The Evolution of Italian Ski Fashion

Image courtesy of Günther Sader

Italy’s prime location near the Alps and the Dolomites make it the perfect country for taking in some high-altitude skiing. Skiing has been a popular sport for decades and the fabulous ambiance, stunning views and luxurious accommodations have long made North-eastern Italy an alluring destination for the jet set crowd. Fashion has always been important in Italy, even among the ski crowd, and both Italians and tourists flock to the slopes wearing Italian-style ski wear.

Italians choose timeless ski wear that is a cross between high performance and high fashion. This means a combination of designer jackets, snow pants and micro fleeces along with fabulous matching accessories. In the 1970s and '80s, bright colours were popular and you could find thick ski pants and goose feather wind jackets to keep out the cold. The first synthetic materials started to become more popular along with plastic boots and snug-fitting fabrics.

A slew of new materials started coming out in the '90s, such as microfibers, carbon and steel yarns, and waterproof fabrics, and the outfits were decidedly bigger and puffier. In the early 2000s, Italian fashion house Prada decided to start a new trend in ski wear and introduced the slimline silhouette to replace the bulky jackets and the one-piece ski outfits that had long been popular. This fashion-forward approach caught on quickly, and many of the big name fashion houses and sports gear designers started coming out with trendy new ski parkas and legwear as well.

Sunglasses are a key component of any Italian skier’s wardrobe, both on the mountain and in the cosy après-ski hot spots. Premium Italian designers make winter shades that look great for relaxing at your luxury resort, and sportswear companies supply super fashionable ski goggles. Italians know how to complete an outfit with a stylish winter hat and a matching pair of ski gloves as well.

Fashion in Italy is important everywhere from the streets to the mountain tops. It has continued to evolve ü over time and we can't wait to see what new looks we'll find on the slopes in the years to come.