Skip to content
Suit up to shred: What’s in, out on the slopes this season
Suit up to shred: What’s in, out on the slopes this season

You can almost feel the anticipation of ski and snowboard season in Boulder.

Outdoor sport enthusiasts are champing at the bit to get out on the slopes, but it`ll be hard to do that without the “proper” attire.

When it comes to outerwear this season, men and women disagree in color, but agree in fit and functionality.

“We`re seeing really fun, bright colors like orange, green and purple,” said Kim Walker, owner of Boulder`s Outdoor Divas.

In women`s ski pants, Walker said she`s seeing a sort of throwback to the `80s.

What to wear

For women, this season`s slopeside fashions include fun, bright colors — think orange, green and purple — with tight-fitting, `80s-style ski pants. Plus, insulated jackets rather than layers.

For men, it`s kind of opposite, with more conservative colors, like burgundies and blacks. But like with the women, there`s an uptick in fitted wear, less of the baggy stuff. And let`s not talk about hipster beards.

“It`s totally old school with a tighter fit and then gaiters over the boots,” she said.

Some even come complete with a detachable bib if you`re really in that retro mood.

James Trabucco, the store manager at BC Surf and Sport at Twenty Ninth Street, said the opposite of colors hold true for guys, but the same fitted style is what he`s seeing in pants and jackets.

“This year colors are a bit more conservative — more muted colors like burgundies and blacks, nothing too out of this world,” he said.


Also in men`s wear, a clean and classic fit is trending this year, and Trabucco said it`s because of the economy.

“They want stuff to fit and last and don`t want to have to replace it every season,” he said.

So boys, stop with the over-the-top baggy pants and hunter orange jackets that you`re going to hate next year. Mommy and daddy aren`t going to reinvent your “riding style” every season.

Sam Johnson, a junior at CU, said he thinks that pockets and “hipster beards” are the new thing out on the slopes this season. And he`s sort of right.

“Adding too many pockets can look too busy,” Trabucco said. “But you`ll see some strategically placed that are more fashionable than functional.”

We`re not even going to start talking about hipster beards.

Talking about functionality, for both men`s and women`s wear, last year Volcom came out with a system called “Zip-Tech.” It lets you actually zip your snow pants and jacket together, so on powdery days you won`t get snow in places it doesn`t belong.

Get insulated

Insulation is something that`s obviously important on those blustery riding days. Now, instead of layering up and feeling bulky, you can buy the latest and greatest in insulated jackets.

“People are getting sick of layers,” Walker said. “It`s just easier to go for insulated.”

Sabrina Galloway, a junior at CU, is one that would love the idea of an insulated jacket. She said she looks for ways to wear as few layers as possible, but still stay warm.

Apparently if you`re not a hunter, a trigger glove can be confusing. It`s a mitten, but with the index finger separated by material just like the thumb. These are now trending within the outdoor sports community, with Grenade Gloves being one of the pioneers of the style, according to Trabucco.

Covering up that noggin while riding is good for protecting your hair, as well as keeping out the cold.

When it comes to women`s styles of beanies, it seems that big knits, those puffy balls on top and visors are what`s selling this season. By big knits, we mean hats that look like you could have knit them yourself. So take a class and save yourself $30 a pop.


Trabucco said headgear is where men show their colors in the winter.

“Beanies are where guys will rock their pop piece,” he said. “You can buy like five at a time and have the big, bold, bright colors to go with the more muted outerwear.”

As was last year, slouchy style beanies are in for men and women, but both Trabucco and Walker agree — not too much slouch.

“They`re not so new, but they`re catching on more this year,” Walker said.

In the world of ski and snowboard attire, it`s up to you whether functionality rules over fashion. These are just some hints for what`s going on this season for both.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.