Fashion follows function
Hot trends in apparel
The eye finds a kaleidoscope of patterns and colors as it scans the local ski-apparel outlets. Fashion offers an abundance of options, from daring to discriminating. Fuzzy faux fur collars and faux suede jackets are in ample supply.
“It’s all fashion over function now, sadly enough,” says Jamie Locks, who works for Out of Bounds Board Shop, 235 E. Plumb Lane, Reno. Function may have reached a plateau, providing all the necessary warmth and waterproofing in slope apparel. At first glance, this year’s trends seem strictly focused on fashion.
Patterns are plentiful, from subtle tones to camouflage, plaid to argyle, and paisley to bandana prints. Pinstripes and plaids are most popular, Locks says.
Jenna Rose works at Bobo’s Mogul Mouse Ski & Patio, 475 E. Moana Lane, in Reno. She’s fond of the B by Burton line of fashionable, form-fitting snowboard attire for girls and women. The racks are filled with options to fit individual styles, and Rose promises, “You won’t get missed on the slopes.”
Well, you may not get missed, but will your butt get bruised? You won’t find padding in snowboard apparel this year. “Most (apparel lines) have forgone butt padding,” Lock explains. However, impact shorts are available to wear under your form-fitting snowboard pants. Yes, this would defeat the fashion statement, but this hard shell padding is recommended for those who frequently fall.
Jumpsuits have made a comeback this year, but purchase them at your own peril. Locks smiles at the thought of wearing a jumpsuit. After a pause, he replies, “Jumpsuits are fashion forward, but it might be too much.”
His co-worker, Krista Striker, offers this practical advice about jumpsuits: “If you have a booty, it’s not going to fit. I would wear it if it wasn’t so expensive because girls’ jackets don’t cover our butts.”
Tragically true; girls’ jackets are cut too short and are a case of fashion forgoing function. Striker says that girls are often forced to purchase jackets that are too large for them or seek alternatives in boys wear. So your front looks great, but your bottom is wet.
The cold protection is the best defense of the jumpsuit, but Striker concedes that the bathroom issues provide another reason for pause. Guys in jumpsuits can forget about quick relief in the back country. The market already has spoken, it seems. Out of Bounds will not be stocking up on expensive one-piece apparel, but they do have one or two in stock.
Mogul Mouse carries more jumpsuits, especially for kids. Are they as functional as jacket and pant combos? Kids inevitably have to go to the bathroom on the lift or in line. Additional fuss with a jumpsuit when a toilet’s in sight could create accidents. Another objection to the jumpsuit is that temperatures are harder to regulate when both big and little shredders get hot. These are but a few of the reasons that the jumpsuit when out of style in the first place: fashion forward and function backward.
More functional apparel is available for kids this year. Spyder and Coulior offer a “grow with me system” for two-season wear. A stitch inside the jacket arm and pant leg can be removed the following year, allowing for one and a half inches of growth. Sorbet colors and plethora patterns are available to match every child’s unique style.
In Reno, Mogul Mouse offers slope wear for skiers, but Out of Bounds is strictly for snowboarders.
Marker is taking the lead in women’s ski pants with warm, low-rise, slim-fitting styles that mimic jean fashions. Rose says these pants are flying off the shelves.
Spyder makes stylish jackets for men and women, but many come up short when matched with low-rise pants. Women’s ski jackets are more form-fitting this year, but men’s ski jackets remain technical looking.
From first glance, it’s all about fashion, but peering beyond the patterns and faux fur collars reveals function will never go out of style. Will those faux fur collars provide a breeding ground for tiny ice and snow balls? Only a solid face plant will tell.