Free Shipping / USA

2022/2023 Women's Outerwear Review

Posted October 20, 2022 @ 9:40am | by Tate O'Brien

 

ladies day outwear ski test day

When I set out to write this review, I initially wanted a chintzy theme: jackets as Game of Thrones characters, pants as your favorite cocktails— what can I say, I love a spectacle. But the more I thought about it, and the deeper niches I got into, there seemed to be no better way to review these pieces than by connecting them to the bad-ass babes who wore them.  We love these clothes. We love trying them on, we love writing about them, we love merchandising them, we love selling them, we love partying in them, and we, of course, love skiing and riding in them.

Here is what the Lady Monsters had to say about Women’s 2022/23 outerwear.

First up, we have Devon: The big kahuna, the one without whom we would not be here today — fashionably speaking. She heads up the softgoods department at TSM HQ, and, in addition to performing her duties as head honcho, she skis, like, really well. And either everyone wants Devon to wear their clothes on the hill, or she is just really good at asking for shwag, because she is rarely without a fresh kit. She will test anything and everything — I’ve seen her do three outfit changes in one day, plus apres!

This year, Devon fell in love…with tight pants. The gateway drug? A little number from Aztech Mountain (get used to hearing that name) called the Top to Bottom pant. Dev, now "eagerly awaiting the tight-pant-loose-jacket look," loves the striping and the flattering cut, and the pants made her feel like she should "start thinking about a kit that makes you feel good about yourself." Goodness, they are chatty, eh? While these get you knee-deep into the bibs business, it's a nice hybrid pant between soft-shell and insulated that is lovingly crafted out of 4-way stretch fabric and padded with PrimaLoft gold insulation. How's the fit, you ask? Take it from Dev, who is calling Aztech’s impending popularity right from the jump and likening the Top to Bottom pants to an "uber warm pair of yoga pants." 

Aztech Mountain Top to Bottom Bib Pant Women's

 

These days, when Dev isn’t donning these booty-shaping baddies, she can often be found rocking the pastel blue and orange pop of rugged outwear that is the Norrona Lofoten GTX Pro Jacket and Norrona Lofoten GTX Pro Pants. They are seriously technical pieces: 3 layers of fabric slathered in Gore-Tex with vents and pockets in all the right places, and not an ounce of insulation in sight. Practical, sharp, and available in a colorway that resembles a Polly Pocket Dream Castle, just like our fearless leader.

Norrona Lofoten GTX Pro Jack and Pants Women's

Of this kit, Devon says that the "shell made it pretty far into the spring because it was so breathable and comfortable." While rugged, it is not her favorite "freezing weather jacket" and "would sub for the Norrona Lofoten Thermo100 on really cold days."  Looking to love this jacket as much as Devon did last year? Check out this year's colorway -- updated, and dare I say more fun. And don't worry, you will learn about that Thermo100 later...

Norrona Lofoten GTX Pro Jacket 22/23 Women's

 

The real left-fielder of the season was the Strafe Sickbird Suit. A far cry from the fur-trimmed one-pieces crowding the resorts, this tech-y masterpiece is a free-ride dream. A truly oversized fit, Strafe's signature waterproofing is sure to put up a tough-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside defense to the wild outdoors. In addition to a solid black option, the Sickbird Suit on the right there is the updated colorway for FW22/23. 

Strafe Sickbird Suit Women's

And now introducing: Samantha. She usually just goes by Sam, but I love calling her out by the full name because the way she draws out “Samantha Baaaaarrry” in her Long Island parlance is just perfect. This is a girl who loves the Grateful Dead and Lady Gaga equally, and whose role at the Ski Monster has quite literally spanned across every last department in the building. So is it any wonder that she can rock both the classiest of the classy and the techiest of the tech-y?

