Feeling cold is not pleasant, and we tend to wear too many clothes in our effort to enjoy a good day's skiing. Wearing too many layers clothes runs the risk of looking like the Michelin Man, which isn't all that effective. It's best to simply respect the rule of the three layers, without forgetting your extremities (head and hands).
The layer closest to your skin, or base layers, is what brings warmth and comfort. It draws out perspiration and therefore keeps your skin dry.Without this layer, sweating can lead to moisture and discomfort. As a bonus, the components of these base layers tend to remain elastic and will not interfere with your movements. Woollen underwear has made enormous progress: now soft to the touch, it dries quickly, and does not emit any odours, unlike synthetic base layers.
This layer works just like your home insulation. It will trap the warmth your produce to allow you to heat up naturally. The outside temperature will dictate your choice of thickness for your insulating layer. A fleece or a softshell — that's for you to decide.
If we return to the example of a house, this layer represents your root tiles. It will protect you from the aggression of the outside climate — rain, snow and wind. It will complement the insulating layer in terms of heat by not letting anything else in. Protective layer jackets have interesting technical details and cuts that allow them be adjusted and thus ensure ease of movement. The fabric used in this layer is called "water-repellent": the water does not penetrate the fabric; it beads and rolls away.
Protection from the cold via layers of clothing is pointless if your extremities remain exposed. Lots of heat is released through your head. It's therefore essential to wear a warm hat such as a beanie, or for better safety and warmth, a helmet. Don't forget to choose the size carefully so your new ski hat or helmet is comfortable: you'll be wearing it for several hours without much opportunity to remove it for very long.
Wear ski gloves or mittens that fit snugly without being too tight, as you will be more sensitive to negative temperatures. Gloves designed for skiing are water resistant and provide a lot more protection from the cold and wind than standard woolly winter gloves.
Sunglasses or goggles are must-wear items: opt for UV sun protection of at least 3 due to the sun reflection on the snow, which increases its strength tenfold. Never hit the slopes without your sunglasses or goggles, even on foggy or overcast days, when we tend to be less concerned.
Cold temperatures below zero will be felt on any part of exposed skin or anywhere the air can get in through your outer layers. On typically cold January days, when the sun barely warms the atmosphere, you will want to add the little extra — a Buff neck warmer. It closes the final place on your body where heat can still escape, filling the gap between your skin and your outer layers. This small accessory takes up no space, is easy to put on and take off, and it can change everything on a cold day.
A large percentage of the body's heat loss is via the head. Going out in the cold without a warm hat is not wise. In addition, your ears will freeze quickly, so naked heads are not recommended when spending time outdoors in the mountains. If you ski, you can equip yourself with a helmet which will also keep you warm in cold weather. If you don't have a helmet, choose a fleecy or woolly beany. A fleece-lined hat will prevent a woolly hat from getting itchy. Warmer beanies are made of wool because they retain the body's heat more effectively than synthetics.