How To Dress


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Dressing properly can make the difference between an epic ski/snowboard day and a not so epic one. The secret is to dress in layers.

Snow sports retail shops throughout the country are there to help outfit you and they can be found in our FIND GEAR section. 


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Of course, many of the basic items for starting out may be right in your closet. If you are a beginner, you also can consider first renting apparel or visiting swaps either at snow specialty shops or online.

Here are some simple guidelines to help ensure your comfort on the slopes. 

rack of clothesBase Layer.  Thermal underwear and "low to medium" cushion socks will help keep you warm and dry by pulling moisture away from your skin.  Look for wool, silk, and synthetic technical fabrics with ‘wicking' technologies. Avoid cotton; it holds moisture next to your skin making you feel cold. Ask a shop expert for advice. 

(Photos via Ski Center in Washington, DC and Mud, Sweat and Gears in Ellicottville, NY))

Insulation Layer.  Fleece shirts, flannels, turtlenecks, vests and sweaters are viable options.  Neck gaiters, balaclavas and fleece pants are great additions on cold days.  These should be just big enough to wear above your base layer, but should not be baggy. On colder days, you can double up your insulation layer (you can shed it). Lean towards wool, wool blends or synthetic fabrics.

Outer Layer.  The goal is to keep wind and snow out and warmth in with waterproof jackets, pants and gloves or mittens.  Be sure sleeves are long enough and that you have sufficient overlap between your jacket and pants - so snow doesn’t creep in.  Top it off with a helmet or hat and a proper pair of goggles (sunglasses are not ideal on colder days). A layer of sunscreen can protect exposed skin from the elements.

(Photo via Ski Center in Washington, DC)


REMEMBER: Check out the Find Gear section of this Web site for retail venues near you. Specialty snow sports retail shops in metro areas and at resorts are your best resource for outfitting yourself. Their staff is trained to help you make the best choices. Thanks to the associations below that represent them and help ensure quality customer service.   

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