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Ski Style Through the Ages

Ski style has changed a lot since it’s origins. Outfits that to us today look ridiculous, were at one point stylish and practical. Ski style has largely been influenced by functionality (warmth, ease of movement) but also by economics. Skiing was only for the wealthy during the early century and for those jet-setting, après-enjoying few, high fashion was important. Ski wear has often been infused with the style of the times and you can see that as it has evolved over the years.

Early Century

1900's Ski Style

At the turn of the century skiing was predominately for the wealthy, adventurous, European men. But in the early 1990’s women started to make their way onto the slopes. The idea of skiwear for women was unfamiliar which led them to wearing thick, long skirts, ridiculous scarves and massive one-stick poles. While men stuck to the simple ski trousers and sweaters.

In 1910’s they moved to knee-length skirts for women. People who were looking for something a bit more stylish on the slopes at this time opted for a newly invented rubber or wax jacket!

1920’s

Trousers for women became popular (although they were still scandalous off the slopes!). After the first winter Olympics in 1924, functionality began to become more important than fashion.

1930’s/1940’s

Skiers in 1941

Image from selvedgeyard.com

Ski suits were mostly made out of heavy wool & flannel lining. Some manufacturers began trying waterproofing and stretchy fabric called Lastex was used for wrist and ankle cuffs to keep dry. People also started to think about becoming aerodynamic on the hill which lead to tighter fitting clothing for quick & easy movements. You could be found wearing a beret on the mountain around this time!

1950’s/1960’s

The 1950’s was when skiing really gained popularity thanks to cheaper travel. A more form fitting and sleeker style became the norm with polyester and spandex. Brighter colors were also coming into popularity. Beanies entered the scene in the 50’s! And it also seemed to be the time everyone became passionate about goggle tans.

1970’s

1970's ski style moon boots

By the 1970’s wool was becoming less popular and synthetic materials started to be used. The fleece mid-layer was a huge technological advancement of this time. Ski wear was also fashionable enough to wear on the street – think moonboots, capes, fake fur & psychedelic colors.

1980’s/1990’s

1980's ski style

Can you say ONSIES!? Animal designs & fluorescent colours were all the rage. Large parkas and stretchy pants became popular.

2000’s

2000s ski style puffy

Image from Conde Nast

The 2000’s were the years of puffy jackets and pastels. Need we say more…?

Today

ski style mountain

Layering systems are used to wick away sweat & helmets are the norm. Fashion & function appear simultaneously with weatherproof, breathable & flexible gear. Bright colors continue to be popular.

We can only wonder what the next trend will be, and what we will think of our current ski style in the years to come… What’s your favourite look? Let us know in the comments below!

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