When I married David, I married into a ski family. We’ve been coming to their favorite spot in Montana since we were dating, and it’s still one of our favorite places to go skiing and snowboarding. Over the years, I’ve learned that it can be hard to toe the line between putting together a fashionable ski outfit and staying warm on the slopes.
This year we encountered negative temperatures on the mountain (-12!), and I realized that I finally perfected just the right gear to face that kind of weather and still have fun. Below, I’m outlining all the ski gear you need to pack for a ski trip along with a few après ski outfit ideas for town, dinner, and exploring.
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What to Wear Skiing or Snowboarding:
- Ski Jacket
- Ski Pants
- Base Layer Top
- Base Layer Leggings
- Ski Gloves or Mittens
- Ski Socks
- Snow Boots
- Beanie or Balaclava
Ski Outfit Essentials
I absolutely love my Obermeyer ski jacket. It’s warm, tailored, and has zippered pockets for chapstick, handwarmers, a credit card, and small extra layers. The hood is removable (the fur can get damp on snowy days). Size up; I’m normally a 4 and took an 8. I’ve also worn this snowboard jacket by The North Face.
Ski Pants or Ski Suit
I bought these Spyder ski pants at Backcountry and absolutely love them! They also run small; size up 2-3 sizes. I’m normally a 4 and took an 8. These snow pants give you shape yet have enough room for a base layer. If you’re into ski suits (bibs, jumpsuits, or onesies), these by Roxy, these by North Face, and these by Holden are my picks for a retro ski outfit.
Base Layer Top
I used to wear a cotton long-sleeve or hoodie underneath my ski jacket and always wondered why I was cold. Once I upgraded to merino wool, I never looked back. I typically wear only this quarter zip turtleneck or this wool crew and feel fine. If it’s extra windy, I double up.
Base Layer Leggings
These wool baselayer bottoms are warm but offer some breathability. I find that snow rarely makes its way into my boots or to my legs when I layer these underneath my ski pants.
Ski Layers & Accessories
Ski Gloves or Mittens
The Swany toaster mitts are by far my favorite waterproof ski glove for winter sports. They’re a mitten with a built-in glove, giving your hands control while keeping the fingers together for warmth. Sometimes I’ll pop a handwarmer inside (I run cold). They have touchscreen accessibility, but it’s limited when it’s snowing.
Smartwool is the absolute best brand for warm snowboarder or skier socks. I bought for a this pair on Amazon—they hit above my snowboard or ski boots to keep the snow out.
Since I still rent my snowsport gear, I always wear these lace-up waterproof Sperry snow boots to the mountain/lodge. They’re great for deep snow and keep my feet completely dry.
Beanie, Balaclava, or Neck Gaiter
Since face masks are now required ski clothing when you’re indoors or at the chairlift, I like to integrate one into my ski clothes. Balaclava ski masks are water-resistant and windproof, cover the forehead, mouth, and nose, and stay put! I sometimes add this headband underneath.
Helmets have saved many of our friends and family members from serious injuries. I always rent one at the mountain, but this brand has excellent reviews.
Whether it’s a white out or perfectly sunny, I wear goggles for added clarity and protection against wind, snow, and other elements. I bought this pair this year—they fit comfortably, don’t fog, and come with two lenses (one for low visibility, one for sunshine).
Shop the Best Ski Gear and Ski Wear
Après Ski Outfit Essentials
I look forward to our après ski almost as much as I do being on the mountain! There’s nothing like taking a hot shower, changing into a cold weather winter outfit, and walking into town for a hot meal. Here’s what I recommend packing on your ski trip for exploring town, heading to dinner, or any other après ski activity.
Parka, Puffer Jacket, or Wool Coat
I typically reach for a puffer for casual outings and save my wool coats for nice dinners. I have my eye on this Mackage puffer and this Bogner puffer (investment options), but this is the reasonably priced puffer I always recommend. My current favorite wool coats include this one and this one, and I shared more classic camel coat options here.
Jeans or Faux Leather Leggings
Skinny jeans or faux leather leggings are all I pack for ski trips as they fit snugly into winter boots. When layered with a jacket in the proper length (longer than the hips), they’re incredibly warm.
Cashmere sweaters are a must for cold climates. They’re less itchy than wool yet retain as much warmth. My favorite brands for cashmere include Theory, Everlane, and C by Bloomingdales.
Après Ski Accessories
Beanies, Gloves, and Scarves
This cashmere Blue & Cream beanie is my absolute favorite (seen here). It’s perfectly slouchy and very, very warm. These tech gloves by J.Crew are my go-to, and I love this neutral scarf by White + Warren.
I picked up this pair of Sperry snow boots this year and love them. They’re easy to take on and off, perfect for walking around any ski town, and have shearling details. For more snow boots I recommend, see number four in this blog post.
There you have it! Whether you’re going all out with a trip to Aspen, Colorado (on our list!), planning a trip to conquer black diamonds overseas in the Alps (in the future, of course), or going to your local mountain, these ski outfit and après ski fashion essentials should help you nail the perfect balance of practical and chic on you ski trip. Have fun!