In the early 90's, growing up in St. Louis, skiing meant driving 45 minutes to the landfill that had snow blowers pumping out ice crystals onto it for three months out of the year. "Layering," meant wearing jeans under your warmest pair of sweatpants, and tucking in your cotton turtleneck.
Everything I knew about ski "fashion" was derived from the one episode of "Melrose Place" where Rhonda's rich boyfriend books them a trip to Colorado for Christmas. Rhonda, living in LA, has nothing to wear, and almost cancels the trip. Cut to the next scene with stylish Rhonda, decked out in exactly what you are expecting -- a fancy neon one piece cinched tightly across the waist with a matching nylon belt, accompanied by a faux fur headband that kept her hair perfectly in place.
Imagine my surprise in moving to Colorado and finding out that people wore one pieces and jeans during spring skiing to be ironic!
Over the years we have seen some unique trends surface on the snow. From skin tight lycra, to the snowboarder "sag," helmets that are ipod and blue-tooth compatible, battery-operated electric jackets, and enormous fur boots, big neon pants, and argyle prints; there is no doubt that every time we head out there, we're experiencing a fashion show on the snow. Styles change so quickly that we wonder who is leading this parade. So what might you expect to see people be wearing this year? And what trends are being retired from the hill?
Expect to see:
We were at the Snowsports Industries America tradeshow scoping out new gear trends for this year in January. Check out the top ski trends in photos here.
You'll know it's last year if it's:
Universal classic combo that never goes out of style, but leaves you hiding in the crowd:
This is the universal outfit that renders you impossible to distinguish from every other person out there. Please diversify with a bright helmet or at least a bold nylon belt cinched "just so" at your waist.
One thing that we can always count on is that fashion fads will come and go on and off the snow. The key to building a lasting look that will survive long after the day-glo goggles do is to always remember that comfort is the most stylish element of all.
Any child who has experienced the trauma of skiing down a landfill in cotton gloves will tell you that there is nothing fun about being cold. So this year remember that while it is totally worth taking a fashion risk, do so with the knowledge that your risk will still be a warm one.