Why Retro is Back

Retro ski gear hasn’t exactly been banished to the wilderness all these years, but for a while, it was almost there. Or rather, it’s been waiting patiently in the wings for enough people to snap up ironic onesies for it to start looking like a movement that major ski brands will be willing to pick up on. 

Beyond the granddads-who-shred while wearing that 70s ski suit that you’re honestly surprised is still in one piece, there lurks a whole generation of kids who want some very important things from their ski gear. Firstly, ski fashion has changed a whole lot in the last decade or so, and a lot of that is down to massive improvements in technology.


In short, we don’t have to look like the michelin man to stay warm anymore. Nor do we need to stick with the same three brands bringing out two or three variants of the same thing. The snowsports industry is bigger and better than ever, and small, independent brands have long since started pushing the envelope of what can be done with ski wear.

What that means, in practice, is that we now have more choice than ever. Those of us who came of age in an era of increasingly fashionable choices in ski wear want to wear clothing that reflects us, like we would anywhere else. Retro ski wear, aside from being often hilarious, was also a pretty good way of doing that.

So, we come full circle. O’Neill have launched a new-old collection for this season, and it’s got all the things you love about your gaper gear. With added features that include, pockets that are actually useful, waterproofing that actually works and a choice of fits, this pretty much sounds like the best of both worlds.

Now, anyone who’s read my blogs knows that I’m a pretty devoted hype man to independent ski brands (except when it comes to Rossignol skis…), but I’ve got to admit that bringing retro back is a nice touch. Plus, the collection is made using recycled materials, which I’ve always liked about my snowsports brands (hi there, Picture).

There does seem to be pieces that will appeal to skiers and snowboarders across the board, and it’s not like all their other collections have disappeared overnight. I do have to wonder though, if this goes well, will the floodgates open?

Brace yourselves indie kids; I think we might be about to see a whole lot more retro on the slopes…

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