The Ski Wear Guide
Glistening slopes, fresh alpine air and picturesque scenery; there’s everything to look forward to when it comes to a skiing holiday. But with an avalanche of clothing and equipment to consider, packing can feel like an uphill struggle. Whether it’s your first time on the slopes or you’re a seasoned pro, get kitted out for your next mountain adventure with the help of our handy ski wear checklist.
There are plenty of things to consider when choosing a ski jacket - waterproofing, warmth, breathability and integrated technologies, not to mention style, fit and colour. Key elements to look out for are a snow skirt (see below The Ski Wear Glossary) and plenty of pockets to keep your lift pass and phone handy. Leading luxury brands such as Peak Performance, Bogner, M. Miller and Spyder will cater for all your practical needs. For a jacket that will transition from slopes to city, try Fendi.
Whether you prefer to cruise pristine powder off-piste, carve tracks down black runs, or even show off your skills in the snow park, ease of movement is key when choosing ski trousers or salopettes. If you have a short jacket, you might want to consider a high-waisted pair that will protect your back should you slip over. Generally speaking, more wobbly first timers are best off opting for fully waterproof styles. Zipped ankles that go over your boots are a must for all.
Skiing, like any other sport, can be a sweaty business, but a good base layer will keep you dry and comfortable by wicking moisture away from your skin. Boasting high-performance design and sparkling Swarovski embellishment, M. Miller’s base layers are a super-chic option. Peak Performance, meanwhile, is ideal for those who covet a more minimalist look.
Whether you’re relaxing in the chalet, or gliding down a mountain, midlayers are essential to every skier’s wardrobe. Designed to sit comfortably under your ski jacket without restricting movement, a midlayer traps in vital body heat, keeping you warm on the inside whilst looking cool on the outside. Turn to brands like Spyder and Bogner for bold colour palettes and eye-catching prints or Fendi to stay chic.
A well-fitted helmet is a key piece of equipment. As well as providing protection, it will keep your head super-warm and look good, too. Make sure it fits snugly and offers decent ventilation. Kask proves you needn’t sacrifice style for safety.
Goggles or Sunglasses
From glaring sunlight to swirling blizzards, a good pair of goggles or sunglasses will shield your eyes from the elements and filter out damaging ultra-violet rays. Always choose lenses that are scratch-resistant, anti-fogging and 100% UVA/UVB protected.
It may be cold up in the mountains, but the sun is extremely strong at altitude and the rays reflect off snow. Cover up with Clarins Sun Control Stick to prevent UV damage and those tell-tale goggle marks. Ideal for carrying around in your pocket, it’s especially developed for very exposed parts of the face, such as the nose, lips and ears.
A Down Jacket
Once you’ve ditched your wet gear for the day, don a thick down jacket to stave off the chill. Channel a vintage vibe with one of Pyrenex’s puffers, or opt for urban chic with a must-have Canada Goose parka.
A warm hat is a must for any skiing holiday. Even if you prefer to wear a helmet on the slopes, you’ll still need a hat for those chilly evenings. Keep your head cosy with a classic bobble hat from Holland Cooper, or go for all-out glamour with an Yves Salomon fur headband.
A Fur Scarf
Wrap up your winter look with a sumptuously-soft fur scarf. Whether you choose a classic colourway from Yves Salomon or one of Charlotte Simone's more vibrant styles, drape it at the neck of a cashmere jumper or your favourite jacket for an opulent take on après ski.
Perfect for snuggling up by an open fire with a vin chaud in hand, a cosy cashmere knit is an après ski essential. Trust Harrods of London to cater to all your cashmere needs.
Avoid frozen fingers with warm gloves. Get your mitts on a pair from Harrods of London - with luxurious fur trims and a sumptuous cashmere lining, they’re sure to keep numb digits cosy.
Snow-strewn streets call for some serious footwear. Invest in a statement pair of boots like Bogner’s fur-trimmed styles – the rubber sole will steady you on slippery surfaces, while the faux-fur lining will keep your feet luxuriously warm; ideal for trudging to and from the slopes.
While in the chalet, treat tired feet to a pair of cosy slippers. UGG’s shearling-lined styles are the perfect way to warm up cold toes.
It may not sound like an obvious item to include in your suitcase, but don’t forget to pack your swimsuit. After a hard session on the slopes, a relaxing dip in the Jacuzzi is the perfect way to soothe achy muscles. We love Heidi Klein’s exquisitely-cut pieces and Gottex’s vibrant designs.
A Hair Mask
Cold weather, dry air and harsh winds can wreak havoc on hair, so treat brittle strands to Aveda’s Dry Remedy Masque. The deeply-moisturising formula is packed with nourishing plant oils, leaving lacklustre locks soft and supple.
The Ski Wear Glossary
Waterproofing: Waterproofing is rated in millimetres - the higher the rating, the more waterproof the fabric. For example 5,000mm is low waterproofing, 10,000mm is average, and 20,000mm is high.
Powder skirt: A powder skirt (or snow gaiter) is an elasticated band on the inside of your jacket that prevents snow from entering at the hem should you fall. It can be integrated or detachable.
Snow cuffs: Wrapping around the wrist or ankle, snow cuffs stop your sleeves and trouser legs from riding up and prevent snow from getting in.
Storm flap: A storm flap is a piece of material that covers the main zip. This will prevent ice and snow from building up and causing your zip to freeze.
Venting: Usually found under the arms, ventilation zips (or pit zips) allow heat to escape and keep you cool. Great for those who get warm quickly while exercising.
Taped seams: Heat-sealed to prevent any moisture from leaking in through the stitching, taped seams make your jacket or trousers more waterproof. A must if you’ll be skiing in heavy snowfall.
Moisture wicking: Moisture wicking fabric draws sweat away from the skin, keeping you dry and comfortable while you exert yourself.
Recco reflector: Some jackets may contain a Recco reflector – a small reflective insert that helps rescuers pinpoint skiers should they get caught in an avalanche.
For a full ski wear wardrobe for the whole family, visit our Ski Wear Style shop.
Shop our ultimate ski wear edit below.