All about ski suits

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Karl Schranz in a one-piece and Vladimir Putin in a two-piece ski suit

Austrian professional ski suit

Children in snowsuits between two Hattifattener snowmen

A ski suit is a suit made to be worn over the rest of the clothes when skiing or snowboarding. A ski suit made for more casual winter wear outdoors may also be called a snowsuit and are often used by children as everyday outerwear in the winter season. Some suits are specifically made for snowboarders but most are used by either skiers or snowboarders regardless of the style.


A ski suit can either be one-piece, in the form of a jumpsuit, or two-piece, in the form of a ski jacket and matching trousers, called salopettes or ski pants. A ski suit is made from wind- and water-resistant or waterproof fabric, and has a non-removable liner made of nylon, silk, cotton or taffeta. Its main function is to keep a person warm while participating in winter sports, especially Nordic (cross-country) or Alpine (down-hill) skiing. It is generally a unisex garment. A ski suit is usually made to keep the body warm, but the user often wears warm underwear too. It can also be used for alpine racing to improve aerodynamics. Ski suits made for speed skiing and alpine skiing might be very thin and skintight, adding as little air resistance as possible to the body.

Ski suits are often made of Gore-Tex or similar materials. They are often in the form of a shell suit, to which the skier adds more or less warm underwear depending on the weather. Pockets are usually made to be waterproof, so items put in them should stay dry.

One-piece ski suits
A one-piece suit cover the whole torso, arms and legs. They have one or sometimes two zippers down the front of the suit, sometimes additionally closed by a flap with Velcro or buttons, and often have a belt at the waist. Sometimes, the suit has built-in suspenders on the inside for added support.

Ski jacket
A ski jacket covers the arms and torso. It can be a separate item or part of a two-piece ski suit together with matching ski pants.

From the introduction of ski jackets in the middle to late 1950s through the early 1980s, the dominant style was for a ski jacket to resemble a safari jacket in having a similar belt and shirt-like collar. A similar jacket, especially one with a hood, may also be called a parka, anorak, down jacket or winter shell.

Ski pants
Ski pants, or salopettes, when part of a two-piece ski suit, is usually made in the same fabric and colour as the corresponding ski jacket. It is sometimes in the form of bib-and-brace and the jacket is worn over it.


In North America, there are many charity networks working with providing less fortunate children with snowsuits for the winter.

Ski suits and snow suits are a natural part of some sporting events. There are also some events which emphasize the use of the snowsuit as such. At the annual winter outdoor music festival Igloofest in Montreal in Canada, there is a contest for wearers of one-piece suits.

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