How To Dress For Downhill Skiing

Varying conditions can make it tough to know how to dress for downhill skiing. You want to be comfortable, look good, and be prepared for any weather. Wear the right clothing and you can be all of the above. Dress right for downhill skiing and you'll stay warm, look good and be able to move freely, all of which will make you a better skier.

To dress for downhill skiing you will need:

  • Long Underwear
  • Ski Socks
  • Ski Pants
  • Fleece top or sweater
  • Ski Jacket
  • Gloves or Mittens
  • Hat or Helmet
  1. Wear a good base layer. Choose silk or synthetic long underwear, tops and bottoms. This will keep you warm, yet these materials are thin and lightweight, so you won't end up feeling or looking like the Michelin man. Dressing right for downhill skiing begins with these basics.
  2. Put on good socks. Invest in the kind made for skiing. These are thin, but warm, made of materials to wick moisture away from your feet. Wear only one pair of socks. Two pairs are asking for either blisters or sweaty feet.
  3. Add ski pants. Leave the jeans and the camo coveralls at home. Not only will you look like an amateur in them, you'll end up cold and wet. Cotton soaks up moisture, so look for water-shedding synthetic materials.To dress right for downhill skiing, get pants that fit well but aren't too tight. You should be able to bend over and crouch down easily in them. If you tend to get cold, choose a pair with extra insulation.
  4. Pull on a sweater or fleece top. Choose something mid-weight that won't be too bulky under a jacket. Several thin layers will keep you warmer than one thick layer, due to the insulating quality of air between the layers.
  5. Wear a jacket. A ski parka works well, but you can also wear any insulated coat that's easy to take on and off. Ski jackets usually have zippered vents that make it easy to cool off if you get too hot. To dress right for downhill skiing, leave the puffy down jacket at home unless it's '70s retro day at the slopes.
  6. Don't forget gloves or mittens. Opt for insulated ski gloves or mittens, which have thicker padding that most other gloves. Mittens will keep your fingers warmer on really cold days. If your hands are still cold, tuck in some chemical hand warmers.
  7. Top off with a helmet or hat. It's true what your mother said about losing heat through your head. To dress properly for downhill skiing, stay warm with a wool or synthetic beanie. Better yet, protect your brain and warm your ears with a helmet.
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