Tag Archives | Ski Fashion

I’m an #Omniten!

What’s an #Omniten?

Actually, it’s something that’s pretty damned cool.

Columbia Sportswear has asked to include me in a group of ten people whom they term  “particularly influential in the outdoor industry, both on and offline.” Members get early access to Columbia’s new technologies and gear, as well as opportunities to test it out in “epic locations” (their words, not mine, though I can’t wait to find out exactly what this means).  In return, Columbia asks for honest feedback on their products, and for members to share our feedback with the social media world .

OmnitenOf course I’ve accepted.  I’m not crazy. I love to try new gear. The box you see in the pic contained a Millenium Blur jacket, Bugaboo pants, Bugaboo interchange gloves, a midweight 1/2 zip top,  a midweight pair of tights, and a balaclava.

Does all this mean I’m going to automatically give Columbia a free pass? Will I say that everything they make is marvelous and  you should all run out and buy it right away?

Not hardly.

I don’t do a ton of reviews, but when I do, I pride myself on being honest and objective. I’m right up front about that with anyone who sends me stuff.  And yes, I’m still going to review other products, too. In fact, I have a jacket from Free Country already in the queue, once it gets cold enough to try it out.

That said, I have to hand it to Columbia. The idea of having a group of ten company outsiders on hand to try out new stuff, provide them with feedback, and post reviews  is marketing genius, and something I think all companies should do. And I also give them a big thumbs up for reaching out to me, a representative of the women’s ski market. Because even though a lot of companies make women’s gear, frankly, I hear from very, very few. And as someone who used to be in advertising and who’s now the administrator for the leading online community of women skiers, I’ve always thought this was somewhat of a failing.

So yes, in the coming season, you’re going to see reviews for Columbia. But never fear, I have not been co-opted, bought, or turned into a Columbia zombie. I’m just a girl who’s now an #Omniten. And I think it’s going to be a whole lot of fun.



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How to dress up a helmet.

My husband had a nasty fall on Friday. I knew it was bad when I heard  a crack as his head slammed down on the hard pack.

Luckily, he was wearing a helmet, and except for a little neck and shoulder soreness, he came out of it okay. Phew.

I don’t mean to turn this into a piece about whether or not helmets makes sense. People seem to feel pretty passionately about this one way or the other, so I’ll just direct you to a recent article in the NY Times on the value of wearing a helmet.  (Go here.)  Me, I’m definitely in the pro-helmet camp. Hey, I’d wrap myself in bubble wrap if it’d keep me from getting injured.

One of the objections some people have about helmets is that they’re not very attractive. I think that’s become less of an argument now that they’re more common. But there are things you can do to make your helmet look a little bit less like a bowling ball. A friend of mine decorates hers with stickers.

Hey, isn’t that a SkiDiva sticker I see on there?

But stickers aren’t for everyone. For those who like a bit more style, here’s another option: A helmet band from Helmet BandIts. This is a velcro strap you can fasten around your helmet to turn it into a real fashion statement.

Here I am wearing one at Wildcat (NH), on my recent Ski Safari:


What I like about it is that it’s easy to put on and take off, so you can either wear it or not, depending on your mood. It stays on, too. I wore it up the lift in a pretty stiff wind, and skied down without it coming loose or falling off. The BandIts come in a variety of fur options. But don’t worry — this is faux fur, so no animals were harmed. Another cool thing: apres ski, you can take it off and use it as a scarf to dress up your jacket or sweater. There are matching wrist cuffs, too.

What you do with your helmet is up to you. Leave it alone, plaster it with stickers, dress it up with a Helmet BandIt. But really, the most important thing is to wear one. I do. And I’m sure glad my husband does, too.


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On Pockets: The Forgotten Ski Accessory

So how do you feel about pockets? Are you for ’em? Against ’em? Or are you pocket  neutral?

I happen to really like pockets, at least in ski jackets. Must be because of all the crap I carry. Let’s see….what do I have in here [rummage, rummage]….my license, a credit card, tea bags, SkiDiva stickers, an energy bar, handwarmers, my phone — you know, the essentials. Plus I need a place to stash stuff, as the day goes on. What if my glove liners come off? My gaiter? I need the r-o-o-o-o-o-m.

Some of the stuff from my pockets.

I can’t help but think I’m not alone. Skiing is a pretty equipment-intense sport. You need lots of things, so you have to have a place to put them..

But all jacket manufacturers don’t seem to feel that way. Because when I recently went jacket shopping,  I was shocked to learn that some jackets have hardly any pockets at all.

Case in point: I found a jacket I totally fell in love with. Great fit, beautiful color, good wind and water resistance, right amount of insulation. But — it only had two hand pockets. None on the inside at all. This wasn’t a crappy piece of merchandise, either. It was a $330. jacket made by TheNorthFace (yes, it was on sale). Did I get it? No. And yes, the pockets were the deal breaker.

It’s a matter of  functionality. Yes, of course I want to look good. And I can appreciate that a designer might feel that an extra pocket could interrupt the flow of design, the way the jacket hangs on the body, the way it looks.

All I have to say is, this designer must be someone who doesn’t ski.

I don’t think I’m asking for too much. But if you want to get into my pocket, first you gotta give me some pockets. Case closed.

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