In 1924, alpinists George Mallory and Sandy Irvine attempted to summit Mount Everest. For on-mountain protection, the duo wore outerwear made from gabardine - the traditionally worsted wool fabric made famous by the original trench coat. At the time, gabardine was recognized as the most suitable fabric for jackets, as its proofed cotton threads, dense weave, and smooth surface provided a barrier to the wind and snow while also offering breathability.
In the same year, with advent of the first Winter Olympics at the foot of Mont Blanc in Chamonix, France, skiing became a passionate undertaking for those who had previously only climbed upward, like Mallory and Irvine, but could now make their way down the hill in an exciting recreational manner.
In the midst of places such as Chamonix and St. Moritz, winter sportswear was born, adopting influence from the practical military uniforms of the era which gave thoughtful consideration to naturally protective fabrics and storage considerations through top buttoned, easily accessible pockets. It was in this boom of sport in early 20th century that skiwear became a unique class of product and perhaps the first, as Vogue’s December 1926 issues stated, that “one puts on in the morning [and] is the same as that which one wears until dinner.”