The Fashion Girl’s Guide to Hitting the Slopes in Style

Fashion

There’s a certain type of adrenaline rush that comes with gliding down a fluffy, snow-capped mountain—you’re outside, breathing in the fresh alpine air, and taking in unparalleled views of the world around you, all while donning the best ski outfits for women. But how, exactly, does one get here?

While one might need to endure a round (or two) of ski and snowboard lessons to build the skill set required for a fun—and safe—jaunt down an icy gale or fresh powder, there’s no doubt you want to look good while doing it. Because, if you ask this fashion editor, looking the part is approximately 80 percent of the experience. There’s nothing quite like rolling up to an idyllic ski resort (Aspen or Jackson Hole, anyone?) or a lush, wintry restaurant in a bold ski jacket or an elevated ski suit—but not at the cost of comfort. Or, more importantly, practicality.

Whether you plan to take on some bunny slopes, double-black diamonds, or sip on hot toddies in full-on après-ski mode, it’s easy to get overwhelmed prepping for a ski trip. Fret not, as I—a newly minted snowboarder and all-around gear girl—with some additional input from a couple of ELLE’s resident skiers, break down everything you need, for both skiing and snowboarding, to make your slope sessions (and the moments before and after) an effortlessly chic breeze. Consider this your fashion girl-approved winter sports starter pack.


Luxe Luggage

best ski travel gear

Getty Images + Courtesy of Rimowa

No matter where you’re going this season—be it the Swiss Alps, Japan’s Hokkaido region, the Catskills, or the Rockies—traveling with your gear (if you aren’t renting, that is) can be a hassle. Make those days on the road easier with the right baggage.

Wheelie Gig Snowboard Bag

Burton Wheelie Gig Snowboard Bag

As someone who almost went on her last trip with the non-wheeled version of this bag, take it from me: If you’re traveling with your own gear, you will want a bag with wheels. Simply put, it makes getting to and from your hotel exponentially easier. And in a print like this, it’ll be easy to spot at baggage claim.

Essential Cabin

Rimowa Essential Cabin

A quick walk through Aspen will tell you that Rimowa is one of the designer luggage brands to have. It’s timeless, undoubtedly stylish, and durable. And when this polycarbonate carry-on comes in a sleek color like this forest green, what more could you need?

PACK-IT™ Gear Quick Trip

Eagle Creek PACK-IT™ Gear Quick Trip

The moment I saw this easy-to-use toiletry bag, I was amazed—and you will be, too. The geometric design allows this to open up and lay flat, meaning you get easy access to all your daily essentials. And, as one would expect from a brand like Eagle Creek, the material is tough—which means it’ll get you through pretty much anything.

Extended Trip Expandable 4 Wheeled Packing Case

Tumi Extended Trip Expandable 4 Wheeled Packing Case

In case you need something a little roomier for your trip (ski jackets and chunky knits are bulky!), I suggest this expandable suitcase from Tumi. Another favorite, this eye-catching roller is made with a recycled polycarbonate shell, which means it’ll be on the lighter side. You know what that means: You can pack more into it for your travels…or shopping.

Roundtrip Ski Roller Bag

Thule Roundtrip Ski Roller Bag

Thule’s Roundtrip Ski Roller Bag is a top-rated, tried-and-true companion for skiers of all levels for good reason: it fits two pairs of alpine skis and poles, there’s a removable ski divider to help keep things including your boots, clothes, and other gear organized, and there’s a zippered pocket on the inside for smaller items. Not to mention, you have the reputation of Thule, which has been known to create tough, practical bags for any type of adventure.

Functional Outerwear

best ski jackets for women 2023

Getty + Courtesy of Arc’teryx

As I said, dressing the part makes up for a significant portion of the fun. However, you do want to make sure you’re prepared for the elements—and anything else that may come your way in the middle of your runs down the mountain. From chic puffer jackets to more technical shells with GORE-TEX materials, these are sure to keep you warm, dry, and looking cute all day long.

Sentinel Insulated Jacket

Arc’teryx Sentinel Insulated Jacket

When it comes to performance wear for the outdoors, it’s hard to think of a better brand than Arc’Teryx—especially for winter sports. Its Sentinel Insulated Jacket has been a godsend during my time on the mountain, which is when I need something to give me enough room to move around, but still keep me warm. Yes, the price is a hefty one, but given the quality, durability, and comfort, it’s well worth it.

