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What To Wear To A Ski Resort


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Serene Nowak



Heading to a ski resort is an exciting adventure, whether you’re an experienced skier or a first-timer just looking to have fun on the slopes. While skiing or snowboarding skills are important, what you wear can greatly impact your comfort and enjoyment on the mountain. Choosing the right attire for a ski resort requires considering both functionality and style.


When it comes to dressing for a ski resort, the key is to stay warm, dry, and comfortable in cold and often unpredictable weather conditions. This means layering your clothing to regulate your body temperature and choosing specialized gear that offers insulation and protection from the elements.


In this article, we will guide you through the essential items to pack for a ski resort vacation, from base layers to outerwear, accessories to safety gear, and even après-ski attire. By the end, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of what to wear so you can make the most of your time on the slopes.


Choosing the Right Base Layers

Base layers are the foundation of your ski attire and play a crucial role in keeping you warm and dry on the slopes. These are the garments worn directly against your skin and are designed to wick away moisture while providing insulation. When choosing base layers, consider the following factors:

  • Material: Look for base layers made from moisture-wicking fabrics, such as merino wool or synthetic materials like polyester and nylon. These materials help to regulate your body temperature by keeping you dry and comfortable.
  • Fabric Weight: Base layers come in different weights, ranging from lightweight to heavyweight. Choose a weight that suits the weather conditions you’ll be skiing in. Lightweight base layers are ideal for mild days, while heavyweight options provide more warmth for colder conditions.
  • Fit: Base layers should have a snug, but not tight, fit. This allows for proper insulation and enables freedom of movement without restriction. Look for stretchy fabrics that provide a comfortable and flexible fit.

Remember to always pack multiple sets of base layers, so you can change into fresh ones each day and avoid wearing damp or sweaty clothing.


In addition to tops and bottoms, don’t forget about base layer accessories. A good pair of thermal socks and a neck gaiter or balaclava can provide added warmth and protection against the cold.


Outerwear: Jackets and Pants

When it comes to outerwear for a ski resort, your jacket and pants are the most important pieces of clothing to consider. They are your primary defense against the elements and should be chosen with functionality, durability, and style in mind.


When selecting a ski jacket and pants, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Waterproof and Breathability: Look for outerwear that is both waterproof and breathable. This will help keep you dry from snow and moisture while allowing sweat to evaporate, preventing that clammy feeling.
  • Insulation: Consider the insulation of your jacket and pants based on the weather conditions you expect to encounter. Insulated options provide warmth in colder conditions, while shell options offer versatility and can be layered with mid layers for added warmth.
  • Fit: Outerwear should have a comfortable fit that allows for a wide range of movement. Look for jackets and pants that are specifically designed for skiing or snowboarding, as they often have features like articulated elbows and knees for enhanced mobility.
  • Features: Pay attention to additional features such as adjustable hoods, ventilation zippers, and powder skirts. These features can improve comfort and protect against snow and wind.
  • Style: While functionality is important, don’t forget about style. Look for jackets and pants that reflect your personal taste and make you feel confident on the slopes.

Investing in high-quality outerwear will ensure that you stay warm and dry throughout your ski resort experience. Remember to try on different brands and styles to find the perfect fit for you.


Layering with Mid Layers

In addition to base layers, mid layers are an essential part of your ski attire. These layers provide insulation and help regulate your body temperature by trapping heat between the base layer and outerwear. When choosing mid layers, consider the following:

  • Materials: Look for mid layers made from warm and breathable materials, such as fleece, down, or synthetic blends. These materials provide insulation while allowing moisture to escape.
  • Types of Mid Layers: There are various types of mid layers to choose from, including fleece jackets, down vests, and synthetic insulated jackets. Consider the weather conditions and your personal preference when selecting the appropriate mid layer.
  • Layering Techniques: Layering multiple mid layers can be effective in adjusting your body temperature throughout the day. For example, on colder days, you can wear a fleece jacket under a down vest for added warmth, or on milder days, a single mid layer may suffice.
  • Fit: Mid layers should fit comfortably and not restrict your movement. They should also be slim enough to fit comfortably under your outerwear.
  • Number of Mid Layers: The number of mid layers you wear will depend on the weather conditions and personal preference. Experiment with different combinations to find what works best for you.

