Choosing the right clothing can be pivotal in your enjoyment of your holiday. Here are a few tips I have learnt along the way!Depending on the time of year you are going on your skiing holiday you can expect very different temperatures. If you are heading out in December, January or February you can expect much cooler temperatures and I would definitely advise investing in some base layers (I’ll come to what these are). If you are travelling in March or April you may end up finding that you are too hot out on the slopes particularly if you are a beginner, it can be pretty exhausting when learning.
JacketsSkiing can be a very expensive past time and you can spend anything on £50 up to £400 on a jacket depending on how influenced you are by fashion and the latest brands. I personally have a penchant for the more expensive items of clothing but this is generally because I am easily influenced by extremely clever advertisers! When I started to learn I made my way to the old faithful TK Maxx store on the high street where you can pick up perfectly good jackets for around £50, some of them maybe last season but they do the trick. There are generally two types of ski jackets, winter ans spring, the spring jackets are much thinner and more breathable so make sure you know when you are going before you buy your clothing. There are many features you can get on jackets these days ranging from holes for ipods through to burger recipes (yes you heard me correctly, the latest jacket my best friend bought had a burger recipe). Here are few things that I would recommend
Trousers/SalopetsAgain I find the best value place to buy your Salopets is TK Maxx, you can generally pick up a decent pair for around £50. However I have bought a number of pairs and the real test is how waterproof they are, I have had my recent pair of salopets for the last 3 years and they are brilliant, the last thing you want on a cold day is a wet bum. Check out Westbeach for great but more expensive salopets.
SocksAgain socks can make a huge difference to your level of enjoyment throughout your holiday. I would recommend spending between £10 – £15 per pair on your skiing socks. Click here to check out this article in the telegraph for a few suggestions
Base LayersThe baselayer is designed to trap a thin layer of warm air against the body and it also works to pull sweat away from the skin, which is known as ‘wicking’. There are 2 main types of fabric you can choose for a baselayer, Merino wool, or synthetic fabrics. Merino wool is a natural fabric that is comfortable and odour resistant, but is a less effective fabric at wicking sweat. Merino is ideal for extreme cold conditions. Synthetics are lightweight and wicking alternative to merino, but are less efficient at resisting odour. However they do dry very quickly and also cost less than merino layer. Whatever you choose- make sure you avoid cotton. Cotton soaks up sweat like as sponge and when it’s wet; it draws heat away from the body, which can cause hypothermia. (Hypothermia can be contracted even in ‘mild’ weather!)
A baselayer should fit closely like a ‘second skin’, an should be made from an appropriate wicking material which not only allows you to move freely, not chaffing your skin as you do so, but also allows you to transport moisture away from the skin.
Generally the majority of ski resorts are fairly casual. I would suggest bringing one smarter outfit in case you decide to frequent one of the smarter venues but generally jeans, t shirts, casual shirts and hoodies and what most people tend to wear. If you are heading out for a few drinks in the evening either bring a warm winter jacket to wear or you can wear your ski jacket out in the evening just be aware quite a lot of places still allow smoking. So unless you want to be whiffing the smell of stale cigarettes when your flying down the slopes I would suggest bringing an alternative warm jacket with you.