there is definitely a Euro look and a North American look. then of course there are 20 years old and 50 years old skiers wearing the stuff. I think North America is setting a standard in appearance, simple, functional, durable, a casual comfortable look. a friend was sponsored by Spyder for a while, waiting anxiously for them not to embarrass her with their fancy overdone stuff. They toned it down and it came out pretty nice in solid bright green, though all they accomplished was to look like Marmot or Mountain Hardware but in their own color of the season. Also, out here, huge corporate name tags labeling the wearer are a little out. The euros seemed to hang onto the tight fitting, dressy tapered look quite a while beyond things going more casual here. Maybe an extension of the racing culture still being so predominant in the Alpine nations, whereas North America has ski image generated in quite a few disciplines.
There was just an article out (I think NYT) that was talking about how "stylish ski wear" was hitting the streets for women this year. Apparently, the "Aspen look" as they called it, was big in high-end fashion this past winter, with Moncler working with Neiman Marcus to sell their high-end puffy jackets in stores, and alot of boutiques carrying items like rabbit-fur vests. It seems that ski fashion is diverging: I tend to see a lot of baggy, casual clothes locally, and a lot of (trim) women in expensive, fitted ski clothes at higher-end resorts. It probably depends on where you are skiing and what type of skiers frequent that resort. I think you would find a different clientele at Northstar vs. Squaw, for example. Around here, the park kids have really baggy clothes, the mountaineers and backcountry people have lighter and less roomy alpine gear, and the rest of us just buy what works and what we can afford.
With regards to a jacket, I have a Patagonia Rubicon (now updated and called the Rubicon Rider). I love it, although I have no idea if it is the "best". It is well made, durable, warm, waterproof, and the best jacket I have owned.