Remember, layering with mid layers allows you to adjust your clothing based on changing weather conditions and activity levels. It’s always better to have an extra mid layer that you can add or remove as needed.


Accessories: Hats, Gloves, and Scarves

When gearing up for a ski resort trip, it’s important not to overlook the importance of accessories. These small but essential items can make a big difference in keeping you warm and protected from the elements. Here are some key accessories to consider:

  • Hats/Beanies: Wearing a hat or beanie is crucial for retaining heat and protecting your head from the cold. Look for a hat that fully covers your ears and is made from a warm and moisture-wicking fabric like wool or synthetic blends.
  • Gloves/Mittens: Your hands are exposed to the cold, so investing in a good pair of gloves or mittens is vital. Look for options that are waterproof, insulated, and offer a secure grip for handling equipment. Mittens generally provide more warmth, while gloves offer better dexterity.
  • Neck Gaiters/Scarves: Neck gaiters or scarves are versatile accessories that can protect your neck and face from chilly wind and snow. They can also be pulled up to cover your mouth and nose in extreme conditions. Look for options made from soft and insulating materials.
  • Face Masks/Balaclavas: For added protection against harsh weather conditions, consider wearing a face mask or balaclava. These cover the entire face and provide extra warmth, especially when temperatures drop significantly.
  • Sunscreen and Lip Balm: Although it may seem counterintuitive, sun protection is essential on the slopes. The combination of the sun’s rays and the reflection of the snow can cause sunburn and chapped lips. Apply a high SPF sunscreen and use a lip balm with SPF to protect your skin.

Choosing the right accessories will ensure that you stay warm, protected, and comfortable throughout your ski resort experience. Don’t underestimate their importance in maintaining your overall body temperature and enjoying your time on the slopes.


Ski Socks and Boots

When it comes to skiing or snowboarding, having the right socks and boots is crucial for both comfort and performance. Here are some tips for choosing the right ski socks and boots:

  • Ski Socks: Invest in high-quality ski-specific socks that are designed to provide warmth, moisture-wicking, and cushioning. Look for socks made from merino wool or synthetic blends, as they offer excellent insulation and breathability.
  • Thickness: Ski socks come in different thicknesses, ranging from thin to thick. Choose the thickness based on the snugness of your boots and the temperature conditions. Thinner socks are preferred for tight-fitting boots, while thicker socks provide extra warmth in cold weather.
  • Proper Fit: Ski socks should fit snugly without being too tight or too loose. Avoid wearing multiple pairs of socks, as this can restrict blood circulation and lead to discomfort and cold feet.
  • Boot Fit: Properly fitting ski boots are essential for comfort and control. Make sure your boots are the right size and provide adequate support for your feet and ankles. Consider getting professionally fitted boots to ensure a proper fit.
  • Boot Warmers: If you tend to have cold feet, boot warmers can provide extra heat and keep your toes toasty. These can be heated in a microwave or plugged into a power source before going out onto the slopes.

Remember to bring extra pairs of socks to the ski resort, as wet or damp socks can lead to cold feet and discomfort. Taking the time to find the right socks and ensuring your boots are properly fitted will greatly enhance your skiing or snowboarding experience.


Goggles and Sunglasses

Protecting your eyes from the sun, wind, and snow glare is essential when participating in winter sports. That’s why having the right eyewear, such as goggles and sunglasses, is crucial for your safety and comfort on the slopes. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Goggles: Ski goggles are specifically designed to provide maximum protection and visibility in snowy and bright conditions. Look for goggles with UV protection, anti-fog coating, and good ventilation to prevent condensation. Choose the right lens tint for the lighting conditions, such as darker lenses for bright sunny days and lighter lenses for overcast conditions.
  • Sunglasses: Sunglasses are a great alternative for milder weather conditions and when you’re not skiing or snowboarding. Opt for sunglasses with polarized lenses to reduce glare and provide better clarity. Make sure they fit snugly and have UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful sun rays.
  • Fitting: Whether you choose goggles or sunglasses, make sure they fit comfortably and securely on your face. They should provide a wide field of vision and fit over your helmet if you’re wearing one. Consider trying on different brands and models to find the best fit for your face shape.
  • Additional Features: Some goggles come with features like interchangeable lenses, which allow you to switch lenses based on the weather conditions. Others may have anti-scratch or photochromatic lenses that adjust tint based on lighting conditions. These features can enhance your overall experience on the slopes.

