How To Tailor Ski Pants? (Complete Guide)

how to tailor ski pants

Finding well-fitted ski gear for your body type can be a task in itself. While most winter sports outlets are bound to have a variety of ski pants, it can be tough to find a pair that is just right. 

While it may be the correct length, it could be too large around your waist or thighs. Similarly, there is also the possibility of having an issue in terms of length.

Which leads to our question, how to tailor ski pants? Fortunately, there are quite a few solutions!

Do Your Ski Pants Need To Be Adjusted?

Always make sure you try on ski pants before purchasing them. Once you have them on, it is likely that they can appear too long when compared to the pants you wear on a daily basis. 

However, keep in mind that ski pants are not meant to fit in the same manner that your regular trousers do. Therefore, reaching the floor will not be a problem as the pants will rise once your ski boots are worn. (Read how to break in your ski boots here)

Next, wear your ski boots while wearing the pants (snow boots could work as a substitute). If the ski pants still reach the floor or cause you to trip, you need to have them shortened.

Can Ski Pants Be Hemmed Or Altered?

Thankfully it is possible to adjust the length and waist of ski pants by hemming or tightening the ski pants as required. 

However, make sure you are careful with your measurements as redoing alterations multiple times can create too many tiny holes. This in turn could have a negative impact on the waterproof material. 

Also read our FAQ section of adjusting ski bindings here.

How To Hem Ski Pants?

Keep in mind, hemming ski pants will be quite different to the manner in which your regular pants are generally hemmed. However, if you are handy with a sewing kit, approach it as a challenge!

Here’s how to hem ski pants:

  • Ensure you have extremely thin pins and needles. As the material used is specially designed to keep water out, it needs to be handled with care. Regular pins are likely to damage the material.
  • Pay attention to the elastic gaiter. As the gaiter will usually go around the boot and have velcro or zipper around the ankle, you will not be able to begin hemming from the bottom cuff. Although this is possible with regular trousers, it is relatively complicated in this case. Therefore, make the adjustment further up; either just above or just below the knee.
  • Use the snow cuff as a guide. In order to get an idea of how far up the pants can be hemmed, pay attention to where the snow cuffs are sewn into the lining. Just below this area, is the highest point the outside of the pant leg can be hemmed to.
  • Use waterproof seam tape. As you may notice, the seams on most ski pants are typically covered with waterproof seam tape. In order to get the best out of your pants, ensure you cover your new seams with the same tape.

Should You Tighten/Alter Ski Pants Around The Waist? 

Regardless of the various types and styles of ski pants you try on, it can be challenging to find one that fits just right around your waist. 

As you will be dependent on your ski pants to constantly protect your legs from the cold mountain air and keep you warm while gliding down the slopes, it is of utmost importance that they fit well around your waist.

How To Tighten/Alter Ski Pants? 

Prior to altering your ski pants, remember that they are not meant to fit like your favourite pair of jeans; as this will restrict movement, considering the different positions and movements required on a day on the slopes. 

From bending to buckle up your boots, loading the chair lift, hiking through the snow and skiing itself, a level of flexibility and room for movement (and occasionally thermal layers) are required.

  • Size up. It is advisable to select pants that are one size bigger than your usual waist size; as you are likely to be wearing thermal layers beneath your pants while skiing.
  • Try them on. The best approach is to try on the ski pants over thermal long johns. Try sitting and moving as you please. Being unable to do so comfortably with your pants staying in place, will give you an idea of how much your pants need to be tightened.
  • As the ski pants should not be too tight or too loose, measure either around your waist or just above your belly button to get the correct measurement.
  • Based on the measurement, start taking in the required amounts. If you do not have experience sewing or do not have sufficient knowledge regarding waterproof material, select a well-renowned outerwear specialist or a professional seamstress to get the waist tightened.
How To Tighten/Alter Ski Pants?

How To Cuff Ski Pants?

Cuffing ski pants is increasingly common among skiers. It simply involves rolling your pants up to a certain point (usually halfway up your ski boots) and fastening them at that point with an elastic band.

Ski pants are generally cuffed for the purpose of preventing the pant leg from getting stuck in the binding or getting damaged while walking through areas other than the snow; such as a parking lot by the slopes.

When Is It Worth Tailoring Your Ski Pants?

Although having your ski pants tailored will guarantee the perfect fit, there are a few factors that need to be taken into consideration. 

A professional tailor/outdoor gear specialist is likely to be costly. Therefore, it may not be the best decision if you are on a strict budget; as it could cost close to the amount paid for the pants.

However, if you are an individual with a busy schedule on a daily basis, finding the time to make adjustments on your own can be tough. Therefore, getting your ski pants tailored will definitely be a weight off your shoulders. 

Additionally, those who do not have experience using a sewing machine are unlikely to experiment with pants that are relatively expensive. As long as the cost of tailoring is not an area of concern, this is definitely a worthwhile option that will have you skiing down the slopes in pants that fit perfectly; saving you the time and effort of working on them yourself.

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Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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