As you may remember, we posted Part 1 of this blog a while back, Skiing for Beginners – Ski Basics. This post covered all the basics you want to review before you jump into the world of skiing, and we highly suggest taking a peak if you haven’t read it already.

Now the you’ve got the basics down, let’s delve a little deeper for your first time skiing (or your first time snowboarding). Here, we are going to run through your ski clothing essentials that you’ll need for your first day out on the slopes. Let’s check out what to wear skiing for your first time.

1. Jacket

ski clothing
TNF Powdance Ski Jacket

Staying warm, dry, and comfortable is often at the top of the list for beginner skiers as far as concerns go. And one of your most valuable pieces of ski gear for this is your ski jacket. A few things to keep in mind when selecting a ski jacket is to look for the right warmth, waterproofing, and breathability.

These are factors that are included in most ski jackets, but depending on your needs and the type of skiing you plan on doing different jackets may be a better fit for you than others.

If you tend to get cold easily, look for a jacket with more insulation, or a down coat to keep you warmest. If you tend to work up a sweat easily, look for a higher breathability rating. And if you’re planning on spring skiing in wet conditions, look for better waterproof ratings.

2. Pants

ski clothing
Descente Stock Mens Ski Pants

To complete the outfit and maintain your warmth and comfort, you need a good pair of ski pants. You may be tempted to wear and old rain jacket with lots of layers, or your regular old winter coat for your first time out skiing, but when it comes to pants, this is not an option.

As a new skier, you’ll be spending some time on your butt, so waterproof and warm pants are a must. In other words, don’t ski in jeans! In fact, you may want to consider a pair of pants with a higher waterproof rating than even your gear for your first time skiing, since your legs and backside will touch the snow the most.

3. Long Underwear

ski clothing
SmartWool Merino 250 Top

Since we’re on the topic of warmth, next to your outer layer of a jacket and pants, the next most important layer in your base layer, or the items that are directly against your skin. It may seem like any old leggings and shirt will do here, but long underwear was designed specifically for cold outdoor activities.

Cotton and other non-technical fabric will absorb your sweat and remain damp, chilling you to the bone throughout the day. A good pair of long underwear will keep you warmer, wick away moisture, and allow your skin to breathe better than your regular shirt and pants.

4. Socks

ski clothing
SmartWool PhD Pattern Ski Sock

Okay so thus far, we’ve been talking about big items, so socks may seem like a weird item to make this list. But having recently skied with a beginner (a first-timer in fact), the wrong socks can easily ruin your day.

Regular old socks don’t usually come up on your leg high enough, and will hit your calf and ski boot about midway up. This will cause them to bunch up on your boots as the day goes on, causing pressure points and shin soreness.

A good pair of ski socks goes above your boots and stays up with extra elastic to combat this problem, and will keep your feet warmer and drier than normal socks. To help you pick the right ski socks, check out this blog for more in-depth info.

5. Gloves

ski clothing
Level Alpine Gloves

If you’re anything like me, your fingers are the first thing to get cold on a winter day. Skiing and snowboarding is no exception to this rule. Just like the other clothing essentials we’ve talked about here, a good pair of ski gloves will provide you with warmth, waterproofing, and breathability. They are also thicker with added features to make skiing and snowboarding easier like a goggle wipe and reinforced leather palms and fingers so that they will last you for seasons to come.

Although we have been talking exclusively about gloves here, a good pair of mittens will serve you just as well in your endeavors learning to ski or snowboard. If you’re wondering which is better, glove or mittens when it comes to skiing or snowboarding, check out this blog where we cover what you need to know to make that decision.

6. Mid-layers

ski clothing
Salomon Right Nice Full Zip

If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it simply means any layers of clothing that goes between your base layer (long underwear) and your outer layers (pants and jacket), hence the word mid. There’s a variety of options when it comes to picking a mid-layer, and which one is best completely depends on your preference and comfort.

The thicker and heavier items are better for those who are cold, while vice versa is better for those who get warm easily. Some of your mid-layer options include sweaters, hoodies, fleece jackets, quarter zips, vests, and insulators. If you’re not quite sure what to wear under your ski jacket, click here.

If you’ve noticed already, we have not mentioned anything about mid-layers for pants. This is because people typically (though not always) don’t wear mid-layers under snow pants. They tend to get bulky and hard to maneuver in, and your pants will generally keep you warm enough with a good base layer that you won’t need anything else.

Okay, so now we have run through the basics and essentials of what you need and how to dress for skiing and snowboarding. If you need any further information about any of these aforementioned items, check out our helpful buying guides and sizing guides.