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October 08, 2019 8 min read

Does Winter 2020 spell the end for boring Women's base layers? A few Winter's ago black and grey thermals were the mainstay for keeping warm on a Skiing or Snowboarding holiday. They would come out the cupboard only when absolutely necessary, usually for that annual ski trip, or on the odd occasion the White fluffy stuff would appear across British skies. This Winter attire, resembling something that would feel at home on the set of a Harry Potter movie or on the front cover of a Worst Witch book was also reminiscent of those itchy grey tights, or long socks you would be packed off to school in on Winter days. But, thankfully, we have moved on. There are a few brands now putting those days behind us and creating Women's base layers that can finally see the light of day! 

 We're writing this blog to introduce you to a few of those brands and highlight some of the most stylish base layers for Winter 2020! Whilst we are going to focus on style in this article if you would like to learn more about the different types of fabric or features that ladies thermals are made of then check out our "Ultimate Guide to Women's Base Layers." Before we kick off and for those new to skiing or snowboarding we'll take a look at why base layers or thermals are such an important part of your mountain clothing. 

 Top 3 reasons for investing in layering pieces

  • Regulating your body temperature - generally our first thought when heading out into the cold is how to keep warm, but a great layering system will not only keep you warm, but allow you to keep your body temperature at the optimum level. Although your first thought might be to reach for the warmest base layer possible, we'd argue choosing a lightweight base layer plus a mid-layer would be a better option. 
  • A technical base layer, that will help you perform at your best for whatever your choice of Snowsport, will include features such as flat-locking seams, stretch fabric, pockets, hoods and sometimes body mapped ventilation. These features do add to the cost, but if you are looking to invest in a piece that will last for more than a one week holiday, we think it is well worth the additional cost.
  • Investing in a multifunctional base layer means that you can wear it on other occasions. For both environmental, and financial reasons investing in a base layer that appears more than once a year is a no-brainer. In 2020, its cool to care and owning less, having a smaller wardrobe is definitely the way forward!
  • Packing light - Yup, we've all been there, figuring out how to close that suitcase full every possible piece of ski or snowboard gear known to man. Improved fabrics and new designs mean that you can wear your base layer for more than one day, and on and off the hill. Owning a ski capsule wardrobe is the future!

Trends for Winter 2020

Every year in January huge numbers of the outdoor industry gather at ISPO, Munich. In addition to checking out new designs, products, fabrics, suppliers and brands they produce a trend report. For Winter 2020 they identified 5 colour trends: Core, Escapist, Retro Robotic, The Big Chill and Acute. We're loving Escapist and Actute, what about you? Either way, colour is back and we're excited to see what this Winter brings! You can read the full article and learn more about ISPO here.

ISPO colour trends Winter 2020

Best Women's Base Layers for Winter 2020

 Eivy Camo Landscape Womens Base Layer

Eivy Camo Landscape Women's Base Layer

Eivy Clothing

Eivy practically invented patterned ski thermals, created by snowboarder & fashion designer Anna Vister to challenge and expand the perception of how multiFUNctional base layers can be. Their collection of patterned base layers includes the Camo Landscape print shown above, we also love the Bloom, Leopard, Orchard, Blue Flower and if you are looking for a more simple base layer in a fresh colour check out their forest green base layer! Check out a our Eivy collection here. The Leopard print leggings are currently one of our best sellers, so if you have your eye on a pair you'd better grab 'em quick!

Style aside, the thing we really love about Eivy is they make damn good base layers. It's quite clear they are designed by skiers and snowboards and for that reason they are rapidly becoming the go to piece for both up and coming, and established athletes such as @lovisazederfeldt and @spannah_wilson

Jam packed full of features, their original design includes and integrated, soft fleece neckwarmer and longer cuffs with integrated thumb holes. Their base layers are made from some of the softest fabric on the market, lightly brushed on the inside, its UPF50 sunblocking, stretchy, fast drying and importantly, opaque!

Shredding the mountain, or lounging around a bar after, these are stand out pieces for 2020! You won't find any grey or black base layers in their collection! 

Kari Traa

Kari Traa is both the creator of the fastest growing sportswear brand in Europe and a freestyle ski champion and Olympian. Kari Traa runs by the motto "For girls, by girls" with a technical collection jam packed full of prints and bright colours. The ethos of the brand is very playful but they take their social responsibility seriously from using as much wool based fabrics as possible, to fair labour conditions. We admire their honest stance on packaging, not all brands are brave enough to highlight areas they need to work on. 

Whilst Kari Traa have expanded their range into running, yoga and training specific clothing their foundations are built on women's ski clothing. 