One of Sam’s 7,000 roles here is as a photographer, so whenever we get her in front of the camera, it’s a special occasion…and she shall be dressed accordingly. On Lady's Day, Samantha donned the Snowbird Vest from the aforementioned wonder-brand Aztech Mountain (I told you to get used to that name). This is a piece that comes from an emerging category of down vests to be worn as an outer layer on the hill. After wearing it up in New Hampshire, Sam remarked that “it is crazy soft” and that it very much “feels like you shouldn’t be able to ski in it.” (This I can attest to — I flounced around the city for a whole day in the Snowbird Vest just because it looked so damn cool). The kicker, of course, is that you can and SHOULD ski in it. Designed to be worn over one-piece catsuits or as a standalone, Sam claims she doesn’t know that she’s “ever put anything warmer on [her] body, and it didn’t even have arms!”

Aztech Mountain Snowbird Vest Women's

Unfortunately, a vest is not the most sensible daily driver, so Sam has some more practical pieces that she swears by — one of which is the Foxy Bib from Flylow, a best-selling women's piece and a staple item for the gals at The Ski Monster. And Sam will tell you why: “Coming off of a bib that didn’t really fit well, I was impressed by my Flylow Foxy bibs. I am obsessed with the orange color, and it is very comfortable. It was one of the best strap situations I have found, and the drop-seat was so convenient. They just make me feel cool.” These bibs have a particularly slim fit through the hips and thighs....not uncomfortably so, just enough to make you feel cheeky. 

Flylow Foxy Bibs Women's

Next up we have Ella, a first-year lady monster who spent the bulk of her rookie season as a Ski Monster crew member shopping at the Ski Monster — she is the living embodiment of, “OMG I could never work here, I would spend all my money.” And there is almost no one better to be testing gear than someone who gets this excited about ski stuff, right? This girl literally went to college to study textiles and fashion, and let me tell you, it shows. This year, Ella ascribed to a true TSM favorite: the monochrome Orage ‘fit, lavender edition. Clean lines, matte colorways and soft yet durable fabrics have often defined Orage outerwear. For FW22/23, Orage is sticking with the pastel theme but throwing in some earth tones to mix it up a bit. 

Orage Torgnat Jacket and Orage Cliff Bib

Opting for a more oversized, free-ride look, Ella sized up in the Torngat Jacket and Cliff bib, saying of the kit: "I am so comfortable in this...it's softer than it looks and super nimble, even sized up." And most importantly, she also said, "I just feel really cool," (ahem, anyone notice that both Samantha and Ella just like to "feel cool"?). 

For fancier events, Ella would slide into Tate’s Bogner Haze pants and Kara’s Aztech Mountain Nuke Suit, but more on that later….

Ella wasn’t the only rookie on the roster this season, or the only chick to land a monochrome kit. Emma, the youngest of the Lady Monsters, joined the team fresh out of art school. A raging shop-a-holic (our second best customer, after Ella of course), Emma is addicted to buying clothes and snacks. Her other hobbies include tool-related DIY activities, so it's only fitting that her kit was a utilitarian treasure. Her first go around, she went for the FW Catalyst Jacket and FW Catalyst Pant. Emma claims she loved it because it was “seamless and streamlined when worn together” and was “always the perfect temperature, regardless of the temps or general weather outside,” but I know she just wanted it because of all the pockets…for snacks and tools, you see.

FW Catalyst Pant and Catalyst Jacket

FW has been one of our favorite new brands to follow for the past few years, and there have been all-around good feedback on the women’s side of things. Though the pieces maintain an oversized bagginess, the fits are actually trim, flattering, and true to size. 

Don't look now because she might catch you staring, but the Lady Monsters do have a former U.S. Ski Team Member in their ranks, and that's her right over there...

Kara is unequivocally the best skier we know, so she looks pretty impressive 100% of the time. Maybe because she knows that she is going to look sick regardless, or maybe because she is just humble and easygoing, you can basically get her to wear anything -- from the most tasteful and logical to the most ostentatious and gaudy. 

Norona Lofoten Thermo100 Jacket Womens

On a typical day, Kara will wear the Norrona Lofoten Thermo100 jacket and Elevenate Zermatt pants. This is a pretty high-tech kit that skews a bit warmer, perfect for days at her home mountain, Stowe. The Thermo100 is the jacket we pull if someone asks for the most warm jacket in the store. For a classic FW22/23 look, the Thermo100 is coming to us in Caviar, Norrona's version of a deep, dark black. These pieces are high on the logical scale, but even as she starts to slide towards swanky, the girl still has mad #angles. The Poivre Blanc Ski Overall was a smash hit last year, so we decided to bring it back for the 22/23 season with Kara leading the charge. 

