Skiwear is plenty fashionable these days
Skiwear is no longer only stylish on the mountain.
It has an après-ski life as well.
With plenty of chic options, women have ventured out in this clothing beyond slopes and lodges to everyday life.
“Skiwear is so pretty these days,” says Donna Gagliardi, manager of Willi's Ski & Snowboard Shop in Castle Shannon. “We sell a lot of skiwear to women who don't ski, but who hang out at the lodge with their families, and even some women who don't ski at all who just love all the fun pieces. Skiing is fun, and the clothing you wear should be fun, too. There are really so many fashionable choices these days, more than ever.”
The fabrics are sleeker and designers are following runway fashion trends such as adding fur to pieces, making garments more form-fitted and creating pieces that have amazing prints and patterns as well as neon brights.
There's even ski lingerie created by Nils, which is made of Victorian print lace, and gloves that have a watch on the outside so you can see the time without having to move the glove up your wrist. Scarves aren't just for keeping the wind off your neck. They can be wonderful accessories for a ski outfit or daily wardrobe. Scarves, hats and vests are embellished with studs and rhinestones.
“A lot of the skiwear doesn't scream ‘ski,' ” Gagliardi says. “But it still has all the functionality to it in that if you do ski, it will keep you warm and dry. And you will always look fashionable whether on the slope or not.”
Skiwear doesn't have to be big and bulky; a slimmer silhouette is most fashionable.
Lightweight, insulating pieces are new and different right now, says Brent Vanni, L.L. Bean outerwear developer. The jackets are incredibly warm but don't look any different than a shell. New technologies in construction, insulation and fabric have allowed designers to reduce weight while maintaining warmth.
“You don't need to look like you're dressed for the Arctic to actually stay warm,” Vanni says. “Texture and heathers are also new and different. This provides nice color and variation to the already colorful trend out there. The fabrics actually have the appearance of a casual piece but have all the function of a technical piece.”
Like everyday fashion, it is OK to mix and match prints and patterns or blocks of colors, which is a lot different than in the past when it came to dressing for the slopes. Skiers are moving away from the days of black on black or having an entirely matching outfit, although Willi's carries items for those diehard traditionalists too, Gagliardi says.
“No longer does women's skiwear look like it's just for the slopes,” says Steve Kopitz, president and CEO of Skis.com. “Many brands have developed runway-inspired fabrics like wool, flannel and knits that are actually very technical with high levels of waterproofing and breathability. This allows for outerwear that performs like skiwear but looks like streetwear.”
The chic styling has carried over into skis, boots and goggles with some intricate designs in amazing color schemes.
Vanni says more patterns exist now in the reflective and heat-retaining fabrics that provide additional warmth.
He says a bright-colored ski jacket is really fun. Solid colors with pop zippers are the style right now, he says.
“If that might be too much for some women, I would recommend saving the bright for the mid-layer and base-layer. This can create a colorful pop and a nice accent for under your ski jacket. It's a great way to bring some life to your ski outfit.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7889.