I’m still completely in a Christmas frame-of-mind, but this time year always has me so excited for ski trips too! Ever since I was little, I grew up going skiing with my family and this love has crossed over to several fun ski trips with friends. One of my forever favorite ski destinations is Telluride, Colorado, but this year I’m so excited to soak up my time in Europe and ski here in the Alps!
If you’re planning a winter getaway of your own and looking for a little winter weather wardrobe inspo, I’ve carefully selected my list of essentials to make the most of your ski trip or wintery holiday! When it comes to the mountains, my priority is always warmth over style, but thankfully there are plenty of fashionable AND functional picks to look and feel your best when taking on freezing temperatures! Also if you’re looking for some inspo on where to hit the slopes, don’t miss my list of favorite ski destinations at the end! Even if you aren’t a “skier” per say, there are still plenty of wintery activities like dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice skating, or shopping in the adorable mountain towns to enjoy!
One of the #1 essential items for any wintery getaway (skiing or not!) is a puffer coat. I have two — my J Crew belted black style and this faux-lined puffer in red and swear by both! Not only are they really easy to pack but they’re also extremely warm despite being so lightweight. If you don’t already have one, I definitely recommend one. I not only wear mine 24/7 anytime I’m in the snow, but they also make great overlays in frigid cities like New York and London.
If you plan on heading anywhere cold, where snow is even remotely on the forecast, I definitely advise investing in snow boots. While “ski” boots are warm, they aren’t something you’ll be able to walk in. Snow boots, like my go-to Sorels, are warm, water-resistant, and have good traction so you don’t slip on Ice. They’re are plenty of styles to find something that suits your taste, but I’ve had both short and tall styles and prefer the latter.
If you’re heading to the snow and plan on spending significant time in the mountains, some sort of ski ensemble is definitely necessary. If you’re trying to cut costs, it’s definitely do-able to make your puffer coat play the part of a ski jacket. Topshop also has their SNO collection if you’re looking for something durable but don’t plan on skiing more than a few times throughout the year. If you’re an avid skier and are looking to make a long-term investment, I personally recommend North Face or Toni Sailer. While they are pricier than budget-conscious brands, they’ll last you years on end and are exceptionally warm and durable.
The same goes for ski pants. Each brand mentioned above makes a coordinating version of ski pants to pair with your ski coat. While I only have one white ski coat, I do have two pairs of ski pants — one black and one white. Because I go skiing every year and multiple days a trip, it’s nice to change things up, although not entirely necessary since you will likely be wearing a pair of thermals or legging underneath. My personal favorites are, Toni Sailer (the brand of my black pants). While they are on the higher end of the spectrum, they’re extremely flattering for ski pants, and again will last years on end.
THERMALS / BASE LAYERS
Depending on how cold your destination is, you’ll probably need some base layers. This can be as simple as a pair of your warmest work out leggings paired with a long sleeve workout top or specially made thermal under garments made to lock in warmth. My go-to’s have always been North Face’s thermal top and bottoms but this year I’m excited to try out these Sweaty Betty top and bottom base layers. Overall, I’m pretty “temperature sensitive” aka my hots are hot and my colds are cold, so I always pack an additional zip up fleece to layer over my thermals if it’s snowing or particularly freezing.
I think I’d go as far to say accessories make or break a ski experience. My fingers and toes are always the first to go so I’ve learned 1 pair of warm wool socks (Smartwool is my favorite) and a well-lined pair of ski gloves are the most essential accessories. From there, you definitely need a pair of ski goggles, a neck warmer, tech-touch glove liners if you plan on using your phone, and a helmet.
*** If you have issues keeping your hands and toes warm like me I definitely recommend these hand and feet warmers. You stick them at the base of your boot liner or at the bottom of your socks and they do a really great job at keeping your toes warm for a few hours.
While nothing beats the fresh air of the mountains, the cold weather always leaves my skin quite dry. I definitely recommend packing a good hand cream and chapstick to keep on hand. Additionally, if you’re prone to getting altitude sickness like me, unfortunately, I definitely recommend asking your general doctor about prescribing Diamox to start taking a few days before your travels. I took it during my trip to Telluride last year and didn’t have any problems with the 10,000ft+ altitudes.
WHERE TO SKI
Hopefully, I’ll have a few more recs to add to the list after this ski season is over, but if you’re looking for somewhere to soak up the snow, here are a few of my first-hand favorites from easy weekend get-aways (depending on where you live) to winter wonderland vacations! (Pictured Above: Deer Valley & Telluride)
COLORADO: Telluride | Aspen | Breckenridge
CALIFORNIA: North Star | Mammoth | Big Bear
UTAH: Deer Valley
SWITZERLAND*: Gstaad | St. Moritz | Zermatt | Verbier
AUSTRIA: Piesendorf | Kitzbuel *|
CANADA: Whistler *
*On my bucket list but have never been first hand.. yet!