What To Wear Ice-Skating

Slide aside, Tonya Harding

Anything Margot Robbie touches turns to gold, and thanks to her 2017 film I, Tonya, ice skating – specifically figure skating – is experiencing a renaissance. The biopic – which recounts the events surrounding Olympians Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan’s very public (and violent) rivalry – has Robbie showcasing iconic ice skating outfits (gloves and all). 

And, while ice skating might seem like a hobby for those living in cooler climates – a la New York City in winter – there’s no reason why you can’t embrace your inner-Kerrigan in Australia. Regardless of our (mostly) year-round balmy temps, it’s still possible to go ice skating at an indoor venue in summer, or outdoors in winter.

If you’re a first timer we’ve rounded up what to bring, wear and expect when you hit the ice.

What To Bring Checklist:

1. Socks

In case you happen to come to the rink in sandals you should remember to bring a pair of socks. Socks that are thick will make it hard for your foot to fit comfortably inside your skates. While socks that are too thin and too low can result in blisters from the edges and insides of the skates rubbing on your skin. Somewhere in the middle is perfect.

2. Comfortable pants

These could be anything from yoga pants to track pants. All you need is something comfortable that you can get a range of motion in. Long pants are preferable – Brrrrrr.

3. Warm gloves

These can be inexpensive as long as you have something to keep your hands warm and protected. Any slips or falls will mean a skater’s hands make immediate contact with the freezing ice and if you’re lucky enough not to hurt yourself you’ll just be plain cold.

4. A warm hat or beanie

One of the first places you’ll start to feel the chill is your face and particularly your ears. Bringing a beanie will mean you get to keep your head warm.

5. A scarf

Just like a beanie these are optional but handy and will help keep your bear skin protected from the cold.

6. Jacket

This doesn’t need to be anything padded or heavier jacket. Although you’re not playing ice-hockey, having to move around on the ice constantly will help you warm-up. All you really need is something light that’ll cover your bare arms and keep your body heat on your skin.

7. Helmet

This is not something that is necessary for adults, but young children and new ice skaters may want to wear one just to be safe. The ice is thick and hard and amateur skaters are likely to have a tumble. If you don’t have your own helmet there’s really no need to worry as most ice rinks have helmet rental.

8. Skates

Don’t sweat it if you don’t have your own pair. Most ice rinks offer skate rental with the added option of either figure skates or ice hockey skates. Although the rental skates are in about as good a condition as bowling shoes, so if you’ve got your own pair pack them.

What To Wear

In Australia, the closest we tend to get to ice skating is our indoor ice skating rinks and the occasional promotional outdoor rink that you’ll find at Luna Park or a winter themed event. However, just because our options are limited and we’re only skating on man-made ice doesn’t mean that when we go ice skating we shouldn’t look the part.

Here are three key looks you can wear when ice skating:

Casual and Comfy

Love them or hate them, there’s no denying the Kardashians know how to dress the part – ice skating included. Keeping it casual, Kourtney and Kendall ditch the glam and hit the ice in jeans. While denim might not be the most obvious outfit choice for a day on the ice, its durability and warmth make it perfect for those expected spills. Opting for functional skinny black jeans paired with an oversized black knit, Kourtney keeps things safe, while her younger sister wears boyfriend jeans, cropped tee and a billowing cardigan. Remember, loose fit or stretch is best – it’s all about movement!

RELATED: These Are Hands Down The Best Jeans For Women

Warm and Layered

If heading to an outdoor rink in the midst of winter, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that keeping warm is key. Stay on trend with a lightweight puffer style jacket layered over anything really. From skirts and stockings to leggings and jumpers, just top off with a beanie and scarf and you’re ready to carve it up.  This allows you to remove layers as you get warm.

Waldorf Luxury

Wanting to go the full nine yards for a day or night out ice skating then channel your inner Blaire Waldorf and go for a skater style skirt (no pun intended). Team it with a cute beret, some knitted gloves and a pair of tights and voila, you’re all set.

In summary: tight, structured and/or restrictive clothing have no place on the ice. 

How do the pros do it?

If you’re looking to get into ice skating a little more seriously than a fun day out, take note. From speed to figure, there’s a big difference between the dazzling costumes professional ice skaters don during competition and the everyday garb they wear to training. While the sequined, bodycon and sometimes designer ensembles (see: Vera Wang and Roberto Cavalli) that flock the Winter Olympics are fantastic, the reality of professional ice skating is much less glamorous. 

Nancy Kerrigan
Nancy Kerrigan wears Vera Wang in the 1994 Winter Olympics (Credit: Getty)

Professional skaters are athletes, so it’s no surprise that activewear is the preferred choice when it comes to training on the ice. Footage of Margot Robbie and her coach training for I, Tonya reveals that black leggings, long sleeve tops and a lightweight active jacket are the go-to.

For those of you really interested in ice skating and wanting to make a real go of it figure skating classes are offered at a variety of venues including the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium, Macquarie Ice Rink and Canterbury Olympic Ice Rink.

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