Stay Warm on the Slopes With 7 Expert Layering Tips

Photo:

Giselle Childs

Layer cake. Seven-layer dip. Lasagna. There’s a lot to love about layers, something Abigail Stern, founder and designer of base-layer company Matek, knows well. “I love layering talk,” she says to me on the phone. Of course, she and I are talking about the best way to layer for skiing, not discussing how to make dip. (If you must know, the perfect seven-layer dip is actually a six-layer dip—skip the olives and don't @ me.)

Having graduated from Parsons and worked at Nike on sportswear and performance apparel for NikeLab before founding her own line of technical performance intimates, Stern is something of an expert on layering for skiing, so I sought out her advice ahead of a family ski trip I was taking to Jackson, Wyoming. I first learned to ski in Switzerland when I was about 4 years old and living in Germany. At the time, I spoke fluent German and was fearless. These days? I can utter a danke, but that’s about it. And don’t even try to put me near a black-diamond slope.

Photo:

Giselle Childs

Showing off the Matek Gentoo and Dik-Dik before my first morning of skiing. 

What do you even wear skiing these days? I wondered. Puffer bike shorts? Obviously not. Space blanket leggings that convert the body's energy into heat? Also no, but somebody should get on that.

One thing I know for sure? My other expert source, professional skier Lexi duPont, isn’t sitting around asking herself these questions. In fact, she’s designing her own gear for Eddie Bauer and literally flying herself around her hometown of Sun Valley, Idaho. Lucky for us, she took some time away from skiing in Alaska to answer a few questions I had about layering from a pro's point of view.

As for me, I’m no expert, but I followed their directions and lived to tell the tale. Keep scrolling to see a designer, a professional, and a novice share the best tips for layering while skiing.