Skiing is a challenging sport, to pack for especially. Being comfortable and warm when skiing is all about quality base layers, technical fabrics, but you also want to look stylish from first chair to après ski outfits. Friends ask me how I dress for a ski day and apres ski, and how to pack for a week skiing the Swiss Alps, so here are the details for your next downhill destination:
Ski clothing and comfort starts from the inside out. Nothing keeps you protected like technical fabric base layers tops and leggings, in fun festive colors. I also love Adea Italian lingerie base layers – easy to pack, hand wash, and lightweight. Alp N Rock ski shirts are merino wool, moisture wicking but wonderful looking, for skiing to après ski. If the forecast is super frigid, below 10, Alp N Rock’s merino wool or a SKEA mid layer are perfect, both look fabulous for après ski.
SmartWool Ski Sox, the U.S. Ski Team’s official sock, are the best, they fit well, keep me warm, dry, and on the balls of my feet so I am fast like Lindsey Vonn and bold like Bode Miller. Sure…
For outer layers, I love bright colored stylish SKEA ski jacket and metallic pants that pop in photos like skittles on snow, Also, bold colors stand out and hopefully help others skiers see me and steer clear. Skea makes gorgeous fur trimmed jackets in beautiful jewel tones, with gold and silver accessories that look plucked from the Swiss Alps.
My frivolous alpine accessory is a gangster belt with bling for my ski pants – fashion and function – it keeps my pants up (not a proponent of the boxer butt pants dragging trend) and makes me feel stylish even if it’s only seen at après ski.
Smith IO Goggles or Spy goggles are the best I have ever owned. The big lens provides super peripheral and great definition in the snow from flat light to full sun, and they look “steazy” with their reflective crystal rose finish.
My Turtlefur neck warmer is my security blanket, made in Vermont for four decades- they make Balaclavas for full face protection too. I also recommend Skida for lighter weight stylish face protection from wind and cold, and also sun – made in Vermont!
Pack a day habit. My hands get cold, occupational hazard when taking notes on chairlifts, so inside my Scott leather mittens I fire up a pair of HotHands disposable hand warmers (I have blasted through boxes of brands- these last longest and best for me).
Thin is in, so I love my Rossignol Bamboo Ski Poles. I may not always pole plant properly, it’s a work in progress, but I try to keep my light bright pretty poles visible, out in front – a sign of good form.
Best skis please! See our Top Men’s Skis Review for 2018 and Top 2018 Women’s Skis Review. I have skied on 200-centimeter skinny Dynastars to my first short shaped Atomic Betas at 155, everything from slalom, to reverse camber, even neon, and nothing compares to my Black Pearls, a girl loves her pearls from powder to hard-pack, this quiver solver ski carves, dices moguls and plows through pow and crud thanks to the rocker tip. I also love my Rossi Soul 7 HDs for pow days, they’re floaty and fun, blow through the snow like a boss, but they still carve on groomers. How far I have come since my first pair of Rossi FP 190s in Day-Glo green I mortgaged as a ski instructor in 1985.
My Rossignol Electra ski boots (not a brand manager for them – just find Rossi is making quality affordable skis and boots right now) are snug and stiff but flexible and fluffy furry inside. I plug in my $19 Seirus Ski Boot Sticks to dry my boots every night, and they’re toasty warm in the morning for me.
My ski pocket contents: Burt Bees Lipbalm with SPF, Kleenex, ID and credit card, and cell phone – in an inside pocked (batteries don’t like cold).
At Après Ski, switch from your helmet to a cute pom hat, headband, ladies can remove ski pants and don a cute après ski skirt as a cover up over longies or leggies. Guys, I love a ball cap with your favorite ski resort logo and a funny ski-themed graphic T-Shirt, like the trendy AllAboutApres ski swag our friends design, great conversation starters at the bar. See our favorite Apres Ski spots in Vail, and Best Apres Skii at Breck, and Top Apres Ski in The World
Traveling for a few day or a ski week, I bring a few black coordinates, European and simple. Black lycra travels seamlessly, coordinates easily, hides stains, and helps you blend in at the best après ski parties and restaurants, when bulky jeans don’t fit the bill.
Plan your outfits, pack two shirts or light sweaters that coordinate, a t-shirt in the event its warm and sunny spring skiing, and pants (or tights and a skirt for the ladies and a scarf to accessorize).
Always bring a swimsuit – can you say hot tub?
Finally, attitude. Skiing requires that you are in the zone – mentally, physically. Every day is different in downhill skiing depending upon conditions, weather and your whereabouts. So I minimize the mayhem with my traditions, a good night’s sleep and decent breakfast, my lucky bracelet, stretching before hitting the slopes, and happy self talk on the slopes.
Ski /Snowboard Boot Bag Checklist – Everything you need to pack for a ski week or weekend:
Ski or Snowboard Boots (in a separate compartment)
Ski Pants for colder days, Wind Pants for the warmer days
Ski Jacket for wintry conditions, Windbreaker/Shell for warmer weather
Base Layer/Long Underwear
Two Pair of Ski Socks (travel-size Tide packets to handwash if you have stinky feet)
Goggles and Sunglasses in their protective cases
Gloves/Mittens /Disposable Hand Warmer Packets
Pocket size sunscreen and lip balm
“I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.” — Coco Chanel