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Does the way women dress mean we're taken less seriously as skiers?

Après Skier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
Another area where women are delegitimized in the ski community concerns our clothing. To be respected as a skier, our clothing must appear masculine (sober, utilitarian, lacking adornment...). Women who choose a more fashion-forward approach to skiwear are stigmatized and branded as attention-seekers. I have seen this opinion expressed by both women and men, in person and online. Obviously not all women are concerned with fashion. But as fashion is traditionally associated with femininity, it interesting how our clothing choices are shaped by masculine mountain culture.

Interestingly enough, in Europe the approach to skiwear is different... more stylish, more freedom to stand-out. I wonder to what extent the culture of mountain masculinity is a North American phenomenon?
 
#2
Another area where women are delegitimized in the ski community concerns our clothing. To be respected as a skier, our clothing must appear masculine (sober, utilitarian, lacking adornment...). Women who choose a more fashion-forward approach to skiwear are stigmatized and branded as attention-seekers. I have seen this opinion expressed by both women and men, in person and online. Obviously not all women are concerned with fashion. But as fashion is traditionally associated with femininity, it interesting how our clothing choices are shaped by masculine mountain culture.

Interestingly enough, in Europe the approach to skiwear is different... more stylish, more freedom to stand-out. I wonder to what extent the culture of mountain masculinity is a North American phenomenon?
That’s an interesting take. To me, masculine/feminine doesn’t really enter into it. Some clothing you wear for show; others you wear for utility. To be clear, I am very fashion-challenged and tend toward classic colors and simple styles. My frustration has usually been, the ski wear I find attractive, has not all the utility I want like lots of pockets and hooks. And those that do seem to come mostly in black. What’s considered feminine in clothing? Colors, somewhat form-fitting, stylish. It’s hard to find something form-fitting and have pockets that are actually useful. When brands throw in faux fur and shiny zippers and call it fashion ... I’ll pass. There were many a times when I see a man’s ski wear and say to myself, why can’t I have that cut to a woman’s size and fit? It’s like my military wardrobe back in the day. My everyday Class A uniform can be as feminine as I want, with skirts, pumps, and berets. My Battle Dress Uniform, however, look just the men’s cut to a woman’s size and fit, because its utility is more important. I want the skier’s version of the BDU, not the Class A.
 
#4
Some clothing you wear for show; others you wear for utility.
I mean... generally I agree with your post. Who decides which is which, though? I don't need much pocket space; as long as my jacket can fit my phone, card, cash, and pass, that's enough. Meanwhile, I feel most comfortable in snug clothing, so my ski pants are of a formfitting style, and my jacket hugs my waist. And snow days I'm not mistaken for a man are more pleasant overall than snow days where I am, so choosing colors that aren't typically worn by men seems like a no-brainer.

You could look at what I wear onto the slopes and easily think that I made a decision to be showier than necessary, but the reality is that I just have a different sense of what'll provide me with utility.
 
#5
I love having a lot of color in my ski clothing! I don't think it's particularly flashy, just fun.. I specifically try to color coordinate where I never wear plain black ski pants for example lol. Definitely has to be functional though. I'm someone who actually hates to draw attention to myself, but I like color and dress for what I like. I don't give any thought to what anyone else might think of my outfit choices. I think one of the best parts of skiing, when you're solo anyway, is being quite anonymous so who cares what some stranger thinks of my outfit? I also like that people who do know me can usually easily pick me out at the mountain once they know my outfits, and vice versa.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#6
Another area where women are delegitimized in the ski community concerns our clothing. To be respected as a skier, our clothing must appear masculine (sober, utilitarian, lacking adornment...). Women who choose a more fashion-forward approach to skiwear are stigmatized and branded as attention-seekers. I have seen this opinion expressed by both women and men, in person and online. Obviously not all women are concerned with fashion. But as fashion is traditionally associated with femininity, it interesting how our clothing choices are shaped by masculine mountain culture.

Interestingly enough, in Europe the approach to skiwear is different... more stylish, more freedom to stand-out. I wonder to what extent the culture of mountain masculinity is a North American phenomenon?
When we were at Jackson Hole for Diva West, I noticed that I was the only one (it seemed to me) wearing colorful, patterned ski pants. I know Jackson Hole is considered a serious ski mountain, so I was wondering if the reason was 1) that patterned pants were maybe more of an East Coast thing, or 2) that they were considered too fashion-forward/feminine and not for 'serious' skiers. I'm not the best skier out there, but I'm far from the worst. I don't care -- I love my patterned pants!
 
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#7
When we were at Jackson Hole for Diva West, I noticed that I was the only one (it seemed to me) wearing colorful, patterned ski pants. I know Jackson Hole is considered a serious ski mountain, so I was wondering if the reason was 1) that patterned pants were maybe more of an East Coast thing, or 2) that they were considered too fashion-forward/feminine and not for 'serious' skiers. I'm not the best skier out there, but I'm far from the worst. I don't care -- I love my patterned pants!
I don't have any patterned pants, but I would love to find some! I always love your ski outfits! :smile:
 
#8
I would be so lucky to find functional ski wear in nice colors. You would not believe how high maintenance I am on the hill. I need pockets for pass, phone, ID, credit card, keys, lip balm, Kleenex, hand moisturizer, sun screen (in CO), Face saver, ski carry strap (I schlepp from car to lift w/o bag a lot), extra hand warmers, neck gaiter (when I end up not needing it), power bars ... I’m a veritable mule. :becky:
 

Abbi

Angel Diva
#9
I would LOVE more pockets! I'm sure even more so this season for extra masks, snacks etc that I didn't use to (think I will) carry around since I could go in anywhere. Worst case I'll add a thin runner's fanny pack for a few more items.
 

