“Be prepared for Bambi on skis” I warned my ski companions as I stamped on my skis. Three years since I last carved my way down a ski piste I found myself in the chocolate box resort of Zermatt in Switzerland and I was shaking, from the cold, not nerves. Now, I know skiing involves snow but this was the coldest I had ever been whilst on the slopes. So cold that I had to be taken in specially for hot food to prevent frost bite chomping away at my body. The next day, I was sure to put on the thermal layers my mum had bought me for my birthday. My friends looked somewhat surprised and sorry for me when I relayed what I had been given, but I was thrilled. Mum being mum, of course bought top of the range base layers from Skins: the A200 black/pink compression long sleeve top and A200 black compression long tights. From the moment I pulled these on to when I whipped them off at night, I was impressed. The seam design means there was no chaffing despite vigorous movements and the tights really did keep me the 150% toastier claimed than my old ones. The “precise fit” certainly kept everything tucked in, even after the gluttonous ski portions, so much so I enjoyed wearing this cat women-esque ensemble on its own downstairs with the other guests at breakfast.
There is some debate behind the benefit of compression clothing and whether they actually improve athletic performance and aid post training recovery (just read this article for a synopsis).
Ski style in Europe is very different to that in North America. The latter tends to be sporty and street inspired, the former more formal often featuring fur and sparkles. With this in mind, I gleefully rammed a white faux fur hat acquired at the Wedding Dresses exhibition at the V&A each time I ventured out for après-skiing. At first glance I was sceptical about the pompoms which hung from the sides and thought of cutting them off. However, I thought the better of this realising they were needed to hold the hat down to warm the ears. In the end, they did not offend me after all.
One piece of kit in-style in both North American and European ski destinations are Moon Boots. My pre-teen brother owned a black and white pair which, to my despair, my mum got rid of long ago. After eyeing shop windows for many a season I finally shook my wallet out to own a pair, black and white exactly as my brother’s had been. Each time I put these boots on I giggled at how my feet looked like an astronaut’s, then purred at their comfort. So warm, so soft, you never actually feel the ground under your feet for the amount of soft cushioning beneath them.
Then I got to the Zurich airport and could not resist this giant jar or Nutella filled with mini-Nutella jars, oops!