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This season, the question of what to wear snowboarding or skiing became one that involved both fashion and function. A day in the snow used to mean layering up in thick, questionably ugly, snow gear—my snow ‘fits were never cute, but hey, at least they were warm! I had resigned myself to being an unfashionable mountain-goer…that is, until I started noticing full-on waterproof winterwear all over my Instagram feed.
Suddenly, houndstooth ski sets, faux fur-trimmed cold-weather accessories and mega-chic chrome goggles shined against the bright white snow. As I enviously scrolled through a few too many #RevolveSKI trip snapshots, I decided that if I wasn’t going to be getting an all-expenses-paid vacation, I could at least upgrade my look for the slopes.
Once I started shopping for stylish snow gear, I discovered that it’s actually a pretty tricky task. For starters, snowboarding is an expensive sport to begin with, so the thought of dropping thousands of dollars on an outfit I can’t wear all year seemed irresponsible. I wanted to make sure I was buying quality pieces that would keep me warm without breaking the bank.
As a solution to my dilemma, I decided to implement some ground rules for my outfit. The more expensive pieces (like the jacket) had to match many different pant, sweater and base layer combinations, so I could mix and match for years to come. For the same reason, I also didn’t want my jacket to be too trendy or standout.
Once I had these parameters set, shopping for ski wear became fun. Brands like Sweaty Betty have created adorable matching sets and activewear to wear on the slopes, like my look above. These fun fair isle prints had me immediately sold, and I planned my most recent cold-weather look around my printed leggings and turtleneck.
A bold base layer complemented by neutral splurge pieces and fun accessories ended up being my perfect slopes outfit recipe, and I highly recommend this approach to planning your snowboarding and ski looks. That said, the process can be quite time consuming, so I’ve taken it upon myself to put together a fully coordinated, functional, cute yet classic snow look so you don’t have to. Read on for all the essentials.
1. Start with a Base Layer
A base layer is key for a good day on the mountains. Without it, you will be cold and miserable and it won’t matter how cute your jacket is, because you’ll be sitting inside by the fire. Luckily, there are plenty of adorable base layer options on the market, so you’ll feel good and look good when you shed your layers.
Betty Ski Base Layer Top
I’ve worn base layers from Sweaty Betty on my last few mountain excursions and can attest that they are incredible. The pattern is so cute, I even found myself wearing them in non-ski settings. The top and leggings are sold, separately so you can mix and match as desired.
2. Add a Sweater
I’m not trying to nag or sound like your mom, but if the temperature is below 30 degrees, you’re going to need a sweater over your base layer. Sweaters are your opportunity to add some flair to your ski or snowboarding look. Bonus points if you can find one that compliments the colors of your base layer!
Ski Logo Graphic Cotton Crewneck Sweater
This ski sweater from Polo Ralph Lauren is a sporty take on winter whites. It’s also chic enough to wear throughout the season in your daily life.
3. Find Comfortable Pants
Another moment of speaking from experience, this time in regards to snow pants. There are a few key factors you need to keep in mind when shopping for snow pants. The first is that they should be roomy enough to wear leggings underneath (even if the pants are fleece lined). The second is that they should fit snug enough in the waist that you don’t need to pull them up or mess with them at all throughout the day.
I also look for snow pants that are somewhat adjustable—via elastic ties, a stretchy belt or (my personal favorite) overalls. Snow pants with a bib are totally fashionable and look cute over a sweater during après ski relaxation.
All Prepped Bib
This snow bib from Free People is comfortable and extra-stylish, with contrasting stitching and quilted panels. The straps are adjustable, so you’ll have no problem keeping these up.
4. Determine Your Jacket Style
Snowboarding jackets come in every imaginable color, pattern and shape. You’ll find everything from ’80s-inspired retro jackets to sleek, sporty styles that are far more understated. Whether you prefer a jacket with a belt, a cropped puffer or something oversized, the only thing that truly matters is that the jacket is waterproof and warm. To maximize the chicness of your look, get a matching jacket and pants set—or, if your pants are black, play around with a jacket in a standout print.
All Prepped Ski Jacket
This tapered jacket from Free People is fully waterproof and insulated with Primaloft to keep you warm. Since this is a more neutral jacket, you’ll be able to pair it with lots of sweater and base layer combinations.
5. Gear Up with Accessories
Snow accessories are very different from fashion accessories, because their main and most important purpose is safety and function. That being said, you can invest in gear that elevates the personality of your snow ‘fit. Finding goggles with colorful tinted lenses, patterned socks or even adding stickers to your helmet are all fun ways to accessorize on the slopes.
Ella Snow Goggles
Like sunglasses, snow goggles can vary in price and there are even designer goggle options. For the average snowboarder, these all condition goggles from Giro will do the trick. If you’re planning on committing to mountain activities for years to come, it may be worth investing in a stellar pair of goggles like this pair by Yniq, created in partnership with Olympic skiier Lindsey Vonn.
Ski + Light Socks
A quality pair of thick, cold-weather socks will save your feet from the discomfort of the ski/snowboarding boots. I recommend getting a tall pair to avoid any slouching or snow contact on bare skin.
Shelbe Raschel Etip™ Glove
Part of snow sports is falling in the snow (duh), so you’ll want your hands to be protected with water-resistant gloves when they hit the cold ground. This pair from The North Face comes in four colors and the Etip™ technology will allow you to still scroll on your phone. If you’re looking for something fancier to wear on and off the slopes, these Prada gloves are a GORE-TEX dream.
6. Get Cozy for Après Ski
Being on the mountain is great, being by the fire with a warm drink after a long day in the snow is even better. Après ski (A.K.A. “after ski”) is your opportunity to live out your shearling mountain-wear dreams! You can keep your base layer on from earlier in the day and just add a beanie and slippers to cozy up.
Hide your helmet hair with a cozy beanie. A cute hat also makes for great Instagram content!
Thermoball™ Traction Mule V
Kendall Jenner wore these Thermoball slippers from The North Face on a recent trip, so it’s safe to say you’ll also spot them in my next après ski OOTD.