Sara Segall doesn’t want to wear flowers, or fur, or anything pink and glittery. But that’s what women have always had to do if they didn’t want to look like a bro, says this diehard Vermont skier.
“Many of the options for women fall into either the ‘ski bunny’ or ‘one of the dudes’ buckets,” says the Stratton passholder. So in January 2016, she ditched her job with Revlon and founded her own skiwear company, Orsden. The brand makes jackets and pants for women and men. But the women’s line in particular offers something that’s rare in the ski and snowboard marketplace: outerwear with a feminine design that doesn’t fall prey to gender norms of color and pattern.
Blue, brown, and black dominate the women’s options. What makes them girly is the fit. Many ski pants don't take into account women’s various waist and hip measurements, resulting in either gaps along the belt or too tight through the thighs. The Orsden Slope Pants ($200), on the other hand, fit without bagging or binding (four-way stretch fabric complements the thoughtful tailoring). They have a high-backed waistband that keeps my lower back warm when I’m riding lifts.
The Women’s Lift Jacket ($264) has an asymmetrical front zipper that looks sharp. (It also robs volume from the left hand pocket, which I've now dedicated to lip balm.) The feature I most love is the inset collar: it’s high and wide enough to let me tuck my nose inside in icy wind.
Both the jacket and the pants are filled with a polyester insulation that’s not as breathable as Polartec Alpha or the other awesomely sweat-dumping materials that have been hitting market lately. Even with the jacket’s pit zips, these are better for railing groomers than for high-heart-rate powder laps through the trees. The upside? Both are way more affordable than jackets and pants with tip-of-the-spear technology.
And Orsden is growing, says Segall, with new midlayers and line expansions coming for next winter—great news for women chasing well-fitted snow gear, sans the Barbie palette.