Figment Jacket

Stio Figment Jacket

“This Stio jacket is as much for my friends as it is for me, because I know they’ll be able to spot this beautiful green anywhere. Practically speaking, it’s lightweight yet weatherproof, comes with a multitude of pockets (got to stash your snacks somewhere!), and was named Outside magazine’s “best technical shell” for women this year. And again, it’s also just really cute.”—Madison Feller, digital deputy editor

Aston Belted Ski Jacket

Halfdays Aston Belted Ski Jacket

“Not only does the warm, well-fitted Halfdays Aston jacket come in a range of poppy colors that stand out against the snow, but the built-in belt means you can bundle as many layers underneath as you’d like—and still maintain some semblance of a waist.”—Lauren Puckett-Pope, culture writer

Printed Ski Down Jacket

Pucci x Fusalp Printed Ski Down Jacket

In a flurry of skiers and snowboarders, there’s no way you want to lose sight of your crew—nor them you. Enter, this bold, sophisticated puffer from the Pucci x Fusalp collaboration. It’s a technical option that doesn’t skimp on style. And most of all, everyone will see you glide down the mountain.

Legacy Metallic Leather & Fur Ski Vest

Head Sportswear Legacy Metallic Leather & Fur Ski Vest

Made in collaboration with Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, this ultra-luxurious leather ski vest is one of the best (and coziest) ways to take on one of fashion’s biggest trends of the moment: metallics. Without a doubt, this will make you an instant style on the slopes.

Sleek Bottoms and Ski Suits

best ski pants and jumpsuits for women 2023

Getty Images + Courtesy of Perfect Moment x BOSS

There’s always the potential for falling into a bank of snow. (Just me? Okay…) In which case, having the right bottoms makes all the difference. Yes, your ski jacket may have a built-in powder skirt, but give yourself an extra layer with water-repellant bottoms—or perhaps a full-body ski suit. Future you will be grateful.

Sentinel Bib Pants

Arc’teryx Sentinel Bib Pants

Pants are great and all, but a bib like this one will ensure you don’t get any snow in unwanted areas—which could really ruin a run, if you ask me.

Figment Bib

Stio Figment Bib

“One rule of winter sports shopping: If you give a girl a pretty jacket, she’s going to want the matching bib. This one in particular is roomy, comes with adjustable straps and multiple pockets, and the exterior is made from 100 percent recycled polyester fabric.”—MF

 Alessandra Insulated Water Resistant Ski Pants

Halfdays Alessandra Insulated Water Resistant Ski Pants

“Like a lot of skiers, I’m picky about ski pants: Too thick, and they inhibit your slaloming. Too thin, and you might as well just be wearing a trash bag over your long johns. Too wide, and you start resembling the Michelin Man. Halfdays conquers this Goldilocks problem with a pair of well-insulated, shapely ski pants that look good and keep your legs toasty, without restricting your range of movement.”—LPP

Houndstooth Ski Suit

Perfect Moment x BOSS Houndstooth Ski Suit

There’s no place like the ski slopes to make a statement—and what better way to do it than with a head-turning onesie? Not only will this houndstooth-print ski suit make you stand out on the lift, but it’ll keep you incredibly warm as you make your way back down.

Sand Palms Paradise Ski Jumpsuit

Farm Rio Sand Palms Paradise Ski Jumpsuit

Perhaps you describe your personal style to be one that’s along the lines of bohemian-chic. And if you’re the type of person who wants to bring a touch of warmth to the mountain with her sartorial choices, this tropical-print option from Farm Rio is for you.

Comfortable Base Layers

best ski and snowboarding base layers for women 2023

Getty + Courtesy of NAKEDCASHMERE

When it comes to dressing for winter weather, proper layers are the name of the game. And the same applies to snow sports. There are warm days, there are cold days, sunny days, and windy days. These base pieces will keep you ready for them all.

FD Pro 160 Crew

The North Face FD Pro 160 Crew

The types of base layers you wear underneath your shells will depend on the weather conditions, and if the forecast calls for sunnier days (or if you veer on the warmer side), this option—made with FlashDry Pro fabrics—will be just what you need. It’s sure to keep you warm without overheating, because nobody wants that.

Heattech Ultra Warm Leggings

Uniqlo Heattech Ultra Warm Leggings

For occasions on and off the slopes, it’s hard to beat Uniqlo’s Heattech collection—especially when it comes at an affordable price. Wear these under your shells to keep you warm throughout the day, and under your jeans or trousers during those more casual (and less sporty) moments.

