The trip’s booked, the ski hire arranged, the friends gathered – it’s all coming together for that long-awaited winter getaway.
And with French resorts in the Alps registering a notable increase on January bookings this year, it looks like you’re not alone.
In your heads, the sartorial theme (you mean to say you don’t have one of these for your ski-trip?!) is Princess-Di-circa-1980-skiing-minibreak-with-Prince-Charles.
All snowsuits and headbands and a dewy fresh face of make-up while bounding around in the snow.
But, for those of us that can’t quite stretch to Diana-esque designer garb (if you can, we’ve written a guide on what to shop here), the ski style mood board needn’t be abandoned, for the high-street has really upped its alpine game of late, with a whole roster of brands offering slope-ready styles.
But which look as luxey in real life as they do online? And which brands are offering good frostbite-proof for buck?
To save you the legwork, our Fashion and Beauty Editor, Chloe, and Fashion and Beauty Writer, Naomi, have braved the minus-five-degree cold of London’s Ice Bar to see which of the affordable skiwear is really up to scratch.
Price range: £60- £125
In our heads, ASOS’ ensembles were all kinds of Princess Di-approved chic. In reality, it was all much more Big-Bird-has-a-fight-with-a-very-thin-sleeping-bag.
In terms of style, they ticked the box, but IRL, the snowsuit and the jacket were as thin as two flat pancakes and lacked the nifty pockets made for ski passes.
If you’re looking for a winning Insta shot, look no further, for the designs of ASOS’ range are fun and nostalgically on-trend and retro. But in terms of functionality, which is the actual premise when venturing onto the slopes, ASOS was a flop.
Value for money: 6/10
Fashion points: 10/10
Frost-bite proof: 5/10
Price range: £25- £189
Now we’re talking.
Nips and tucks in all the right places, a ski pass pocket right on the arm to make tapping in and out as simple as possible (Oyster, take note) Topshop’s saucy snowsuits not only looked much pricier than their price tags but also actually delivered on functionality (although Chloe’s was notably thin.)
Did Naomi’s padding make her feel like she’d gained a few pounds? Yes. But feeling like the Michelin man doesn’t negate style points. Compliments, and toastiness, guaranteed.
Value for money: 9/10
Fashion points: 9/10
Frost-bite proof: 5/10 (for Chloe), 10/10 (for Naomi)
Price range: £110- £280
These slinky numbers were simply made for some -very – serious dancing in the snow. But, alas, partying at the top of a mountain isn’t – quite – enough, and in terms of functionality, these were lacking somewhat.
Up close and personal, the material of them were a lot more synthetic than a picture would relay – the faux fur hoods resembled dishevelled carpets. Neither had a ski pass pocket, and their hoods also didn’t zip off.
They were both, however, surprisingly much warmer than we thought, largely thanks to the extra layer of insulation the suit has on the inside (a notable lack of finger holes, though.)
Value for money: 7/10
Fashion points: 8/10
Frost-bite proof: 8/10
Price range: £1.99 – £19.99
What LIDL’s ensembles lacked in style, they sure as hell made up for in practicality. The trousers had zips and liners while the jacket had air vents under the arms to cool off any sweat on the slopes.
Is it the kind of skiing outfit you’d want to wear while partying on the slopes? Er, no. Did it make us look, and feel, a little like geography teachers on a field trip? Er, yes.
But if a bargain is what you’re after, you can quite literally do no wrong with LIDL’s line.
Value for money: 9/10
Fashion points: 3/10
Frost-bite proof: 7/10