Having the right eyewear will not only protect your eyes but also enhance your visibility and overall performance. Make sure to keep your goggles or sunglasses clean and free of scratches for optimal vision during your ski resort adventures.


Safety Gear: Helmets and Protective Equipment

When engaging in any snow sport, safety should always be a top priority. Wearing the appropriate safety gear, such as helmets and protective equipment, can significantly reduce the risk of injury. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Helmets: Wearing a helmet is essential for protecting your head from potential injuries on the slopes. Look for helmets specifically designed for skiing or snowboarding, as they provide the necessary impact protection and have adjustable straps for a secure fit. Ensure the helmet meets safety standards and replace it if it has sustained any significant impact.
  • Protective Pads: Depending on your skill level and preferences, you may also consider wearing protective pads for your knees, elbows, and wrists. These pads provide an extra layer of cushioning and protection against falls and impacts.
  • Back Protectors: For more advanced skiers and snowboarders, a back protector can offer additional support and protection to the spine. These are especially important for those who enjoy freestyle or backcountry riding.
  • Proper Fit: Ensure that your safety gear fits correctly to provide maximum protection. Helmets should be snug but comfortable, and pads should be secure without restricting movement or blood flow.
  • Regular Inspection: Regularly inspect your safety gear for any signs of wear and tear. Replace any damaged or outdated equipment to ensure optimal protection.

Remember, accidents can happen regardless of skill level, so it’s crucial to prioritize your safety and wear the appropriate gear. By wearing helmets and protective equipment, you can enjoy your time on the slopes with peace of mind.


Après-Ski Attire

After a fun day on the slopes, it’s time to relax and unwind in style with après-ski activities. Après-ski refers to the socializing and entertainment that takes place after a day of skiing or snowboarding. Here are some tips on what to wear for après-ski:

  • Comfortable Clothing: Opt for comfortable and casual clothing that allows you to relax and socialize. This can include cozy sweaters, leggings or jeans, and warm, stylish tops.
  • Footwear: After a day of wearing ski boots, give your feet some relief and slip into comfortable shoes or boots that are suitable for the après-ski environment. Options like stylish winter boots, sneakers, or even slippers work well.
  • Layering: Layering is still important, even during après-ski, as temperatures can drop in the evening. Consider bringing a light jacket or wrap to throw over your outfit for added warmth.
  • Accessories: Accessorize your après-ski attire with items like scarves, hats, or headbands that add a touch of style while keeping you cozy. Don’t forget sunglasses or goggles if you plan to spend time outdoors.
  • Personal Style: Embrace your personal style and express yourself with trendy, fashionable pieces that reflect your taste. Whether you prefer a casual look or want to dress up a bit, après-ski is a great time to showcase your style.

Remember, après-ski attire is all about comfort and relaxation while still looking chic. Dress appropriately for the venue or activity you plan to participate in, whether it’s enjoying a drink at a cozy lodge or joining in on some lively après-ski festivities.



Choosing the right attire for a ski resort adventure is crucial in ensuring your comfort, safety, and overall enjoyment on the slopes. By considering the various aspects of your outfit, including base layers, outerwear, mid layers, accessories, socks and boots, eyewear, and safety gear, you can be well-prepared for whatever the mountain throws at you.


Start with a solid foundation of moisture-wicking and insulating base layers, followed by waterproof and breathable outerwear that protects you from the elements. Layering with mid layers allows you to adjust your body temperature as needed. Don’t forget about important accessories like hats, gloves, scarves, and the right eyewear to protect your eyes. Additionally, invest in the necessary safety gear such as helmets and protective equipment to minimize the risk of injury.


And when it’s time to wind down after a day on the slopes, embrace the après-ski culture with comfortable yet stylish attire that allows you to relax and socialize in comfort.


Before hitting the slopes, make sure to try on different brands and styles to find the best fit for your body shape and personal preferences. And don’t forget to layer up and pack extra clothing to accommodate changing weather conditions.


Remember, the right attire not only keeps you warm and protected but also enhances your overall experience on the mountain. So, gear up, stay safe, and have a fantastic time skiing or snowboarding on your next ski resort adventure!