Inversion Heavyweight Crew Merino Wool Base Layer Shirt

Ridge Merino Inversion Heavyweight Crew Merino Wool Base Layer Shirt

“Never underestimate the importance of a good base layer—especially if you favor lighter, looser shell jackets for your snowsports. I love this Ridge Merino crew because it’s soft enough for my sensitive skin without sacrificing any insulation. The cut of the shirt tucks easily into my ski pants, so there’s no skin exposed to the elements.”—LPP

Janic Sleeveless Cashmere Jumpsuit

NAKEDCASHMERE Janic Sleeveless Cashmere Jumpsuit

A cashmere jumpsuit, because why not? Made in collaboration with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, this sleek and cozy onesie will be a touch of luxury underneath your outer layers. It’s also so cozy, you may just want to use it for your loungewear, too.

Zero-Cushion Merino Wool Blend Ski & Snowboard Sock 3-Pack

Bombas Zero-Cushion Merino Wool Blend Ski & Snowboard Sock 3-Pack

Socks may seem like an afterthought when you’re packing all your gear, but there’s no question about it: Having the right ones for your snow sports will make all the difference. Cult-favorite brand Bombas presents a lightweight merino wool option to give you all the control you need as you ski or snowboard. Plus, these have the Bombas honeycomb arch customers know and love the brand for.

Must-Have Gear

best ski and snowboard gear for women 2023

Getty + Courtesy of SMITH Optics

You have the most stylish ski apparel on the market—why shouldn’t you have the best ski and snowboarding gear, too? From designer skis and boards that’ll serve as great luxury gifts for her to sleek but practical protective accessories, these will keep you feeling fresh.

Zai Skis in Wood and Rubber

Saint Laurent Zai Skis in Wood and Rubber

To no one’s surprise, Saint Laurent makes incredibly sleek skis. These monochromatic wood and rubber skis, made in collaboration with Zai, feature the Saint Laurent name subtly embossed on the top, making these skis one of those ‘if you know, you know’ types of luxury purchases.

Linea Rossa Snowboard

Prada Linea Rossa Snowboard

Obsessed with Prada’s viral flame motif? Me too. And with the brand’s Linea Ross snowboard, you can bring some heat to the slopes. Carving has never looked better.

Skis Monogram Stripe L

Louis Vuitton Skis Monogram Stripe L

If I’ve ever learned anything about Louis Vuitton over the years, it’s that this fashion house puts its touch on nearly any product imaginable. Case in point: These LV-monogrammed skis. How chic will these look when you rack them after a long run?

Snowboard

Balenciaga Snowboard

A silver mirrored snowboard? Hell yes. One of the most exciting parts about getting a designer snowboard is—according to my coach—the fact that one can hang it on the wall for storage, and it’s immediately art. This is exactly what I have in mind when I see this board, and no doubt, that’ll be exactly what you do with it, too.

All Mountain 78 Skis (Bindings Included)

Bomber x Balmain All Mountain 78 Skis (Bindings Included)

These limited-edition skis from Balmain and Bomber are meant for those who want a versatile pair, designed to be responsive on different types of terrains. If you’re an alpine skier who likes to challenge herself with new routes, go with these.

Method Mips®

Smith Method Mips®

Ever since I learned how to ski and snowboard, I’ve been using a Smith helmet. Not only are they sleek and stylish, but they also feature the very necessary Mips protection system, because no one wants to hurt their head.

Hera Pro Snowboard Boots

Ride Hera Pro Snowboard Boots

One of the many reasons I prefer snowboarding over skiing is the fact that the boots are so much more comfortable. These Ride Hera Pro boots feature the BOA dual-dial fit system, which ensures the perfect fit (not to mention an easier time in and out of the shoes) on your foot and your ankle.

Model Four

YNIQ Model Four

I already loved the look of ski goggles before, but then I tried these stunners and I felt like a true rockstar on the mountain. Combining function with a minimal (but nonetheless showstopping) design, these are the unexpected touch of luxury fashion I didn’t know I needed.

Shift Pro 100 AT

Salomon Shift Pro 100 AT

Salomon’s a hard brand to beat when it comes to quality outdoor gear, and its Shift Pro ski boots are no exception. These are designed to provide the right amount of stability for any type of ski day, whether you’re planning for an alpine route or a hike up the backcountry. Your options will be endless with these.

