creek Pants in Blue, £155, ASOS

5. Accessories

“Accessories are just as important as the rest of your ski kit and should not be considered an afterthought,” Avril warns. “When it comes to hats, something made from an insulating fabric is important. Even though everyone wears a helmet on the slopes your head can still get cold, so a hat is just as important to wear underneath your helmet.

“When choosing a pair of gloves, it is also important to make sure they are made of an insulating fabric and that they have good grip, because you need to hold on to those poles pretty tight!

“Ski socks are a staple for any skier/snowboarder, as you’re on your feet most of the day,” Avril adds. “I recommend a soft, insulating fabric with flat toe seams, to avoid rubbing when you’re out on the slopes.

“When it comes to eye protection, I recommend you go for goggles over glasses. Eyes can become very tired and dry in the wind and cold – goggles will offer the warmth and protection that sunglasses won’t. It’s very important to make sure your goggles have certified UV protection as it can be very sunny at the top of the slopes, and the reflection from the snow can cause a glare.”

Roxy Women's Rockferry Printed Ski Goggles
(Roxy/PA)

Roxy Women’s Rockferry Printed Ski Goggles, £95, ASOS

Superdry Men's Glacier Snow Goggles
(Superdry/PA)

Superdry Men’s Glacier Snow Goggles, £44.99

Superdry SD Merino Snow Socks Double Pack Dark Grey
(Superdry/PA)

Superdry SD Merino Snow Socks Double Pack Dark Grey, £24.99

© Press Association 2018

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