What to Wear Skiing (Skiing Attire)

When venturing out into the snow, it’s imperative to be warmly and comfortably dressed so that you can enjoy it to the fullest. There are a lot of things to consider, such as materials, styles and features that will keep you warm and cosy in the densest snowfall.

Ultimately, this guide should inform you exactly what to wear skiing.

What to Wear in the Snow: Snow Attire

When skiing, you’re looking for outerwear that’s going to address a number of factors:

  • Waterproofing – we all know what happens when snow melts, and being sopping wet under layers of insulated clothing is sure to ruin a day on the slopes
  • Thermal insulation – A good set of thermal undergarments will help keep your body temperature at a comfortable level from the moment you leave the ski hut.
  • Weight – a full outfit of ski gear can add extra pounds to your body weight, which can make it a lot more difficult to steer when speeding down the slopes. Gear that’s too light, however, is often not as durable or water resistant.
  • Accessories – you’ll definitely want to bring your phone, or a camera up the mountain to snap some pictures. Easily accessible zipped pockets, a carry pouch on the inside of your jacket or any nifty stowaway compartment can be a great help when stashing the odd protein bar or hand warmer.
  • Function – you want to be able and mobile, rather than feeling like you’re stuck in a hazmat suit. Ultimately this means: clothing that is easily manoeuvrable and mobile; goggles and accessories that are easily adjustable and ski gloves that you don’t need to take off to unzip pockets or clip something up.

When buying clothes for snow, or choosing your ski attire for the slopes, you’ll usually be dressed in thermals and a ski jacket and pants.

In addition to ski accessories like a helmet and goggles, it would be wise to pack some polarized sunglasses, for reflections off the snow, and a small rucksack.

If you apply all the pointers mentioned above to each of these items when considering which to choose, you’ll be set up for a perfect day on the slopes.

What to look for in a Ski Jacket

When looking for a ski jacket, there are a lot of styles and factors to think about, as well as many brands to consider.

To simplify, let’s look at the top three things you’re going to want to look for in a waterproof ski jacket


  1. Sealed Seams – having your seams taped or sealed helps with the water resistance of a jacket, especially when your jacket ages, with the possibility of the waterproofing treatment wearing away.
  2. A Powder Skirt – this will prevent snow from spraying up under your jacket if you take a fall.
  3. A Hood – when you’re really freezing, a tightly fitted or fur hooded ski jacket can help keep your head warm. They’re also often made to go over helmets with ease.

What Pants to Wear in Snow

Ski jackets are the main item considered when considering how to dress for snow, but ski pants are equally as important. They will to be bearing the brunt of the snow spray and your legs are going to be doing a lot of the work, so it’s important to choose wisely.

Here are some things to consider when looking for ski pants:

  • Waterproof ratings (measured in mm)
  • Gaiters, which stop snow from getting into your pants through the leg holes.
  • Flexibility. This is vital for your mobility.
  • Venting. This can allow an overload of heat to escape. A much-needed touch when you’re insulated up to your neck and doing high-performance sports – it gets hot.

You’re hardly going to find snow pants that look like jeans, so go for something practical over something that looks good.

What to wear Under Snow Pants

It’s always wise to double up with a pair of thermal leggings under your ski pants. When going up the ski lift, or waiting in line to zip down a slope, you really don’t want to start getting chilly.

Also important are warm, or heated socks. Your extremities are the first place that blood leaves when trying to warm your body up, so it’s wise to keep those fingers and toes warm.

Snow Layering

Thermals are your go-to for layering when in snow for long periods of time – some might even say these are more important than your outerwear. Polyester, wool and spandex are the best thermals for snow, as they’re light and flexible and achieve that ‘second skin’ feel you’re looking for in thermals.

Easily missed when dealing with thermals are balaclavas or ski masks, which keep your ears warm and fend off the icy air trying to make it down the back of your neck into your ski jacket. Another thing to consider is a thick sleeping bag to bring with to your lodging – while most ski lodges have warm blankets and heating at the ready, an extra layer of sleeping bag is never a bad idea.

When broken down, dressing for skiing is actually rather straightforward, but it’s important to plan ahead so that you’re not too cold or uncomfortable out on the slopes. With good quality gear on hand and the helpful odd accessory, you’ll be set for your next ski trip and ready to hit the big slopes.