HeatTouch™ Atlas Mid™ Glove

Seirus HeatTouch™ Atlas Mid™ Glove

“As someone whose default state can be aptly summarized as ‘cold,’ I easily break into full-body shivers while skiing when the weather dips. And that’s well after my fingers have gone numb. So I’ve been eyeing a good pair of heated gloves for multiple seasons now. Finally, I have this highly-rated pair of battery-powered gloves with three heat settings (low, medium, and high), which can run for hours, keeping my hands warm and pain-free during those frigid morning runs.”—LPP

Après-Ski Essentials

best apres ski for women 2023

Getty + Courtesy of Moncler

Ah, yes—perhaps the most-discussed area of ski season. Sure, skiing and snowboarding are where the action is, but can anything else compare to the cozy warmth you get after a long day on the mountain? Maybe some recovery time in the hot tub, but I’d be hard-pressed to say anything more, especially when you’re bundled up the best après-ski pieces to take you from walking around town to enjoying a fresh pot of fondue.

Large Backpack With Interlocking G

Gucci Large Backpack With Interlocking G

Yes, you could bring your favorite designer bag with you on your ski trip, but there’s something about a backpack that feels a little more functional. I’m partial to this shearling option from Gucci, which will scream “luxury” everywhere you go.

Colby Rectangular Wool Scarf With Fringed Ends

Mackage Colby Rectangular Wool Scarf With Fringed Ends

What’s a winter trip to the mountains without a fluffy wool scarf? Mackage’s oversized option will be the finishing touch to your après-ski ensembles—and really, how good is this baby blue color?

Chaviere Short Down Jacket

Moncler Chaviere Short Down Jacket

Few brands do the après-ski life quite like Moncler. This cropped jacket feels like the quintessential layer to be wearing around the resort. It’s fitted with cozy quilted panels, features a shearling-lined collar, and a powder skirt, in case you love it so much you want to wear it on the slopes. I imagine you’ll be sporting this in the city as much as you will in the mountains.

Floral-Appliqué Split-Hem Flared Pants

Magda Butrym Floral-Appliqué Split-Hem Flared Pants

After a long day of skiing or snowboarding, the next plan of action is to be as comfortable as possible. Enter these knit, split-hem pants. They’ll be the cozy-chic staple you need to lounge in as you sip on a warm hot toddy.

Dioralps Snow Ankle Boot

Dior Dioralps Snow Ankle Boot

Now’s the time to wear those ultra-puffy, chunky snow boots—and if you want to give your ensembles an undeniably chic touch, this pair from Dior is the way to go. Wear them with a pair of sleek leggings as you traipse through the ski resort.

Extreme Winter Beauty Staples

best ski and snowboarding beauty for extreme winter conditions for women 2023

Getty + Courtesy of Supergoop!

Now, one cannot embrace the alpine way without first gearing up on beauty essentials to keep your skin protected in the extreme cold—or, at least, it’s ill-advised. So, we asked professional skier and two-time Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin to weigh in on her must-haves and then included them, below.

Queen of The Winter Oil

Romi Queen of The Winter Oil

Inspired by travels through Paris and crafted to brave the Midwestern cold fronts, this oil is made with a blend of nourishing oils and botanical extracts that hydrate and protect your skin from the damaging effects of the cold weather. The light floral scent of jasmine also has a softening effect that improves tone and texture.

C E Ferulic

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

When the weather gets cooler, our skin naturally starts to feel a bit drier. During the winter months, you want something that can fight back against the wind chill. This vitamin C serum is brightening and hydrating—it fights dehydration so that you can maintain a healthy glow all year long.

Glowscreen SPF 40

Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40

Just because it’s cold and a bit gloomy this time of year doesn’t mean that you can skip out on sunscreen. The great thing about this one, in particular, is that it also has hyaluronic acid to keep your skin hydrated while the pearly finish leaves you looking vibrant and luminous regardless of the cloudy skies.

Exfoliating Polish

Zoskin Exfoliating Polish

If you want to keep your skin looking and feeling as smooth as possible, exfoliating is an essential step in your beauty routine, especially when you’re up against the chill of the ski trails. It removes dead skin cells, revives dull tone, and allows for your moisturizers to penetrate deeper into the skin to keep it hydrated. With tiny, ultra-fine crystals, this polish scrubs away any debris and instantly delivers radiance.

Headshot of Dale Arden Chong

Dale Arden Chong is the Senior Fashion Commerce Editor at ELLE.com. Previously, she was an editor at MensHealth.com and has written for Who What Wear, GLAMOUR, The Coveteur, and more. She loves fashion, food, and art, among other things—but her greatest love is K-pop idol V of BTS. 

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