Dress for the Job You Want: Women's Clothing Essentials for Après Ski

Dress for the Job You Want: Women's Clothing Essentials for Après Ski

What’s your dream job? I’ll go first. Mine is to retire early, live somewhere in the mountains, and après like it’s my job. I cheated, I know, but it’s my dream job, so I make the rules. And let’s be honest: Who wouldn’t want to après like it’s their job? Filling your weekdays with leisure laps on the mountain followed by appetizers, drinks, and maybe a little spa moment at a five-star hotel? It sounds divine. 

While I haven’t cracked the code yet on how to make this dream a reality, I have laid the foundation for the position’s requirements by field-testing different resorts, dining my way through every ski day, and, of course, finding the best ski apparel for on and off-slope styling. Through this *extensive* research, I’ve found that the best way to build an après-ready wardrobe—one of the most essential prerequisites of the role—is to invest in quality pieces that can easily transition from turns to table service. Ultimately, anything technical enough to move through moguls AND chic enough for lunch with the gals fits the bill. 

So, what basics do you need to build a professional après uniform? It’s simple. I’ve broken down the best essentials for effortlessly achieving the ideal mountain look—whether you’re planning a ski trip or starting your dream job.

The Best Women's Clothing Essentials for Après Ski

Base Layers 

When setting up your style system, you should start with a foundational layer, also called the base layer, before adding anything else. Don’t undermine the role this layer plays in your total look. While skiing, it may be buried under more layers of warm and waterproof fabrics, but during après, when you start to shed those insulated pieces, it’s often the most visible layer. 

As a general rule of thumb, I recommend having at least two pairs of base layers in your lineup: one for warm days and one for cold days. On colder days, you’ll want something with merino wool; this will work overtime to keep you warm. On bluebird days, when the sun does most of the legwork, you can keep things on the lighter side with nylon and spandex fabrics. 

If you want to spice up your outfit, choose a set of base layers that artfully contrast with the color of your outerwear. 

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Ski Suits

The simplest way to look chic on the slopes is to invest in a flattering one-piece ski suit. For warmth, comfort and form, I adore the slope siren ski suit, available in red or black.  While many ski suits on the market require an added puffer jacket to achieve maximum warmth, this suit is double-lined and can be worn independently of any outerwear layers. I wore this in Japan (pictured) on a day with gusts up to 60 mph, and I stayed as snug as a bug in a rug. 

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Ski and Snowboard Pants

There are primarily two options for fabric types and, subsequently, fit types for the pants: softshell or hardshell. As the name suggests, hardshell is less permeable and keeps more heat in and water out. That’s not to say that softshell pants don’t keep heat in or keep water out; it’s just that the hardshell does a better job of it. The result is that the hardshell is more rigid, whereas the softshell has more flexibility, offering a more body-fitting silhouette. Which pants you choose ultimately comes down to your priorities. 

As a personal aside, I mostly wear softshell pants because they fit my curves better, and I’ve never faced any issues. I’ve skied full days in them with negative-degree temps and tons of fresh snow, and they’ve gone above and beyond. 

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Image Credit: @cyl.cher

Ski and Snowboard Jackets

When it comes to snow jackets, most, if not all, outerwear options are made with a hardshell material; therefore, your decision-making, beyond which color you want, comes down to silhouette and insulation fill. Do you want to add dimension to your ‘fit with a belted jacket?  Does a relaxed fit make you feel most like yourself? Or are you looking for maximum warmth with a thick puffer jacket? These questions will help you determine what will make you feel your best on and off the slopes. As always, having a few options to swap styles when you need a change never hurts. 

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Image Credit: @cyl.cher


In a ski outfit, the mid layer is the upper body piece that can be added between the base and outerwear layers to provide extra warmth. Technically speaking, it serves a clear purpose, but its fashionable properties aren’t lost on us either. 

You might be familiar with the styling tip made popular on TikTok, which states, “If an outfit isn't interesting through color, then it has to be interesting through shape. If it’s not interesting through shape, then it has to be interesting through texture. If it’s not an interesting texture, then it has to be interesting by color.” All this to say, adding one of the three—color, shape, or texture—or all three to an outfit adds visual interest. The mid-layer is where your texture (and potentially color) can come in. 

Think about it this way: The base layer and outerwear fabrics are typically synonymous between the top and bottom sets; the baselayer top has the same fabric or consistency as the base-layer bottom, and the same goes for the outerwear. The mid-layer is where you can play around a bit. I like to wear a fleece jacket mid-layer for this very reason—the texture zhuzhes my outfit up a bit, and it’s cozy AF. 

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Let’s be clear—there aren’t many accessories you can wear while skiing, which is one of the few downsides to the sport, or any sport for that matter. Après, on the other hand, is where your accessories come out to play. When I’m skiing, I often like to stash a few ready-to-wear accessories in my fanny pack, like sunglasses, a fun hat, and maybe even a pair of earrings if I’m really feeling myself. While I need no help getting into après mode, these little outfit decorations help me enjoy the afternoon without worrying about how my helmet hair looks or if I have a goggle  line across my forehead. 

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