The Ski Wardrobe
1. My first consideration is packing and ensuring we keep to the baggage allocation given by the Airline we’re flying with. Carving skis, Powder skis, poles, boots, park and on-piste snowboards for one family adds up quickly. So it’s important to pack well, from the ski gear, to your leisure and smart casual wear. Generally when flying to your next Ski Holiday destination, you can take 2 pieces of luggage per person. Therefore, fill up your suit case with your everyday wear and pop all your ski apparel into your ski bag. That is, helmets, skis, poles, ski gloves/mittens, goggles, ski suit, thermals, and ski socks go straight into that ski bag. Place all this gear around your skis and/or snowboard, it’s a great way to protect them! It’s also a good idea to think about making your transfers as easy as possible while travelling. Lugging heavy bags around can make travelling stressful. Therefore, make sure your suit case and your ski bag are on wheels! Don’t forget your carry-on luggage – have a good backpack with you. You can stash away a good book, your ipad, laptop, chargers and so on. Dakine, Roxy, Rip Curl, Volkl and Burton all have great backpacks to choose from. They’re also very handy if you wish to ski with them on the mountain. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I often ski with a backpack.
2. Ski jacket and pants are a given. Many of the Northern Hemisphere resorts are very very cold, so don’t skimp on quality or you will freeze. Especially the kids! It was unusual, but I’ve skied in -35 degrees Celsius in Canada and regardless of all my quality thermals and ski gear, plus an extra feather down vest, I was cold. Something we had never had to deal with is frost bite, but on that day we had to cover our faces with balaclavas to protect our cheeks and noses. So, just as our weather can go from one extreme to another, so can the Ski Mountains in the Northern Hemisphere. Make sure you’re prepared. Have very good gloves or mittens, glove liners, good socks (not thick and bulky), a good neck warmer and make sure you take hand and foot warmers, especially if you don’t have heaters in your ski boots. Hand and foot warmers are available at all Ski Shops.
3. Getting your accessories right for the slopes.
Fine merino ski socks or good quality compression Skins ski socks.
Gloves and glove liners
Mittens for really cold days (better insulation)
Fleece neck warmers or a Buff Neck Roll (cotton/polyester mix – young people love the buff neck roll)
Balaclava – a light/thin balaclava to wear over your head and under your helmet
Thermals. I love 2XU and Skins for their thermal and compression benefits.
A bright coloured ski fleece/ski top – it’s always good to look snazzy.
Really good quality goggles – make sure you have lenses for bright sunny days and lenses for cloudy days. There are so many great brands to choose from. Just go and explore. Make sure they sit well under your helmet.
A money pouch that holds notes/coins and credit cards – something which can easily be popped into a pocket of your ski jacket.
Good sunscreen and a chap stick
Last but not least a very good helmet – it’s so important to wear a helmet. It not only protects your head from injury, they are surprisingly light and they keep your head warm at all times.
4. When walking about the resort – après boots are a must. Nothing worse than going over on and spraining your ankle! Gone are the days where Après Boots looked like something you’d wear to the moon! Today they are a fashion statement. For example, Sorel has a great selection of après boots to choose from. However, there are also many other brands and designs. Some are lined in wool, some have fur detail on them, some are zip up and some are laced, some are more like cross trainers and some are just off the cat walk. Whatever your fancy is, there’s something perfect for you. I have a couple of personal favourites. One is an Italian black pair with a good grippy rubber sole and the other is an awesome pair of cowboy boots from Jackson Hole. (I added the rubber sole to them) These cowboy boots are great with jeans or leggings and can do bar, restaurant and/or walking around airports very easily!
5. When it comes time to fly, it’s best to plan ahead. You get on the plane in one climate, generally something like 28 degrees, and get off the plane in another much cooler climate! So, I generally like to be as comfortable as possible but also endeavour to look as smart as I can. I like to wear ¾ leggings with a silk and cashmere t-shirt, a free flowing cashmere cardigan and an easy to wear scarf. However, once I land I’ll switch my ¾ leggings to a pair of jeans, swap my sandals for my cowboy boots. I also have a pair of Emu Australia gloves in my backpack, just in case it’s really chilly. For the kids, I always have their warm coats, beanies and gloves at the ready.
6. Now for après. You don’t need much and I always tend to take my trusted favourites:
a big turtleneck sweater
lounge pants for fireside
black silk and cashmere top which is smart and elegant
at least 3 scarves or wraps that easily smartens up any outfit
jewellery – a bit of costume bling and a long necklace
a nice pair of snakeskin leggings
a smart long puffer coat to wear out and about
a really cool beanie
When in my accommodation I love popping on my Ugg slippers
And when it’s time to truly relax, a mulled red wine goes a long way.