The 1980’s was a special time for ski fashion, it was louder, bigger and more neon than ever before. Looking cool on the slopes in the 80’s, involved combining four key items of clothing for maximum effect. We liked to feel these were coordinated in each outfit, looking back I’m not so sure.
A headband was the starting point for expressing your individuality, copied straight from 1980’s icons Duran Duran. Headbands came in a huge array of colours and this being the 1980’s, they were accessorised with back combed hair and hairspray. The head band was positioned on top and you arranged your hair around it.
Sunglasses were universally mirrored, so you could check yourself out, while checking out someone else. The amount of accidents caused by the lack of visibility in these is anyone’s guess, but pretty soon they were replaced by ‘cats eye’ shades. These included a circle of lesser tinted lens, which you could actually see out of while tearing down a mountain.
The jumpsuit needs no introduction. Forget pastels, because the 1980’s slopes were no place for blending. You got noticed in abstract patterns and colour and plenty of it. Burgundy, sky blue, and cerise, preferably in neon, were what most of us wore. If you had the courage to go for a fully fluorescent one piece, you needed the skill to back it up, or risk humiliation.
The ski jacket was possibly a Hummel, definitely multi coloured, hooded and with enough puff to make your top half look hugely out of proportion compared to your legs. And that was cool.
Unfortunately, the functional side of sports clothing that we now enjoy, was not available in the 1980’s. One fall in the snow, meant a damp squelchy feeling inside your ski jacket that lasted the whole session.
Bearing that in mind, it was understandable that in the 90’s we moved towards more technologically advanced clothing, enjoying the warmth of Gore-Tex and fleeces, even breathable waterproof outer layers. We wanted to be warm, dry and maybe slightly bland.
However in 2000, just when it seemed practicality had truly triumphed over cool on the slopes, the snowboarders arrived. They changed the look of skiing style almost overnight. They brought in an edgy crossover skateboarding style, but included safely helmets. Their clothes are baggy instead of tight, but happily, as loud as those of 25 years ago.