Fashion on the ski slopes: Get the right gear and go colorful

Date: Thursday, January 15, 2015
By: Ghinwa Obeid
Source: The Daily Star

Before you plan your trip there are a number of things that you need to have in order to ensure that you enjoy the day to the maximum.
"You need pants, jackets, goggles and gloves, and then you need to have the skis, the ski boots and the poles," explained Riad Zgheib, a ski coach. All clothes should be waterproof and warm to protect against the cold, harsh weather on the mountains.
Snowboarders need roughly the same clothes, but the equipment is different, especially the footwear.
"The boots for snowboarding are softer; they're closer to hiking shoes," he said. "Ski boots are made of heavier plastic."

This is because skiers run a high risk of breaking their ankle if they fall and their legs get twisted, while snowboarders have both legs bound to one board and face less of a risk of this happening.
Such gear can be found in all winter sports shops around the major ski resorts. It costs from around $40 to rent everything, but retail prices are much higher. As a result, Zgheib recommends those who only ski occasionally as a hobby to rent rather than buy.

Flashy colors are trendy on the slopes. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
For those who want to practice a lot or are at a more advanced level, however, Zgheib advised them to invest in buying the right gear, as "there's difference between the [quality of the] equipment."
One important thing for all of those enjoying the sports is that they should wear a helmet to protect their head if they fall. "Helmets are indispensable," Zgheib stressed.
But it's not just about outerwear when you ski – in fact, to keep warm during those long lift rides, it's all about what you have on underneath.
"The first layer should be the base layer, and Omni-Heat keeps you 20 percent warmer," said Rony Akiki, sales at Sports 4ever, a sports wear shop with four branches in Lebanon, including one in resort town Kfar Debian.

Omni-Heat technology, which reflects the body's warmth back at itself, is only available in Columbia Sportswear products, explained Akiki, which Sports 4ever stock.
If that's not an option, any sort of thermal top will work. "Try to avoid cotton because it isn't breathable," he added.

Thermal leggings or long johns are also advisable to keep legs warm.
The second layer for the top of the body should be a fleece sweater.
"This is made from polyester fabric, it gives you warmth and is breathable at the same time, it doesn't allow sweat to sit there," Akiki explained.

The final layer is a waterproof and breathable jacket that keeps you warm.
Akiki explained that each brand has its own category of sportswear and the difference between them depends on the budget customers have. When asked what colors customers are opting for when they choose snowboard and ski outfits, he said the most popular ones were yellow, white, green, fuchsia, red, orange and electric blue.

"Few people choose calm colors," he said.
Akiki said that young men between 20 and 35 were also choosing bright outfits, while older men preferred to go for something easier on the eye.
Ski and snowboard fashion is all about splashes of color, agreed Hadia Sinno, a fashion expert and stylist – and red and white remain the dominant players this season.
"The must-have colors on the slopes are red or total white, which is something very nice. They can also add accessories."

She explained that if the outfit is a flashy color, opt for more neutral accessories, and vice versa.
Mostly ski people like to be flashy, they want to enjoy it
"Once you have a scarf with a flashy color, you would want to adopt a sober color" for the rest of the outfit, she said.

"They can adopt a total look of [one] color, but it will be nicer to add a touch of another color," Sinno said. For example, with a total white look, she suggested to go for colored sunglasses such as red in order to jazz up the outfit.
But should men follow the same fashion rules? It all depends on their age and whether they're "daring," Sinno explained.

For her, being on the snow is all about enjoying oneself and taking a chance to make edgy fashion statements. "Mostly ski people like to be flashy, they want to enjoy it."
Jumpsuits remain trendy this season she added, for both who want to enjoy the sports or just hang out, and a stylish hat is an absolute must.
Sinno said those who snowboard, who tend to wear much baggier clothes, can get even more creative with their outfits.

"Snowboarding is funkier," she said. "You can wear the lower jacket on the hips sometimes, for example, it depends on what you're looking for."
In terms of apr├Ęs-ski, Sinno advised women to pull out their feather and fur coats – whether fake or real – for maximum warmth and stylishness. "They're not very thin but are specially made for winter the mountains," Sinno explained, adding that this season was big on mixing fur and leather.

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