Increase your hand for those who’re a lady skier or snowboarder who’s been personally victimized by the skiwear trade. You’ll be able to’t see me, however I am elevating my hand and wailing it round, presumably alongside hundreds of different girls who frequent the slopes in ill-fitting gear. Historically, snow sports activities attire has been designed by males, for males (who make up an amazing 60 % of all riders). The businesses that do cater to feminine shoppers typically fall into the “shrink it and pink it” pitfall—which permeates via most male-dominated sports activities—taking their normal designs and manufacturing them in smaller sizes, in, ahem, extra “female” colours and patterns. In reality, one in every of W+G’s prime purchasing tales is a roundup of the greatest snow pants for girls—one thing that will get rather a lot search each winter, for good motive: They’re laborious to search out.
That is precisely why 2018 Olympian Kiley McKinnon, alongside co-founders Ariana Ferweda and Karelle Golda, got down to create Halfdays, a direct-to-consumer (DTC) skiwear model that is designed by girls, for girls. When McKinnon made her Olympic debut in PyeongChang, she and the remainder of the U.S. freestyle snowboarding workforce competed in males’s uniforms, no matter gender, measurement, or consolation. “We had been all competing in the identical, unisex gear,” she says. “I used to be representing Workforce USA in clothes I wasn’t even snug in.”
This wasn’t the primary time McKinnon to struggled to search out the proper skiwear. She’s been snowboarding since she was three and he or she at all times struggled to search out technical attire that match appropriately, functioned precisely, and seemed good. However the Olympics had been the lightning bolt—if the perfect athletes on the planet, particularly girls, could not even get the gear they wanted to symbolize Workforce USA, what was taking place within the relaxation of snow sports activities?
‘Bye-bye, boys’ membership’
The model launched in November 2020 with the last word purpose to rework the previous “boys’ membership” that is been snowboarding and out of doors sports activities into one thing extra inclusive, accessible, and a looot much less irritating for girls purchasing for ski pants that truly match. Two years later, and the model has a full line of useful, trendy ski attire with a loyal following in addition.
“[Halfdays] is just a little bit extra style, it is for on a regular basis ladies,” says Ferweda, a retail-strategy advisor turned Halfdays CEO. “The opposite piece is the accessibility and the approachability [of ski sports], which we have finished since day one… I do not wish to say we’re making it rudimentary, however making it simply really feel very approachable and inclusive and welcoming for all ranges.”
First, there’s the garments, which swap “steezy,” outsized sizes and loud patterns for a minimalist colour palette in flattering (and sustainable!) silhouettes. Bibs, jackets, softshell pants—the items can be found in sizes from XS-XXL and adjustable (i.e., slidable shoulder straps, snap-able waistbands), giving girls a chance to fine-tune their gear to their our bodies. “All the pieces that we have created thus far has been with the ladies’s physique in thoughts as a result of that is by no means been the case earlier than,” says McKinnon. “That being mentioned, and us all being skiers, we all know that skiwear must be technical. So we needed to guarantee that we had been preserving that into consideration… as a result of we would like individuals to have a look at Halfdays as a useful skiwear model, not only a style skiwear model.”
However this is the factor about technical attire—it is difficult. Anybody who’s ever shopped for snow garments is aware of phrases like “gaiters” and “YKK aquaguard zippers” do not make determining what your gear ought to do (and why it ought to do it) any much less intimidating. That is the place Halfdays stands-out—there isn’t any decoding what your tech specs do: the zippers are sealed to maintain water out. The aspect zippers on the tip of the pants broaden to suit over boots. The cellular phone leash exists solely so you do not drop your cellphone off the chairlift. It is not rocket science—it is ski gear. And whether or not you are hitting the slopes or holding down the chalet sizzling tub, you will by no means wish to put on anything however this model.
Bunny Slopers to Double Diamond riders—all are welcome
Take a look at the Halfdays management suite and you will find three badass girls who’re all very totally different skiers, however who love the game all the identical. That is the ethos of Halfdays—whether or not you are an Olympian like McKinnon or are “simply right here for the apres,” as Golda’s biography reads on the corporate’s web site, all are welcome. To foster a way of belonging and encourage extra girls to get on the slopes, the model is constructing a group of “Halfdayers” to fulfill ski buddies, ask for suggestions, and perhaps rating some free swag.
