Dressing for success isn't about a briefcase or a little black dress. It's about good base layers, warm boots, bright colors and sweet boards for this ski blogger. Friends ask me how I dress for a ski day, so here are my details for a downhill date:
Ski clothing and comfort starts from the inside out. Nothing keeps out the chill and wicks away the unwanted (read: sweat) like my Hot Chilly base layers -in basic black. I like the Zip T-Neck for flexibility. If the forecast is super frigid, below 10, I add a fleece or wool sweater.
I don't want to be dumb or numb, so I wear SmartWool Ski Sox, the U.S. Ski Team’s official sock - they fit well, keep me warm, dry, and on the balls of my feet.
For outer layers, I love bright colored ski jacket and pants that pop in photos like skittles on snow, Also, bold colors, like Obermeyer, stand out and hopefully help others skiers see me and steer clear. My frivolous alpine accessory - a gangster belt with bling for my ski pants - it's fashion over function - but it makes me feel stylish even if it's rarely seen under my ski jacket.
My Smith IO Goggles are the best pair I have ever owned. The big lenses provide super peripheral and great definition in the snow from flat light to full sun, and they look "steazy." As for my hat, I have a few for different temps with pompoms and without (not a helmet wearer, my head/my choice, and a that's a topic for another blog so don't bug me about it).
My Turtle Fur neck warmer is my security blanket, made in Vermont for four decades- they make Balaclavas for full face protection too.
My hands get cold, occupational hazard when taking notes on chairlifts, so inside my Grandoe mittens I fire up a pair of HotHands disposable hand warmers (I have blasted through boxes of brands- these last longest and best for me), it's my buck a day habit.
I want to be a thin (ha!), so I love my Kerma Composite Ski Poles. I don't always plant properly, it's a work in progress, but I try to keep my poles visible, out in front - a sign of good form.
Skis. I have skied on everything from 200-centimeter skinny Dynastars to short shaped Atomic Betas at 155, slalom, to reverse camber, even neon, and nothing compares to my Rossignol Experience 88s. This quiver quenching ski carves, dices moguls and plows through pow and crud thanks to the rocker tip. The iconic Rossi rooster graphic reminds me how far I have come since my first pair of Rossi FPs I mortgaged as a ski instructor in 1985.
My Rossignol Electra ski boots (not a brand manager for them - just find Rossi is making quality affordable skis and boots right now) are snug and stiff but flexible. I plug in my $19 Serius Ski Boot Sticks to dry my boots every night, and they're toasty warm in the morning for me.
My pocket contents: Chapstick, Kleenex, ID, credit card, and cell phone in an inside pocked (batteries don't like cold).
Finally, attitude. Skiing requires that you are in the zone - mentally, physically. Every day is different in downhill skiing depending upon conditions, weather and your whereabouts. So I minimize the mayhem with my traditions, a good night's sleep and decent breakfast, my lucky bracelet, stretching before hitting the slopes, and happy self talk on the slopes.
See you on the slopes!
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.