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To suit up or not?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
This thread was on a suggestion of a fellow bear (Cirquerider) after I temporarily hijacked a thread in "Resorts, Conditions & Travel"...

I've never been a fashion butterfly (hell, it took me till this year to move to the shorter carve type skis) and wear a ski suit (fart bag jokes aside which may be warranted). Judging from what I've seen here on the Australian slopes, in the ski shops and in ski movies over recent years, they appear to have become a social taboo. When I ski in Thredbo, I think I'm the only one (apart from some crotchety old local who like taking my line all the time) who bothers to dig it out of the cupboard these days.

I originally bought a SOS suit in Val d'Isere in 1985 after finding out my Ellesee double-knit ski pants had been shrunk by my local dry cleaner (new management - no understanding of chemical mixture to use) and the cuffs no longer reached the top of my boots! Not fun when the maximum mountain temperature during my stay was -36°C (-38.2°F). Since then I've been hooked finding suits to be both practical and very warm and have skied in them exclusively (I even purchased another - Quicksilver a few years later). Powder hasn't got any gaps to infiltrate, back-sliding falls don't fill up your thermals with snow and they act as a single large pocket that can store nearly anything I care to take up the chair for the day. Did I mention how warm they are? Sure, on a hot day they have the disadvantage of being a tad too warm but I don't mind too much - I just unzip a bit further.

What I'm trying to get at is to find out why such a practical piece of attire has fallen out of favour in recent years? I'm not referring to those fugly puffy neon concoctions that were all the rage in the late 80's/early 90's. Just the plain/practical suits that are worn for function, not fashion. Did the grunge snowboard fashion simply replace it on the hangers of ski shops or is there something more sinister afoot?

Are people factious enough to be laughing behind your back as you carve up a trail or do they secretly wish they had a suit for those cold days? I know that fashion plays a part (right or wrong) in skiing and it seems that the gurus who decide what is in and what is out have decided that the one piece suit no longer has a place on the hill.

post #2 of 35
Personally, I would rather have my toe and finger nails yanked out than wear a ski suit. But, then again, I'm a 24 year old who is still rather in tune with my <cough> image, hehe... They remind me of what my parents would put me in when I was 5 years old to go out and play in the snow .

post #3 of 35
I've never had one, and probably never will because I've found what works for me. However if it works and you like it why care what anyone else thinks? Wear the thing and laugh at the people who are so shallow as to care what you wear. They're a bunch of loosers.
post #4 of 35
I have a NEW-ish one piece Goretex outfit that the jacket zips to the pants, but can be separated and worn apart if you want. It looks like two separate items because they are different colors. It was a steal two seasons back at $150. Maybe because it was out of style? Anyway, my daughter is not embarassed to be seen with me, so it must look enough like a two piece to "pass", but it does have the advantages of a one piece AND a two piece. I don't know why they are out of favor -- in fact, didn't know that they were. But then I like function way more than fashion so I'm frequently out of step. (The only reason I went shopping was because she'd refused to ski anymore with me if I wore neon. "It's so EIGHTIES, Mom!")
post #5 of 35
Posaune has a point, and if indeed you have no regard for what others think, a ski suit will be just fine. A ski suit in its bright colors and matching glory, somehow stands out for miles. A male in full suit regalia could be unknowingly photographed, videoed and documented as a living fossil.: Extra points are awarded for wearing any neon, fucia, chartuse, or white, contrasted aginst blue or black. Full score if you do it with a monoboard or long straight skis from the 80s. Your trip takes you to the great expanses of British Columbia. As a Californian, I'm telling you, B.C. is not known as the land of the ski suit.

That said, a full ski suit is practical from a thermal point of view, is admittedly comfortable, and will never allow snow to be stuffed down your pants or up your shirt. An Aussie accent and great skiing with major hucks will help, but you should nonetheless reconsider. By the way, I am NOT the fashion police. I once wore insulated Carhart overalls with straight neon colored Hart skis. (don't tell anyone) Please reconsider this. Would you wear 1980s era clothing anywhere else besides a costume party?
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by sibhusky
(The only reason I went shopping was because she'd refused to ski anymore with me if I wore neon. "It's so EIGHTIES, Mom!")
I got a good laugh out of that line!

