What to Wear Skiing: A Complete List

Knowing what to wear skiing is a key determiner in how much you’ll enjoy your skiing experience. Your clothing will protect your body from any falls and keep your body dry and warm in the snow. For your convenience, here’s a list of what to wear skiing.

What to Wear at a Glance:

  • Long underwear
  • Light top
  • Socks
  • Ski jacket
  • Ski pants
  • Gloves
  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Neck gaiter

Why You Should Wear Ski-specific Clothing:

When skiing, you need to wear ski-specific clothing. Clothing designed for skiing will be waterproof or water-resistant and insulated. These features of ski clothing will keep you warm and dry while skiing.

Do not wear normal clothing while skiing. Standard clothing, even winter clothing, is not designed for winter weather. If you wear normal clothes, you will probably get cold and wet, which will ruin your skiing experience and may even cause bodily damage.

Always be smart and invest in ski-specific clothing. This investment will elongate your skiing time and keep you safe!

What to Wear Skiing:

Here are 9 key clothing items to wear while skiing:

1. Long underwear

Long underwear is designed to keep you warm and wick away sweat. This feature will keep you from feeling clammy or cold due to your own sweat.

When picking long underwear, you will want options made from wool, silk, or synthetic materials. These materials will optimize the amount of water that is wicked from your body. Do not choose cotton materials because cotton does not wick away moisture.

Depending on the weather, you will want lightweight or midweight materials. It is not recommended to wear heavyweight long underwear, though, because you will get hot and sweat excessively, causing you to feel cold.

Thermal long underwear

2. Light top

You will want to wear a light top over your long underwear. It is best to choose tops made from light fleece or wool. This layer will keep you warm on the slopes without causing excessive insulation or warmth.

3. Socks

Socks are an essential clothing item to wear when skiing. They insulate your feet, which is one of the parts of the body that loses heat fastest.

Skiing socks should be insulated and come above your boots. Some options even come with padding around the shin area for protection. Wool or synthetic socks are your best bets because they are warm and wick away moisture.

You will also want to make sure that the socks are not too thick. If the socks are too thick, your feet will sweat, making your feet cold in the long run.

Regular day-socks will not cut-it when skiing. Do not wear cotton socks because they retain moisture very easily.

Ski Socks

4. Ski jacket

If you are skiing, you need a ski jacket. Ski jackets are waterproof or water-resistant, insulated, and offer pockets for small-item storage. They are specifically designed for winter weather conditions, which ensures that you will be kept warm and dry while skiing.

You will want your ski jacket to be breathable and flexible as well. If your jacket is too stuffy or stiff, it will hinder your movement and make you hot. Most ski jackets are designed with movement in mind.

Ski Jacket

5. Ski pants

Like the ski jacket, ski pants are designed for winter weather conditions. Ski pants will be waterproof or water-resistant, insulated, and designed for mobility. They will keep you warm and dry no matter the weather

Man wearing ski pants

If you don’t want ski pants, you may want a ski bib instead. Bibs are pants that come up over the chest like overalls. The benefit of ski bibs is that they stay on your body more securely and warm your torso area.

winter ski pants

6. Gloves

Gloves (or mittens) are another key article of clothing to wear when skiing. Gloves will protect your hands from the cold and snow. Like feet, hands quickly lose heat in adverse weather climates.

Make sure that your gloves are waterproof and insulated. If they are not waterproof or insulated, your hands will not be properly protected.

Mittens will keep your hands warmer than gloves, but they are less dexterous. To improve the warmth of gloves, you may want to invest in an inner liner. The inner liner will add warmth and wick away moisture.

7. Helmet

When skiing, you absolutely need to wear a helmet. Helmets will protect your skull and brain from any falls, and it will offer you additional warmth.

Many ski lodges rent out helmets, so you don’t have to buy your own right away. Having your own helmet, however, will be more hygienic and ensures that you have all the desired features.

8. Goggles

Goggles are another key article of clothing to wear while skiing. They will protect your eyes and eye area from wind, snow, and glare.

If you are wearing a helmet, make sure that the goggles fit with the helmet. Your goggles should meet the helmet without any gaps. If there are gaps, you need different goggles.

Man wearing googles

9. Neck gaiter

A neck gaiter is optional, but it is a great additional piece if you are snowing in extreme weather conditions. A neck gaiter is meant to be pulled up over your nose in icy temperatures. If you are skiing in warmer temperatures, a neck gaiter may not be necessary.

For those skiing in extreme conditions, you may want a balaclava instead of a neck gaiter. This Balaclava will offer more warmth and protection.


When skiing, there are several articles of clothing that you must wear while skiing. This list includes 9 key items of what to wear skiing.