Assuming that what you wear for everyday winter casual clothing is what you will be most comfortable wearing for skiing is an easy mistake. Avoid the discomfort that can totally distract from your on-mountain experience by skimming through the following outline of how not to dress while skiing.
Headbands & Earmuffs
Adorable for building snowmen and winter walks, headbands and earmuffs are just not quite enough to keep your head warm when you’re skiing down a mountain. Plus, while fleece headbands may keep your ears cozy, they may also give you ridiculous tan lines. Nothing quite protects your skull in the event of a collision like a ski helmet. Not just for kids—and not just for those crazy ski movie athletes who jump off cliffs—ski helmets are the warm, comfortable, and safety-conscious headwear choice for anyone on skis or a snowboard.
Perfect for a hike, sunglasses aren’t quite going to cut it for skiing. When you’re moving through cold air at high speeds in sunglasses, your eyes will be streaming with tears, and you’ll feel like you have an ice cream headache from the icy wind blasting against your forehead. Ski goggles are the ideal eyewear for skiing. Not only do they help with the aforementioned issues, they also provide eye protection for skiing in trees. To avoid the dreaded ‘gaper gap’, look for goggles that are made to fit with your helmet.
In case you haven’t seen the ‘Check For Loose Clothing And Equipment’ signs posted toward the end of some chairlift rides, wearing a scarf while skiing can actually be potentially unsafe. Scarves can catch on a lift or a tree, leaving you caught like a foiled cartoon villain. A better way to keep your neck warm for skiing is with a neck gaiter—no loose ends to get snagged or in the way.
Cozy for walking to work or driving on dark winter mornings, wool mittens are much less effective for skiing. Wind goes right through wool, and your mittens will be wet and heavy as soon as you get snow on them—making for really unhappy hands. Ski gloves and mittens are much warmer, and the waterproof exteriors combined with moisture-wicking interiors are a much better way to keep your hands comfortably dry.
Pea Coat and Jeans
Winter fashion classics, such as a pea coat and jeans, are great-looking but not great performers for skiing. For example, if you take a tumble and get your jeans snowy, then they’ll stay wet, stiff, cold, and heavy the rest of the day; and these are not the most inspiring feelings for working on your carving technique. Instead, wear a ski jacket and ski pants specifically designed to keep you comfortable in cold, wet conditions when you may work up a sweat. Look for ski clothing that is lightweight, waterproof, breathable, and warm.
Even if you’re only going skiing for the first time and you don’t have all of the technical ski wear just yet, you can still avoid looking goofy and feeling uncomfortable while skiing. Jans offers ski clothing rentals in Park City to help you look good, feel good, and enjoy your time on the mountain.
By Kendall Fischer, Content Writer
This post was updated on August 25, 2022.