At the other end of the one-piece suit scale are those eccentric Bogner extravagances with the fur lined collars and cuffs. Take a fall in one of those and I reckon a lifty or ski patrolled would complain about the amount of snow you're removing from the run. Come to think about it, I've only seen those type of suits in the ski boutiques and slope-side piano bars... I wonder why :
post #7 of 35
Personally, I think that when the snowboarder look came in -- baggy, shapeless clothing preferably in colors that blend in with the surrounding trees -- it was the end of fashion in ski attire. The only way that look could be gotten in a one piece is if Carharts came in muddier colors.
post #8 of 35
I remember dreaming about owning a fluorescent Elho suit! At the time I had a green and dark blue K2 suit, which was way cool 'cause I was skiing in Austria and they didn't sell K2 there back then. (my dad bought the suit in Pasadena in 1980!!). Anyway that dream never came true....

Until recently I wore SOS stuff (fire engine red and bright yellow), real quality gear. Now I've settled for some dark modern Columbia Jacket and Bibs.

One final word of advice: don't go high tech gore tex etc etc unless you really need it. Many people posting here will advise you to buy a 1200 dollar Arctyrex set up etc. but don't heed that call. Have a look at Sierratradingpost for some good deals (am not affiliated with them in any manner)

Just my 2 cents.
post #9 of 35
i think its pretty strange looking "clown like" and most who do seem like elitist snobs.
post #10 of 35
Oakley has two new one piece suits out this year and other brands will soon follow. The new school movement is kind to the one piece suits as more and more kids are hitting the second hand stores buying up old suits for wear in theparks. I realized this trend last January. Blame Jon Olsen I guess for his flaamboyant dress.

Personally, I always liked one piece suits.There was nohing you could get that was better on a powder day. I guess I would still be wearing one if I didn't look like the Ghostbusters in it. I have two still in the closet, where they will remain in case they become the rage again.
post #11 of 35
One piece ski suits are a hot trend. Cirquerider is out of touch.
post #12 of 35
I mostly wear two piece outfit but do have a "body bag "!
I have used it only in extreme conditions and prefer the two piece , its more flexible and frankly less of a pain in the tush when you do hit the lodge .

But hey i always figure " Do what u like --Like what u do "
post #13 of 35

Form follows function!

When the snow is really deep and/or the weather is really bad I think a one-piece is the only way to go. It offers the ultimate wind and snow protection. After a header in two feet of new I bet I'm skiing again before your get done cleaning yourself off.

You can't get snow in your pants if you aint wearing any pants!
post #14 of 35
Originally Posted by telerod15
One piece ski suits are a hot trend. Cirquerider is out of touch.
And I can prove it!
post #15 of 35
If you can rip on the slopes then who knows, you may just bring back the days of the
ski suit and neon. Of course you'll have to be the baddest dude on the mountain, and quite possibly your country, to pull it off though. Hopefully you are, and your style will make it across the pacific because I have about $1,200 worth of neon apparell that I havent worn since 1991 collecting dust in the closet. It sure would be sweet to be a 50 mph eyesore on the mountain again! Screw the 16 year old, snowboarder, fashion nazis. Wear it just to piss everybody off.

I think I will.
post #16 of 35
Hello all, new to the forum. I wear a one piece shell that I think is perfect for all days, all conditions, fashion be damned. Since it's just a shell I can take down the top and tie the arms around my waist and just ski in the pants. When the clouds come in and the wind starts blowin', top comes up, hood goes on, and I'm bone dry and comfy. So are people laughin at me? Am I becoming my dad?!?
post #17 of 35
Thread Starter 
Welcome to the forums Abox.
Am I becoming my dad?!?
Possibly not but to watch out for the grey hairs sprouting... it happened to me once I continued to wear suits after they went out of vogue.
post #18 of 35
Just thinking about what would I do wearing one-piece if nature calls for number two....:

No way!

post #19 of 35

Bogner ski suits are cool !