According to Kara, the PB Suit is a "perfect spring skiing ensemble for a girl's weekend" and an "optimal apres outfit." She did express concerns over how warm it would keep you in really cold weather, but said she "felt super fly and comfortable, especially considering how tight it is." This outfit is really a crowd pleaser -- it makes you feel good from the moment you put it on and gives the day a fun twist. 

Poivre Blanc Ski Overall Women's

The statement piece of the season, however, is the Aztech Mountain Nuke Suit -- a jacket that Kara wore on a Volkl test day where she was fittingly nuking down the mountain. This jacket is the best of the best, the top of the line, the jacket that is tasteful, logical, ostentatious, and gaudy all in one. And DAMN does it look good. It fits like a hug and has the perfect amount of fluff to it -- just enough to make sure you look awesome without hindering performance. 

Aztech Mountain Nuke Suit Blizzard Came Women's

I commend you for making it this far...but I also pity you, because now you have to read about me! Ha! 

If I could wear a leather skirt, fur coat, platform loafers, and the biggest pair of sunglasses this side of the Atlantic to ski in New Hampshire, you better believe that I would. Because the skirt is bad for performance and the coat isn't waterproof, I usually just settle for Holden. Which really isn't much of a tragedy. Holden, the brand started by snowboarding legend Mike LeBlanc, feels like the closest you can get to street style in a performance outerwear line, and I absolutely love it. The oversized Alpine Anorak was my everyday jacket -- filled with just enough PrimaLoft to warm your bones on cold days without compromising the draped, oversized look by making it too puffy. I'm not going to quote myself, but I will tell you firsthand that slipping into this jacket on a cold day was like a breath of fresh relief, instantly curbing the Northeast wind chill. 

Holden Alpine Anorak Women's

An unlikely but perfect companion to this anorak? The Bogner Haze pants, a little softshell number that I have had the pleasure of wearing for a few years running, and that I will never not recommend to ladies looking for slim-fit pants. Much more practical than one might think, the Haze pants are super sporty and dexterous, and pretty unbelievably warm given the silhouette and absence of insulation. They are tight-fitting for sure, but that's the whole point, right?! 

Bogner Haze Pants White

It takes something pretty special to get me out of that Anorak, and when Jones sent us a few kits to try out I was delighted to see some really dope colors and prints on what I knew was going to be some high-quality outerwear. The Mountain Surf Anorak and matching Mountain Surf Bib pants really caught my eye, and I wore them on a characteristically gray day at Cannon Mountain. The kit made me feel...carefree. I don't know how else to describe it. The set I wore was a size too big, but I liked the way it fit and I really liked the way it performed on such a cold day. It is a true shell, but has plenty of room for the proper layers and lots of deep pockets for extra hand warmers and maybe even a lift beer. 

Jones Mountain Surf Anorak and Bib Pants Women's

Leave it to Lady's Day for me to find out what my favorite outfit of the year would be. It was my third outfit of the day, and the moment I put it on, I knew I had saved the best for last. This was my first time skiing in a one-piece (unless you want to count the hand-me-down onesie I was thrown into aged four) and I felt like I was flying. Hailing from one of our favorite "boujee" brands, rh+, the Sirius Ski Suit is siriusly slick. We got lucky on weather that day, so I didn't have to layer up underneath -- something I was thankful for, considering the hip-hugging nature of this beautiful little number. I wore this one true to size, but if it was a classic day of New England cold, I would consider sizing up to fit something puffy underneath. Nevertheless, I loved skiing in it and I loved participating in fondue-themed apres in it. 

rh+ Sirius Suit Women's

If you feel like talking fashion, function, or skiing and riding with one of the gear experts here at the Ski Monster, give us a call. If you find yourself in the Boston area this winter, set up an appointment and come hang with us. 

Until next time, ladies! 

 

 

 

 
Filed Under: Outerwear | Permalink
 
 
 

Follow Us

XML Sitemap