A ski vacation is a wonderful way to find adventure and relaxation. Most anybody can learn to ski, whether you take a lesson or ask a friend to coach. However, like any winter sport, skiing requires certain commitments to gear to be enjoyed thoroughly. Learn about proper winter clothing, and enjoy your next winter vacation without thinking about the cold and wet.
The start of any cold weather outfit is the base layer: a thin, breathable layer of clothing next to your skin. Base layers wick moisture away from your skin to keep you dry and warm. Choose both top and bottom base layers made of polyester, polypropylene or wool. The garments should be snug to form-fitting to ensure moisture transfer and ease of layering.
A good mid-layer is the insulator of winter clothing. These layers are generally polyester fleece, wool or some blend of the two. Purchase both a top and bottom mid-layer, but keep in mind that, because skiing is a highly active sport, you may need to shed the middle layer partway through the day. Be sure your clothes are designed for technical activities so they can handle the movement and sweat produced during skiing.
Your shell layer is the roof over your clothes. These garments are waterproof or water-resistant, breathable and generally uninsulated. Specially designed ski parkas and pants are the best option for this layer, but other technical clothes, like an alpine soft shell jacket, will work as well. Remember, though, that if you find your clothes are too warm on the hill, remove middle layers. If you fall in the snow without a shell, you will get chilled very quickly as the snow melts and evaporates off your clothes.