As with most things in life, things change relatively regularly in the world of skiing. From what’s popular in terms of après ski activities right through to the decorating of group skiing chalets, arguably the most notable changes can be seen in the outfits we wear when we’re out on the slopes.
Whether you look at skiers last week or last century, the purpose of ski clothing has always been the same. Keeping you warm and safe, over the years the clothing has developed its own sense of style whilst retaining its key purpose.
When you’re skiing regularly and have done so for many years, you’re unlikely to notice the changes in the fashion as they happen. As soon as you start to look back, however, you begin to realise that things have changed – often considerably so, as can be seen in this infographic on SnowSkool.co.uk, which shows the differences in skiing fashion between now and 1982.
It’s for this reason why if you haven’t been skiing in a few years, you could really do with updating your wardrobe. You might initially think the jacket you wore a decade ago would be fine to wear today, but you may be surprised at just how much things have changed!
For example, looking at the SnowSkool.co.uk infographic, back in the 1980s, one piece ski suits that were brightly coloured (often featuring more than one luminous colour) were the staple fashion item. Really making you stand out against the snow, they followed the style of the era closely and therefore ensured you could be fashionable both on and off the pistes.
Fast forward a few decades and the one piece suits are gone, as are the garish colours and everything’s much more refined – a relatively neutral-coloured jacket and a simple pair of ski trousers are the main items now. Essentially making you blend in with everyone else, it actually takes the onus away from having to be fashionable and ensures you can invest your efforts more in skiing.
The developments aren’t all about keeping up with the latest trends either and in some instances the changes can actually make for a better skiing experience.
Take skis as an example. Back in the 1980s, your skis would have been around 200cm long and approximately a mere 70mm wide. Today, most skis will have shaven around 20% of this length, but added at least 35% to the width and this has all come about to essentially make skiing easier – the wider your skis are, the better you ‘float’ on the snow and the shorter they are, the better they hold your weight, giving you more control over your movement.
It’s the same with accessories, too. A skiing helmet was a real rarity even just a few years ago, but it’s getting to the point today where you’re going to struggle more to see a large quantity of skiers without a helmet than you are with one.
In all seriousness, if you haven’t been skiing since the 1980s or even the 1990s, you could theoretically use exactly the same clothes and equipment if you went skiing today. However, with so much development taking place since then – and in the last 10 years in particular – you really will be better off refreshing your wardrobe if you’re planning on going on a group skiing holiday.
Both from a fashion point of view but also from an overall experience aspect, as modern skis really are better than their elder counterparts, it might not be an absolute necessity, but it’s definitely a (very!) strong recommendation.