I've been known to wear my Bogner suit in public. But then anything goes where I tend to ski. It's not about the image, it's about the skiing. And for me ski suits are more practical for the two or three hours of skiing I do each morning. Strip it off along with the ski boots in the parking lot, throw on a jacket, chug down a quick beverage, and I'm ready for the rest of the day.
post #20 of 35
Originally Posted by TruckeeLocal
It's not about the image, it's about the skiing.
Bingo. You are in the liftline wearing an obviously dated one-piece on a powder day. Some poor, insecure gaggle of souls behind you is snickering at your choice of attire. Then they see you ski. Later, you go into the lodge for a break. You see the people who were laughing at you now looking at you with admiration and respect. You buy a Snickers bar, sit down, unwrap that bad boy, and eat it with a knife and fork. Then you go back outside and ski some more.

The next day, everyone in the lodge is wearing one-piece suits and eating candy bars with a knife and fork.

And that's how the west was won....
post #21 of 35
It is funny about suits. Fashion comes and goes.

I'm remembering suits as a deep powder necessity more than a fashion statement when I got my first one (mid-1980s). Good for no gaps, good to stuff unused gear into and not have it fall out anywhere, easy to slip on.

However, suits are more of a pain when you are in the lodge. Also, once I had kids and had to help them buckle their boots etc it was much easier to do that with my pants and boots on but jacket off -- rather than a suit half on and half off.

All fashions come and go -- I bet they are back in a few years. I think NEON and SUITS are two separate issues -- I've had a few suits in my life but never never any neon (suit or other). Suits can be solid basic colors.

Always Skiing
post #22 of 35
Sometimes I go as Gaper Dude. Football jacket,jeans,old ski poles,ect. It's fun. Other skiers stare and make quiet remarks. But then once you start down the hill...........
post #23 of 35
Originally Posted by slider
Sometimes I go as Gaper Dude. Football jacket,jeans,old ski poles,ect. It's fun. Other skiers stare and make quiet remarks. But then once you start down the hill...........
I thinking about painting my shoe size on the back of my ski boots using white fingernail polish this year. Sort a Rental Retro look...
post #24 of 35
Rental Retro Some ski companies have retro top sheets on their new boards. Levi jackets,Carhart it's all good. But I'd never be caught in a Neon get up.
post #25 of 35
If I recall correctly, National One Piece Day is March 15th.
post #26 of 35

f_in' fashion police!

The guys I admire most are the VT locals that rip it up in Carharts and Camo.

(Carhart is a brand of work attire, coveralls etc.)

"don't give a damn about any trumpet palyin' band, it ain't what they call rock & roll"

Toss it in that back of a rusted out 4X4 with a big grin an get on down the road.

Put your $$$ in to the things ON your feet (skis & boots) and maybee some lessons.

Skiing impresses me .... fashion ..... pimping yourself up in $1000 worth of Spyder is like putting a tin can exhaust, spoiler, "low profile" tires and race rims on a Honda Civic .... still got a real slow Civic???
post #27 of 35
Yeah but someone in $1000 worth of Spyder who rips is like putting rims on a Range Rover.

Personally, I think One-Pieces are lame as hell UNLESS there was over 2 feet of snow the night before. People who use one pieces on Deer Valley groomers are ridiculous - but like post number 2 said that might just be my 25-year old image conscious self speaking.

Anything that is worn as a joke by good skiers (Carharts, Neon, Starter Jackets, One Pieces) Should not be worn by skiers of questionable ability lest they want to be pointed and laughed at.

- Matt
post #28 of 35
Yes Yuki & Truckee are right - it's all about how well you're skiing.
For women, the one piece is not the most practical clothing choice.

Think of what you'll get on Ebay for all those old Bogner suits when the style comes full circle?
post #29 of 35
I know there are lots of NIMBY folks here who do not want the sport to grow but as I recall when stretch pants and one piece Bogner suits were in style the ski industry was booming. New folks were attracted to skiing because it looked like fun and had a little sex appeal. Stretch pants were strickly fashion and sex appeal. One piece suits were very warm and functional. Now the fashionable ski wear looks more like hip-hop than high fashion. With all the high tech fabrics that are available today it's sad to see most of the folks on the mountain decked out in flabby/baggy browns and greys. Suzie Chapstick - where are you when we need you?
post #30 of 35
Carhart one-pieces (they call them coveralls) are always in fashion. Especially if they're covered in grease/oil splotches. That way it looks like you're one of the mechanics taking a ski break between working on cat's.
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