Being from England, I had a slightly different idea about what to wear on the mountain to look ‘cool’ until I came to America. When I learned to ski in France over 6 years ago, you were more likely to see a 70s special ‘onesy’ than baggy snowboarder pants and a hoodie. I have observed many fashion styles this season and feel I can spot what the ‘cool’ look is. I, by no means, follow it, this is just a, how can I put it, a reflection.
Gaper GapThis was a phrase I was not familiar with until somebody called me out for my Twitter handle picture. Yes, I was sporting a gaper gap. For those of you who are equally as ignorant to the phrase, it basically means when one has a gap between their beanie and their goggles. ‘Gapers’ can also be spotted for wearing 80s ski suits (not as costume), for tucking their pants into their boots, for looking uncomfortable or for being accident prone. Avoid being a ‘gaper.’
Rolled up ski pantsThis isn’t like a ‘gaper’ who tucks in their ski pants, no, this is when the pants are just simply rolled up, showing lining of the pant and all. A favorite particularly among the younger park rats, I have been advised that this is actually what not to do. I think it is similar to when I guys pants hang below their bottom too far and they really need to understand the benefits of a belt. They take the 'cool' too far. Don't do it.
Goggle straps under helmetFirst off, wearing your beanie under your helmet is a must because it keeps your head warm and helps with the whole gaper issue outlined above. The next question is whether or not to have your goggle straps under or over your helmet? Now, ‘the trend’ is to go under the helmet but I have practical issues with this. If you know me well, you know I have an enormous head so finding a helmet to fit was a problem in itself without calculating in goggle straps. Also, with straps underneath you have to wear your goggles on all the time. That annoys me. But I understand the sacrifices you have to make in the name of fashion, so on this one, under the helmet it is.
FacemaskBelieve it or not, there is etiquette to face masks too. To be considered ‘cool’ ones facemask must be underneath your helmet strap but over the low part of your face up to your top lip/below your nose. If you want to look really scary, you can put it entirely over your nose and under your goggles so that even your own mother wouldn’t know it was you. A good idea if you are famous or wish people to think you are.
Always wear a helmetThis season the ski industry has been hard hit with injuries and deaths, so even though my article is laced in sarcasm, I will end by emphasizing, seriously, how important it is to wear a helmet. Even if you think you are the best skier or rider in the world, that does not mean that someone wearing a helmet won’t run into you, in which case their helmet will, undoubtedly, knock you out if not worse. Be safe. Look after yourself.
End of the season is closing in but Northstar is still gorgeous as ever. Fresh powder this weekend – I’ll be out there. I hope you’ll join me.
-- Kate Thomas