What to Wear Skiing

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Whether you’ve just decided you’re finally going to actually head out skiing for the first time and don’t know what to wear or are currently unsatisfied with the ski gear you already have, we’re here to help. If you want to be happy and successful skiing then you absolutely have to have appropriate clothing that will not only ensure you’re warm, but comfortable and free to move around with ease. Today, we’re going to fill you in on what exactly to wear skiing so you can check all these boxes.

Ski Jacket

If we were to recommend any one item on our guide above anything else, it would be the ski jacket. Ski jackets come in mens’, womens’, and kids’ variants to make sure they suit you and your family perfectly. While it is important to wear multiple layers, they should always be followed up with a ski jacket. These jackets are both waterproof and windproof to ensure that no moisture or cold drafts get inside, which can seriously ruin a trip to the ski resort.

Not only that, but they’re specifically made for this purpose, and as such are very durable and resistant to rips and tears. They even come with pockets for you to place your necessities like gloves, IDs/cards, cash, lift tickets, and more.

While they are occasionally a bit of an investment, it’s more than worth it in the end. Moreover, they will last you multiple seasons so you don’t have to keep buying more every year.

Ski Pants

Ski pants are another crucial piece of ski clothing that you’re going to need, especially if you’re a beginner. You aren’t going to be very comfortable falling in the snow with a pair of jeans or sweats on, that’s for sure!  Ski pants are the only option here. They are designed from almost the same materials that most ski jackets are made from.

The exterior is waterproof and wind resistant, while insulating you to keep heat close to your skin. Also similar to ski jackets, it allows for enough breathability to let sweat and excess body heat out so you’re never overheated or feel muggy.

These pants typically come with nice, big pockets for you to place gloves or even some extra cash inside if you find that to be more convenient for you than the pockets on your jacket.

While men’s ski pants are pretty much straight up and down, women’s ski pants are designed keeping the female body in mind so you don’t feel like you’re restrained or anything is too tight for you. Remember, when it comes to skiing a full range of motion is crucial to maintaining stability and performing your best.

Base Layers

While ski jackets and pants are essential, they shouldn’t be the only things you have on. In fact, on their own, they’re probably not going to regulate your body temperature very well. What you need are base layers. These are what will go under your jacket, pants, and possibly a mid-layer as well. Mid-layers may not be necessary, depending on the weather conditions. You also may not need a base layer under your ski pants if it isn’t all that cold or wet.

However, we do highly recommend using one under your jacket. This layer is form-fitting to your body, though stretchy enough that it never restricts your motion. These help to prevent painful and annoying chafing, while providing compression. Compression can help boost blood flow which can subsequently help with recovery, like helping ease muscle soreness.

Ski Gloves

Being out in the cold just standing around is painful enough, particularly if you don’t have a set of warm pockets to place them inside. However, when you’re flying down a mountainside on a pair of skis, that cold is going to be turned up like 10 notches. The wind becomes blistering and painful, and your hands will become hypersensitive before they become numb. Obviously, none of that feels nice or is even healthy.

To combat all of that, you need ski gloves. They insulate your hands, keeping your body heat in while simultaneously offering enough breathability that your hands don’t feel hot and sweaty. They are thick enough that they help to protect against bruising and scratches, while still being grippy enough that your hands and fingers won’t be slipping around when you grab something.

Women’s ski gloves are also available, and are a great idea if you have smaller, more narrow hands.

Ski Socks

It isn’t the best move to wear regular cotton socks skiing. The kind of socks you’d wear to the gym or on a normal day out are not going to do the trick, and will only end up with chafed legs, wet feet, and cold toes. Instead, you want ski socks which are thick enough to keep you warm, long enough to prevent any chafing on your lower legs, but still thin enough that they’ll fit comfortably inside your ski boots.


We may be listing this one at the end of our guide, but it’s actually the most important piece of gear you’ll ever purchase. You simply can’t put a price on your health, and that’s what a helmet offers. You may be averse to them because you’ve had uncomfortable helmets in the past.

However, these are anything but. Ski helmets are warm and comfortable, and very adjustable to ensure you don’t have to deal with any hot spots. Moreover, there are some models that even come with built-in audio so you can listen to your tunes all day long cruising around.


Now that you’ve had a read through all of the best clothing to wear skiing, do you know what you need to be bringing along for your next trip? We highly recommend each of these pieces of clothing, though helmets and ski jackets are definitely the most important by far. We hope that our guide has helped orientate you a bit more so you feel more comfortable and safe from here on out. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again soon!


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Shayanne Weeks

Shayanne is a freelance writer and marketer based in LA, California. Describing herself as a nomad, she has lived in Boise, Idaho and Seattle, Washington as well as Guadalajara, Mexico. As an extremely active person, she loves to snowboard, skateboard, and ski. She enjoys sharing her love for active sports with others through her “how to” sports guides and sports equipment reviews. Shyanne is addicted to the adrenaline rush she experiences during her outdoor pursuits, from ziplining in Mexico to snowboarding in Idaho.

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