Ski clothes and skiing accessories today are governed by one major factor - functionality. This is state of the art ski wear in all the colours under the rainbow, influenced in the main by snowboarders who were trying to get away from the bright colours of the early nineties. They wanted to dress down in muted colours, but they also needed ski kit that was tough and flexible.
Ironically, in trying to escape 'fashion', they recreated it, and the colours crept back in too.So, if you are starting out what is the best advice? There are certain items that really should be bought from a ski clothes shop as they have been designed with the ski slopes in mind and need to be warm, hard wearing and wind proof. These are ski jackets (outer shell), ski trousers (or salopettes - high waisted trousers with braces), ski gloves, ski goggles and sun glasses.As for the rest of the kit, such as a fleece (an insulating layer), thermal underwear (inner layer), thermal socks, silk inner glove liners and woolly hats, go to your nearest camping store. You'll probably save a lot of money.
If you want to save even more money on ski clothes consider hiring or borrowing items from friends, especially if you have children and this is either their, or your, first ski holiday!.Today the talk is all about the 'three layer system', which means comfort, freedom of movement, warmth and breathability. You should wear at least three layers consisting of an outer shell - the ski jacket in a colour of your choice with a suitable manufacturer's logo, which you will be advertising for free. This material is usually made of the same fabric that Gortex pioneered in the eighties. It allows sweat to escape but stops moisture getting in (ie: you won't boil over while searching for that lost ski in a snowdrift).
The middle layer, can also be a highly scientific piece of kit and can consist of an insulated jacket or fleece. You could be just as well off with a nice woolly sweater, or if you overheat easily, a normal shirt. The third layer is your underwear and I'll leave that to you. Some people settle for a T-shirt, while others will plump for silk underwear, or a polo neck, or maybe a combination of two.And a final word of advice - skiing does warm you up and the weather can be warm too! Dress for the cold and buy a small back pack where you can put excess ski clothing when you get too hot. This will double up as something to sit on while you have your pic-nic lunch on the edge of the trail, and may even offer shock absorption when you fall!..Simon Dewhurst has has been involved in many aspects of the ski business for 35 years, including teaching downhill and cross country skiing, club racing, speed skiing and running ski chalets in the French Alps. He has written a book "Secrets of Better Skiing", which can be found at http://www.ski-jungle.
By: Simon Dewhurst