The fatal flaw with ski gear is that the casual skier doesn’t want to invest in pricey duds that they’re only going to wear a couple of times each winter and, even worse if you live in a city, take up valuable closet space the rest of the year.
Enter: the ski sweater. Long before ski gear took a technical turn with nylons and polyesters and Gore-Tex, winter sports enthusiasts relied on natural fibers to stay warm. Materials such as merino wool and cashmere, when spun the right way and knit with enough density, can be more than sufficient to keep you warm. Sure, if you’re skiing in New England on a particularly frigid day with sticky snowfall, you can reach for the heavier duty stuff. But on a sunny winter day, you may just find that a ski sweater is more than adequate—and if you can get some extra mileage out of it back home in the city, then it’s probably an investment worth making. Pair it with a sweat-wicking, second-skin base layer and you’ll be ready for most conditions in most places–European favorite Falke makes fantastic quality ones, Uniqlo’s HeatTech is a popular budget option, and Under Armour offers short sleeve versions as well.
There’s been something of a ski sweater renaissance of late, as brands start to rediscover the natural look and feel of knitwear as opposed to—or perhaps in addition to—technical gear. Take a look around the market and you’ll find heritage-style knits that feel like a step back in history, as well as more contemporary styles that work just as well on the Matterhorn as they do in Manhattan. Here, we’ve pulled together 15 of the season’s best ski sweaters to add to your winter packing list.
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