If you’re a cross-country skier, you’re no doubt familiar with, if not a wearer of, ski tights. Tights are great, they make perfect sense in cross-country skiing, but even the fittest and fastest can feel a little self-conscious in the butt and hip areas.
The Skirt Sports Ice Queen skirt is incredibly stylish for winter activities, but it is also functional. Early December snowfall in Minneapolis, and a trip to Quebec’s Mont Tremblant Nordic Center, gave me generous opportunities to ski in the Skirt Sports Ice Queen—in two countries nonetheless. Here is what I found:
On first glance, the Ice Queen may look like it couldn’t keep you warm in a sauna but it does. I have been using it predominately for cross-country skiing and I found that the wind-proof thigh panels on the pants, which extend below the knees, block chilly wind from penetrating the fabric. The legs, with nine-inch zippered godets at the ankles, are long enough to fit over ski boots to ensure that frigid temps don’t find their way up the pant leg. In other words, do not be fooled. They are very warm and are designed to keep the wearer warm. The longer legs also help give you that slimming effect.
For anyone that may feel self-conscious in form-fitting tights, the Ice Queen’s two-panel integrated skirt detracts from any self-perceived problem areas. The skirt length, which is 13 inches in the front and 14 inches in the rear, provides good all-over coverage. In fact, I found that the combination of the skirt’s length and design and the longer leg cut actually makes you look taller and slimmer. Not such a bad idea for moving between the ski trails and the warming house hot chocolate line.
The skirt also acts as an additional buffer to wind and cold temperatures, ensuring your butt has two insulating layers over it. Like the Breezer Bike and Cruiser Bike skirts from the Skirt Sports line, the waistband is attached to both the skirt and the pant legs on one side of the fabric only and is made with wide elastic to keep it in place. The result is the absence of any bulky feeling or chafing that occurs when the fabric encases the entire elastic.
Pockets are small and few (two, actually) – these aren’t cargo pants after all. But they will hold a packet of Goo, cash and/or you iPod. The skirt has a convenient music port that you can run your headphones through.
If you have never heard of Skirt Sports, it has an interesting birth story. It was started by Nicole DeBoom, a professional triathlete, who lived in running and biking shorts and shoes, forever sweating and perpetually soggy from swimming. One day, after a hard day of training, she felt like a guy—which is exactly how she didn’t want to feel. So she wrote, “pretty” on a piece of paper and started to think.
She knew there had to be a way to combine “pretty” with “hard core athlete” and still cover up the jiggly areas. A prototype of a skirt, made from a red meshy fabric, soon evolved. When she crossed the finish line of the 2004 Wisconsin Ironman, and won the title, she was wearing that red skirt and the Skirt Sports empire was born.
My overall impression of the Ice Queen? Exceptionnel! Hors de série! mignon! It carries out the very essence and being of Skirt Sports’ founder: to be athletic and still look really good. The comfort factor is there. The warmth factor is there. The cute and sexy factor is certainly there but they are also purposeful and practical.
Warning: Expect questions and compliments when wearing the Ice Queen. At my favorite ski trail in Minneapolis, I got several inquiries on where to get one (Gear West Bike and Triathlon). In Montreal, a nice lady with a little girl in tow asked me if I was the skating instructor.
Skating instructor, indeed. :-
The Ice Queen, though, need not be restricted to cross-country skiing. Wear it snowshoeing, running, biking. Anyplace outdoors in the winter to keep you warm and unrestricted. I’ve even worn mine to the grocery store after skiing.
The Skirt Sports family line is growing. No matter what you like to do, Skirt Sports has a skirt, dress, top or outerwear that will make your already sexy athletic body look even sexier.
If you live in Minneapolis, you can check out your own Ice Queen at Gear West Bike and Triathlon or any of these other shops.