Ski Chic: On and Off the Slopes

Ski Chic: On and Off the Slopes

Whether you’re a passionate schussbaumer or a black diamond après enthusiast, hitting the slopes has become synonymous with winter style.    

The winter sport dates back to Ice Age—where cave drawings depicting skiing were found in northern China—and it’s generally believed that the early Scandinavian people were the first to make skiing a communal activity…and we can only imagine what the first ski looks were!  

The year of 1924 marked the first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix, France; the sporting event exclusively featured established Nordic skiers. By the 1930’s, skiing was the sport—not only in Europe and North America, but also worldwide. 

Princess Diana was well known for her slope style, favoring the German designer Bogner. 

As skiing prevailed, so did the fashion. Widely considered a leading pioneer of stylish ski wear, German company Bogner was founded in 1932 by skiing champion Willy Bogner Sr. and his wife Maria. Although they equipped the German ski team at the 1936 Winter Olympics, the brand hit its stride in 1948 when Maria debuted her “Bogners”—slim and stretchy pants with stirrups for each foot to prevent the pant legs from riding up.  

Made of wool and nylon, Maria’s ski suits prioritized functionality and comfort without sacrificing aesthetics. While on a trip to the U.S. in 1955, her brightly colored designs caught the attention of American skiers, establishing “Bogners” as a must-have-style on the slopes.

The 1960’s introduced slope style’s “Golden Age,” with bold prints and striking colors taking center stage. Style icons, the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren, wore slinky bodysuits that were later replaced by the ’70’s love for flared pants. Bogner’s substance-and-style attitude took hold once again in the ’80’s, where fluorescent color blocking and tailored waistlines defined the dynamic sport.  

1970's Red Bogner Ski Jacket with White Contrasting Pattern – $225

Ralph Lauren—a name interchangeable with timeless quality —appreciated the sportiness of the moment, but eschewed the garish neons that had so-far defined the decade. Unlike Bogner, with its stark contrast of vivid color against white snow, Ralph Lauren’s designs remained classic—primary shades reigned over neon, and ski-themed graphics evoked the nostalgic effortless essence of RL. 

1980’s Ralph Lauren Handknitted Black Wool Ski-Themed Pullover Sweater 

Whether you’re going for a Princess Di look or whatever this guy has going on, you can find it at Upper East Vintage. Check out our Vintage Knits Collection, because who doesn’t want a delicious Vintage sweater!


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