The catalogs in your mailbox (and the ads in your email) may be shouting “spring” or “summer,” but winter isn’t over just yet.
And while I don’t want to rush the season, these winter-into-spring months are a perfect time to score deals on this season’s ski clothing and equipment.
Styles and Trends for 2015 – 16
When it comes to ski clothes, I’m deal-oriented, seeking solid value on well-made, technical pieces for everyone in the family. I also like to find pieces that fit with the latest trends.
The best source for upcoming trends and products is Snowsports Industries America (SIA), a trade association that tracks sales within the industry (for example letting us know that Alpine ski apparel sales were up 9% in 2014 for a staggering total of $1.2 billion).
Here’s SIA ski fashion outlook for next season, and what you should be looking for as you scope out sales (thanks to the SIA Snowsports Preview for this information).
Even if you’ve never ventured into the backcountry, you can look like you do, with high-tech, high-performance clothing. Look for single color designs that are light on embellishments but heavy on technical features.
Breathability and function are key, with seamless shoulders (more comfortable when you wear a backpack), longer cuts (to accommodate waist belts) and relocated pockets (easier access in the backcountry).
While fluorescents made a bit of a comeback last season, the trend toward rich natural tones is stronger for 2015-16. According to SIA, golds and rusts are going to be especially hot, along with anything, in any shade, of pink.
Contrast and Patterns
While many of next year’s designs are vehemently utilitarian, jackets that stand out in the crowd will include contrasting color blocking on zippers and logos.
Bolder is better when it comes to patterns, especially if the patterns include jewel tones, beautiful blues or have metallic accents. Also, tartans and plaids continue to show up in unexpected places.
While discounts peak in late summer, selection and availability tend to be better in early spring. Plus, if you buy now, you can start wearing now and score an extra month or two of style.
And while you may already have a favorite retailer or website, you may want to check out CotswoldOutdoor.com, a U.K. website venturing into North America.
CotswoldOutdoors.com offers brands familiar to many of us like Columbia, North Face, Salomon and Helly Hanson, as well as labels I’ve never seen before such as Protest, Dare 2 Be, Animal and Rab.
And while everything is not yet on sale, there are some really good deals, especially for kids.
To facilitate this post, I was compensated by CotswoldOutdoor.com. All opinions are my own and are exactly what I would tell my family and friends.
- How to Save Big on Kids’ Ski and Ride Gear, August 29, 2013.
- Tight Turns: Would You RENT Ski Clothes? July 1, 2013.
- Gear Junkies: Gear Strategy, Part One, August 10, 2010.
- Swap, Talk and Click: Gear Strategy, Part Two, August 12, 2010
- Trade, Borrow and Beg: Gear Strategy, Part Three, August 17, 2010.
- One Deal At A Time: Gear Strategy, Part Four, August 19, 2010.
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