For Winter 2020 we love the Lokke long sleeved baselayer with a feminine Nordic inspired design which comes in Cloud, a pale blue colour shown below and also Rose, Denim, Calm, White and Grey. Made with superfine, 100% Merino Wool this is a premium base layer that insulates whether wet or dry. Merino wool is an ideal fabric to make base layers from as its breathable, naturally odour resistant and due to its fine fibres a fantastic insulator. Kari Traa make a matching Merino Wool thermal leggings also in Cloud. 

Kari Traa womens merino base layer

Kari Traa Lokke Women's Base Layer Top 

For a slightly more technical piece, take a look at the Kari Traa Rose base layer, a half zip base layer top. With thinner side panels under the arms allowing for extended movement in these areas. This also comes with matching pants and also a base layer capri, perfect if you prefer a shorter cut to finish above your ski or snowboard boots!

Kari Traa Rose Base layer

Kari Traa Rose Base Layer Top

Picture Organic

The French brand Picture Organic blasted onto the mountain apparel scene back in 2008 with a clear brand concept "the best possible environmentally friendly product design" their aim is to source products that are 100% recycled, organic or made from responsibly sourced materials. Known for their use of bright colours and statement logo pieces you can't look too far in the Alps these days without spotting a Picture Organic customer, the brand is becoming a hot favourite.

Picture Organic Milita Womens base layer top

Picture Organic Milita Base Layer Top

Brand new for Winter 2020, you won't go unnoticed in the Picture Organic Milita base layer top! With seam free Xina leggings in the matching print we love this new style from Picture Organic. This first layer is made from 93% recycled polyester and 7% elastane giving the top some stretch making it a great skiing or snowboarding base layer. Flat lock seams and thumb loops add to the technical features of this top.

FINDRA

Envisioned and founded by Scottish Fashion designer Alex Feechan, FINDRA was born in the small textile village in Scotland. Much of the FINDRA collection uses Merino wool with its fantastic properties that make it a great fabric for sportswear. They have a great range of women's Merino wool base layer tops and bottoms. It's interesting to see the brand branch out into using a synthetic fabric for the leggings below.

Findra Womens base layer tights

Findra Tiree Printed Leggings £70

 Made from a polyester / elastane mix these leggings have a 4 way stretch allowing proper freedom of movement for whatever outdoor activity you enjoy. We love the new print in grape wine and it comes in a grey called 9 iron too. We also like the addition of a seamless centre front panel for added comfort plus the handy angled side pocket. A great, versatile option for lots of sports - running, biking, skiing, hiking! 

Mons Royale

The Merino Wool brand from New Zealand was founded in 2009 bringing well designed, fun and functional Merino wool base layers to the market. With its routes firmly in mountain sports including skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking they now make a year round collection. Mons Royale are proud of their environmental credentials, using only certified ZQ Merino for the highest standards in animal welfare and Merino wool is a great choice for base layers.

 Mons Royale Bella Tech Hooded Base Layer £99.99

Classic styling from Mons Royale, their ladies hooded base layer is a staple in our wardrobe and we love the updated colour palette for Winter 2020. This is a light weight base layer made from Merino wool, with a small amount of elastane providing some additional stretch in the fabric. The strategically placed mesh back panels keep you cool where you need to and with a built in hood for warmth when the temperatures plummet. This is a really technical base layer, the Merino fabric wicks away sweat, and regulates your body temperature, we love the dropped tail giving a bit of extra length at the back. 

Mons Royale have really nailed the work hard, play hard design with a collection that is perfect both on and off the Mountain. 

Burton

Burton, founded in 1977 by Jake Burton Carpenter is an established Snowboard brand, recently we've been impressed with their efforts to incorporate sustainability into their business model including closing their stores on two Fridays in September 19 in support of the Global Climate Strikes. You can read more about their sustainability approach here.

Burton mid weight womens base layer crew

Women's Burton Midweight Base Layer Crew £48

Burton's Winter base layer top comes in 6 different designs and is made with their "DRYRIDE Ultrawick Midweight 200 fabric that's scientifically engineered to pull heat-robbing sweat away from your skin and propel it through your outer layers." So if you are looking for a warm base layer then this is a great option. As well as a cool design, this top is packed full of technical features such as the thumb loops, UPF50 sun protection and 4-way stretch. The fit is long, so perfect to tuck into your ski or snowboard pants and it is designed to be fitted, so if you want a more relaxed look we'd suggest you size up. And if you are looking for a base layer set then they also do the matching base layer leggings too!

 And finally

We hope you've enjoyed reading about this season's ladies thermals! If there are any you think we have missed off the list, or would like us to stock we'd love to hear from you - drop us an email at hi@thelatitude.life. With some snowfall already hitting parts of the Alps and N. America its gearing up to be an awesome Winter - see you on the slopes!