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Skiwear through the Decades

This year, Whistler Blackcomb is celebrating not only the recent snowfall and early opening date, but also their 50th anniversary! Whistler first opened to skiers the winter of 1965-66 and has much to show for itself since, including the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and the world record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola. In the municipality’s 50 years of business, as the sport of skiing and the equipment advanced, so did the apparel. From skin-tight stretchy ski pants and thick wool sweaters to one piece ski suits, the last several decades of ski fashion has seen some outrageous examples of ski apparel.

But have we gotten it right in 2015? Fifty years into the future, there will no doubt be something written about our ski fashion decisions. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to review some of the best skiwear fashion throughout the decades since Whistler’s inception.

1960s

The 1960s were a big breakthrough year for skiing fashion. Double-lens ski goggles were invented, wood and metal skis were replaced with epoxy and fibreglass, and the plastic boot was created. Maria Bogner referred to as the ‘Coco Chanel of sports fashion’, brought sexy skiwear to the hills with stretchy slim-fitting ski pants. By the late 1960s, skiwear became high fashion, inspired by the looks as shown on the runway with expensive fabrics, pleasent silhouettes and fancy accents replacing wool sweaters and tweed pants.

1970s

The era of disco and long hair brought a whole new wave of fashion trends. By the 1970s, wool was rarely used in ski clothing. Skiwear crossed over t0 streetwear with quilted nylon ski jackets and zip off sleeves. Bold saturated colours were very popular in ski fashion and the accessories consisted of moon boots, aviators, and visors. Despite the various fashion trends, the 70s also brought the advancement of the fleece mid-layer, which is still used today!

1980s

Bring on the neon and ski suits! Who doesn’t love the 80’s? Bright colours, shiny fabrics, and wild styles were some of the characteristics of 80’s ski fashion. The 1980s encouraged skiers to show their personality through their outfits and express individuality. This decade brought the introduction of onesies and overalls. Abstract and animal prints were the “must-have”, along with soft pastels and bright colours.

1990s

Do you wish this decade would come back? The bright colours of the 80s transitioned into loud neon colours of the 90s. What about the frosted tips? If those don’t make a comeback, I don’t know what will! This decade can’t get more fashionable, but don’t worry, the onesies and apparently crop tops continued into the 90s.

2000’s – Now

Can’t say there have been any crazy outlandish fashion trends over the last 10 years. Gone are the frosted tips, and the bright onesies, and the skin-tight shiny leggings. For this generation, maybe colour blocking separates or something more neutral is within your taste? One thing is for sure about fashion, whether it be on the hills or down in the village, it is a way to let your personality shine through so pick whatever you are comfortable in and get ready to rock it!

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