What to Wear & How to Dress When Skiing

Skiing is exhilarating. It's exciting to think of the rush you'll feel when you're gaining speed on the slopes. The snow and cold weather can make for an unforgettable experience. If you dress yourself and your kids for the occasion, you might recall memories in the future of family fun in the snow. If you choose uncomfy clothes or the wrong ski gear, the little ones might remember how chilly they felt instead of the fun they had. 

Choosing appropriate clothing and accessories is vital to a successful ski trip. It may be tempting to dress the kids as you would for any winter day. That could make for an uncomfortable time skiing, at best, or leave you both seriously unprotected, at worst. You deserve to have a ski trip with family that's warm, safe, and comfortable. We've put together a few essentials you'll need to make that happen.

What Clothing Items Do I Need?

There's an ideal clothing solution for nearly every part of the body when it comes to staying warm and shielded from the elements. Let's work from bottom to top. You'll want to focus on the right boots, insulating socks, warm tights, and ski pants for their bottom halves. 

For your kiddos’ top half, they’ll need a moisture-resistant undershirt, a warm mid-layer shirt, and a ski jacket. For extremities, they'll need a reliable pair of gloves, balaclava, goggles, and a helmet. 

Dependable Snow Boots

Snow boots differ somewhat from regular winter boots. A quality snow boot should have a rubber bottom and be durable enough to withstand rain and mud. The top of the boot should include some mix of nylon and leather. The best snow boots will also feature a snow gaiter to keep snow from seeping in at the entrance. 

The Right Pair of Socks 

Some thick ski socks can protect those little toes from painful ski boots. Others can leave feet sweaty and cold from too much moisture. Try to aim for thin socks that are moisture-resistant. You might also think to put your kids in multiple pairs of socks, but this can cut off their circulation if you're not careful. Instead, choose ski socks that are made of wool or microfleece to provide maximum warmth with just a little fabric. 

Insulated Tights 

A quality pair of tights can make all the difference in how warm your child will feel in the cold. For the best feel, try to put them in heat-reflective leggings or tights made of warm material. They don't have to be thick; a material like wool or microfleece can provide heat even in a thin pair. 

Weather-Proof Ski Pants 

The outer layer is ultra-important when skiing. It would best serve your children to wear a pair of waterproof ski pants. They don't have to look pretty! Ski pants' primary purpose is to shield you from the harsh weather conditions you might encounter on the slopes. Aim for at least a 10,000 mm water column material to keep dry. 

A Heat-Reflecting Undershirt 

Layers are your best friend in the cold. However, nothing is worse than a moist, cold first layer on a freezing day. When you are out skiing with the family, choose a thin undershirt for your kids that keeps moisture out and keeps heat locked in. Stick with materials like polyester to reduce the chances of feeling cold and sticky under the rest of their clothes. 

A Warm, Mid-Layer Turtleneck 

The mid-layer is where you want to choose warm pieces of clothing. When the sun comes out, the kids can take off their ski jackets to remain comfortable, and the mid-layer will be on top. It's helpful to stay away from bulky sweaters that might cut off circulation under the outerwear. A shirt with a turtleneck can also help protect their necks from the elements. 

Your Favorite Ski Jacket 

Like ski pants, this layer is crucial to having a comfortable, warm day skiing. After you've dressed the kiddos in their undershirts and cozy middle layers, they'll need a protective outer shell to stay safe in extreme conditions. More than safety, this outer layer is what will keep them from feeling the wind through their clothes. A minimum 10,000 mm water column material is ideal for keeping moisture away. 


Once you've prepared clothes to keep those little bodies secure, don't forget your accessories! Keeping those little hands warm makes a significant difference in comfort levels while skiing. In addition to warmth, consider gloves with a good grip on the palms. This detail can improve your experience skiing, especially if it's wet snow. 

A Protective Balaclava 

Next, adding a neck-warmer or balaclava to your child’s ski outfit is a perfect idea. If you didn't include a turtleneck in their middle layer, you should think of adding one of these items. A balaclava can not only keep the neck, head, and ears warm but can add a shield from any snow that might try to seep through the jacket. Choose one with a reflective badge to be visible as the sun sets. 

Secure Goggles 

Getting into gear, let's talk about goggles. A secure pair of goggles that fit well can shield your child’s eyes from oncoming wind and debris. More than that, they're an irreplaceable accessory that helps you to see clearly while you're attempting new stunts in the snow.  

A Helmet 

Last but most important, the helmet is the final piece of essential gear for a family ski day. You should spend a little extra money on a high-quality helmet because those little heads are worth protecting! Head injuries can be a big damper on an otherwise fun day. Gear-up responsibly and protect your noggin from unexpected accidents. 

Layer Up 

You may have gathered this already, but there is one crucial thing to keep in mind when dressing for the cold. Dressing in layers can make the day much more comfortable. Wearing only a few bulky items to stay warm can actually have adverse effects. Though your children might be warm in the morning, by the time the sun comes out, they may be sweating and unable to cool down. Layering gives you the ability to stay comfortable throughout the day. 


Choosing the right materials for your clothing is just as important as dressing in layers. Some materials will do more harm than good. For example, wearing cotton in the first layer will lead to feeling sweaty and clammy later in the day since cotton absorbs moisture. The first layer especially should be breathable and last throughout the day. Stick to materials like polyester, wool, and fleece when layering for cold weather. 

Ski Gear for Your Child 

If you're still looking for ski clothes for your child, we have you covered. At Mallary by Matthew, we make sustainable clothing for your family. Whether you need weather-resistant ski pants, gloves, or a hat for your little one, we've got you covered. We use quality materials to create clothing for your family that endures.

Summing it Up 

It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the clothing necessary for cold-weather adventures. That's why we wanted to help make your packing list a little bit easier to understand. If there's one thing to take away from this list, it's this: dress in layers of breathable materials, and protect yourself from the elements! With those in mind, you're off to a great start to have a terrific time skiing.