REI is one of those places that I used to hate. An old boyfriend used to take me there, where he was a like kid in a candy store. He was an amazing skiier and outdoorsy, so it was to him like what Barneys is to me. I love to ski and bike but am not exactly off the charts in either of those areas, so I felt like a fish out of water every time I set foot in the place. It was like there was an alarm about to going to go off at any minute, and someone might get on the intercom and announce, "Could someone please escort the blonde on aisle 3 who doesn't belong here from the premises immediately, please?"
Nowadays, REI can still annoy me (why do people walk so slow in there? Bugs.) but I no longer feel like a stranger. I like to be outside with my family, and in fact wouldn't mind a mountain bike for times when the old Electra cruiser isn't going to cut it on the trails. And I love to ski with our kids--they are old enough to really have fun on the slopes with.
Still, does bundling up for the weather in athletic gear mean one must wear icky colors and unflattering oversized fleece? I think not. While standing in the women's section I saw two women stop in front of a a woman's ski clothing display and comment on the Skhoop Short Down Skirt hanging there. One asked her friend if she would wear the puffy little skirt and they both decided it was "obviously designed by a man" because what woman would make her ass puffier on purpose, right?
I tend to like a challenge, so I promptly grabbed the skirt and its slight longer, less puffier sister, the Skhoop Original Insulated Skirt to give them a try and have to say, I disagree with them. I loved them and thought they were super cute and yes, flattering. I felt neither puffy or frumpy in it--quite the opposite--it was a great twist on cold weather fashion. (which in the past might have been a bit of a oxymoron). The longer one may be more difficult to downhill in, but for a zillion other outdoor winter activities, it is perfect.
Skhoop isn't the only company that makes a ski skirts--the Sierra Designs Gnar Skirt comes in all sorts of sassy colors like eggplant and sangria--and its on sale! Eider makes a Nunavat black down skirt that is a good basic if you like a shorter style as well.
Ski skirts may or may not be good for actual skiing--I think that is still in debate, but they are a fashionably cozy way to enjoy outdoor winter fun with a little bit more style.