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Are your ski pants insulated? If so, you shouldn't need much underneath them. I prefer shell pants and typically wear a decent pair of long johns underneath. If it's really chilly out, I'll wear a pair of fleece pants underneath.
I wear long johns.. but they have to be short enough so that they don't bunch up in your boots. The first thing I ask beginer students when they complain about their boots is "what are you waering under your pants" (not in THAT way!) and a lot of them have jeans, long john, 2 pairs of socks, and who knows what else stuffed into their boots. NO wonder their boots are pinching!!!!
Marmot long underwear for normal cold weather, but when it's 5 above zero or less I wear Patagonia's 4-way stretch heavy weight fleece running tight. They're the best I have found for New England's nasty wet cold weather.
Polypro long johns and fleece pants always. I find that my lower body doesn't produce that much extra heat to the point that sweating and overheating is an issue. Plus it helps cut down the 'roid factor form those cold seats!
In general, layer with the ability of those layers to wick perspriation away from your ski, and from layer to layer. That means absolutely,positively, NO COTTON OR COTTON BLENDS anywhere, including socks.
As to what the layers should be, that is your decision.
I feel the cold - so I layer up with a selection of the following
1)ski skins(tried these for the first time last season on suggestion of a friend who borrowed her (instructor) daughters pair & isn't going to return them! These are almost permanently my bottom layer unless it is REALLY cold. The differnece they make to muscles is tempting me to just ADD another layer if really cold.
2) superfine merino thermals(they don' smell like the polypro stuff) I have them in 2 weights - superfine & heavier
3) fleece pants that stretch in 2 directions(better movement)
4)Goretex shell pants
In really warm weather I will wear the goretex with the thinnest/lightest wicking layer I have - then add layers as needed for cold &(more importantly here) wind.
In Whistler last March it was COLD & blowing hard - everyone else was cold - I was hot... just lots of thin layers & a goretex shell