How much is acceptable? For part timers=Cost. For full timers=Cost is acceptable if overall pay makes up for it, but Free is preferred.
How much does it cost? It depends on volume and specs, and and and, ...
advertising? Schools choose the fabrics (including degree/quality of waterproofing), amount(?) of insulation, and the designs. I suspect they also might pay extra for a custom design, embroidering, titanium zippers, etc. One year we got a discount from Avalanche because the uniforms were partially sponsored by Mountain Dew. Yes, I have a 'Dew patch on my uniform jacket (thankfully that experiment seems to have failed)! My guess is that our resorts $250 US price is about average. It's amazing how complicated the uniform selection process is.
The industry "standard" is new uniforms every 3 years. We went 5 years once due to $$$ problems. That last year I was teaching in threads. It looks like our school buys about 15% over what's needed, but we have about a 66% return rate with most of the turnover among new instructors.
At my resort, new instructors put down a deposit for the cost of the jacket prorated to where it's at in the cycle. When they return the jacket at the end of the season, they get their deposit minus 1/3 of the original cost back. At the end of the cycle they get to keep the jacket. Volunteer instructors are not required to pay for jackets, but must check in to get a jacket for the day and return it at the end of the day. Full timers and selected multi year part timers who work their ass off are not required to pay for their uniforms. All instructors are expected to keep their jackets in their pro room locker (policy instituted to minimize off mountain wear and tear) unless they are going to an event. We are encouraged to wear our uniforms at off mountain events. Unlike John Cole's resort, we are required to wear pants
. Our own pants. Pants are usually available through the sport shop at cost, but we can choose whatever all black pants we want. Fleece uniform vests are not required and are made available at cost ($10?).
In the past, we have had cases of new instructors getting jackets and ah kinda disappearing with them. That kinda forces management to asking people to at least cover the cost via a deposit. We've also had problems with some new instructors not showing up to work a whole lot. Those folks typically don't get a chance to teach a second season, but asking people to pay for the jacket gives them an incentive to show up to work. We're running about 230 instructors in our school, about 10 are full time.
We are allowed to free ski out of uniform on our days off. If we ski in our uniform on days off, we are expected to be available to teach (i.e. show up for line ups), except that full timers are not allowed to teach 7 days continuously.