Moonrocket

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
I love having a lot of color in my ski clothing! I don't think it's particularly flashy, just fun.. I specifically try to color coordinate where I never wear plain black ski pants for example lol. Definitely has to be functional though. I'm someone who actually hates to draw attention to myself, but I like color and dress for what I like. I don't give any thought to what anyone else might think of my outfit choices. I think one of the best parts of skiing, when you're solo anyway, is being quite anonymous so who cares what some stranger thinks of my outfit? I also like that people who do know me can usually easily pick me out at the mountain once they know my outfits, and vice versa.
I started wearing colorful outfits when my daughter was little to make sure she could find me (and I dressed her in blindingly colorful outfits so I could find her.) I'm never going back!!! Love my purple mountain coat. I want some of those crazy beaded bling gloves - maybe I will ask Santa this year.
 
#11
I started wearing colorful outfits when my daughter was little to make sure she could find me (and I dressed her in blindingly colorful outfits so I could find her.) I'm never going back!!! Love my purple mountain coat. I want some of those crazy beaded bling gloves - maybe I will ask Santa this year.
Yes!!! I’m big on bright pinks and purples myself haha.

The Astis mittens?? If so, absolutely get a pair. I did a couple of years ago and they really bring me joy when I ski in them! :bounce:
 
#13
I would LOVE more pockets! I'm sure even more so this season for extra masks, snacks etc that I didn't use to (think I will) carry around since I could go in anywhere. Worst case I'll add a thin runner's fanny pack for a few more items.
I love pockets too. That's why I'm still wearing an "older" TNF down jacket from 12+ seasons ago. It has multiple internal and outside pockets on the sleeve, on the chest, at the waist...love that jacket; on warmer days when I need a lighter jacket I have to wear a fanny pack. Is the basic brown color stylish or fun, not so much but I can't find a modern jacket with as many pockets so I continue to wear it (plus it has held up remarkably well).
 

Tvan

Angel Diva
#15
When we were at Jackson Hole for Diva West, I noticed that I was the only one (it seemed to me) wearing colorful, patterned ski pants. ... I love my patterned pants!
I’m with you and @MissySki on the bright colors and patterned pants. I like that i can be seen from space when I’m on the mountain. Its fun, and being highly visible makes it less likely that someone will plow into me because they didn’t see my neon orange hawaiian print ski pants. For me, it has nothing to do with fashion.
 
#16
I love pockets too. That's why I'm still wearing an "older" TNF down jacket from 12+ seasons ago. It has multiple internal and outside pockets on the sleeve, on the chest, at the waist...love that jacket; on warmer days when I need a lighter jacket I have to wear a fanny pack. Is the basic brown color stylish or fun, not so much but I can't find a modern jacket with as many pockets so I continue to wear it (plus it has held up remarkably well).
My current jacket is a parka from TNF. It has 6 pockets on the outside and 2 inside. My pants are from 686 and it has 7 pockets (not including a tiny coin pocket at the waist and this weird pocket down by the leg that I have no clue why). I don’t look sleek or fast or stylish, but I literally have a pocket for everything.
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
I love the skittles look with lots of bright colors. My favorite pants are the ones that include at least one cargo pocket (2 is better) in addition to the normal side pockets. Generally I favor boxier and more loosely cut clothing than form fitting as I just find it more useful as far as pockets and more comfortable.
I think it's just personal preference/taste. There's tons of men's fashions that I wouldn't be caught dead in--same with women's.
 
#18
Another area where women are delegitimized in the ski community concerns our clothing. To be respected as a skier, our clothing must appear masculine (sober, utilitarian, lacking adornment...). Women who choose a more fashion-forward approach to skiwear are stigmatized and branded as attention-seekers. I have seen this opinion expressed by both women and men, in person and online. Obviously not all women are concerned with fashion. But as fashion is traditionally associated with femininity, it interesting how our clothing choices are shaped by masculine mountain culture.
I don't know if it's the requirement to appear 'masculine' that leads to a lack of fashionable options when it comes to technical clothing/gear but I find it annoying. I would love to wear a bright color or printed gortex jacket but those are usually not the offered choices.

Ironically, my love of pockets lead me to shop extra-small sized men's cargo style ski pant and they've been putting out more prints so I actually have more options (as long as I can find my size).
 

Kimmyt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19
I have a lot of thoughts on this, but mostly they boil down to the fact that Europe and North American ski culture have quite different influences historically and currently, which results in different types of 'ski fashion' trends. What you're seeing in North American 'ski fashion' isn't 'masculine styles' but rather a focus on freeride and backcountry skiing that has influenced the way people want to dress while skiing.
 

sibhusky

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#20
I guess I had 12 years of wearing a uniform to school and never gained any fashion sense. Went to college during the hippie era and wore only a few different outfits for four years - all the pre-college shopping was a total waste - wore almost none of it. Rotated through 5 winter suits and 5 summer suits during my work years. Wear the same ski outfit all winter. Lands' End, Eddie Bauer, LL Bean, are my "designers" with a side of Duluth Trading. My sole interests fashionwise are comfort and functionality.
 

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