“I believe probably the most lovely a part of Halfdays is the truth that individuals have made connections on their very own,” explains Golda, Halfdays CMO. Over the summer season, the model began experimenting with IRL occasions, like hikes and exercise courses, to convey prospects collectively. The following iteration of that, Golda explains, is gathering of us on the slopes at Halfdays Meet-ups and getting prospects extra concerned in product testing and improvement. “A number of manufacturers make personal teams for gear testing or suggestions loops unique to athletes. For us, we needed to make it actually open to everybody and have an inclusive dialog [as well as an] inclusive group the place you do not have to be an Olympic stage skier—you do not even must be a blue stage skier—to benefit from the product.”
That is why Halfdays launched its Ski Chalet, a Slack channel to have interaction its passionate buyer base. And when you may be pondering, “yawn, one other Slack channel,” the Ski Chalet is enjoyable (can affirm—I’m a proud member) is definitely working—since its launch just a few weeks in the past, its racked up practically 350 skiers, snowboarders, and different powder hounds from across the globe, a few of whom joined the model’s first of many ski meet-ups at mountains like Jackson Gap, Keystone, and Mt. Bachelor on January 30, 2022. Surveys on future color-ways, suggestions for product improvement, images from run-ins with different Halfdayers on the hill—the Ski Chalet is alive with good vibes, regardless of your ski stage. Whether or not you are searching for a buddy to embark in your subsequent backcountry journey or wish to meet up for drinks after just a few inexperienced runs, it is a solution to empower girls on the slopes, which is what the model is all about.
“I’d love for all girls to know in the event that they’ve by no means finished any snow sports activities earlier than is to attempt to not let it intimidate them,” says McKinnon. “I need extra girls to really feel snug getting out on the mountain and to really feel okay to be on the bunny hill in the event that they’re 30 plus years previous and so they’ve by no means finished it earlier than. It does not matter for those who’re a newbie or an knowledgeable… I am actually hoping Halfdays might help change that for everybody on the mountain.”
Go from alpine snowboarding to après in Halfdays skiwear
Lawrence Jacket, Rosè — $365.00
The model’s best-selling jacket has all the things you need in a winter coat. Heat and waterproofness apart, it’s function pleasant, supplying you with all the things you have to have your individual profitable Halfday. Assume: a cellphone leash (these chairlifts are excessive…), a goggle wipe, armpit vents, and an adjustable hood. And the colours?? You’ll by no means wish to experience in anything.
Alessandra Pant, Frost — $225.00
Bye-bye, cumbersome snow pants. Hey bottoms you’ll really need to put on (think about that.) These core pants are equally heat and water resistant, produced from an eco-friendly material that wicks away powder. And whereas conventional pants aren’t probably the most flattering, these include an adjustable waistband that offers you a personalized match within the waist.
Aston Jacket, Black — $425.00
Operate meets style this ultra-luxe belted coat that appears pretty much as good on the hill because it does at afternoon drinks. It’s received all these nice options, and is so comfortable, you received’t have to fret concerning the freezing chilly chairlift experience. The star of the present is that belted silhouette that appears gorgeous wherever you put on it. We’re in love.
Carson Bib, Spritz — $295.00
Ever been midway down your run solely to appreciate your pants are falling down? Yeah… by no means fear about that once more and get this bib as a substitute. We all know—conventional overalls have been, um, not so cute (or means too cute, as in, infantile). These? You’ll by no means wish to take them off. Between the colour, adjustable match within the waist and shoulders, and so many pockets, these bibs might be your new BFF.
Johnson Prime, Banana — $95.00
Whether or not you’re using the slopes, going out for a jog, or simply braving the chilly, this base layer is a should for winter wardrobes. It’s produced from a stretchy, smooth recycled nylon that retains physique warmth in with out utterly slicing off your circulation. Layered or alone, it’s the true deal.
Sophia Legging, Canyon — $95.00
We’re agency believers that you may by no means have too many leggings. Enter, the Sophia, a comfortable base layer you may put on beneath your ski stuff or by itself. Just like the Johnson prime, it’s produced from that heat, stretchy nylon that’s tremendous snuggly. The breathable mesh calf and compressive waistband get excessive marks from us, too.
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