If you have never skied before, I really wouldn't go all out on gear.
Goggles serve two purposes: reducing the glare off the snow and keeping your eyes from tearing up when you are skiing fast. Sunglasses should be just fine your first few times out.
Invest in some waterproof pants. As a first timer, if you are learning that means you are falling. I have been skiing my whole life and my step-dad (who skis circles around the kids on the slopes) says that if you didn't fall today then you didn't learn anything.
I know this may not be a popular opinion amongst fashionistas but as soon as you leave the bunny slope and head to the real hill, you need to wear a helmet. My sister is a ski instructor in Aspen and she would never let me near the slopes without a helmet. She says that if you are just there to look cute and not to ski, stay off the slopes. If you're there to ski, put your helmet on and go!
I agree with Jillian, my first purchase when I decided to learn snowboarding was a helmet...yeah it ruins your hair but it has saved my head from lots of pretty ugly falls while learning.
And you will definitely need waterproof pants with some sort of lining. You will fall while learning so you will definitely appreciate being warm, dry and comfortable. You will find some ski/snowboarding gear that looks great but it doesn't do a very good job if your bum is going to spend a long time on the snow!!
For Skiing--- -Googles- Smith are good- worry more about the fit than the look- you don't want any wind or snow creeping in the sides. -Hat AND a neck "gator" because it gets very windy & the gators help prevent frostbite on your face/neck area!!! There are different styles, but most just look like these:
-Helly Hansen long underwear bottoms & long sleeve tops, you need a good base layer & this is a very good priced brand that is fantastic for skiing:
Hey, why not take cue from VB and deck out in Chanel leather? I think she looked really fantastic when skiing last year. And as for goggles, I like using huge wraparound sunglasses as they keep off the rays and are far more fashionable than big old ski goggles...
Don't forget sunscreen!- the rays on the slopes are extremely damaging!!
i suppose that depends on if one actually wants to ski or walk around carrying skis like a big poser.. and aside from looking like a poser and having everyone who actually skis if not point and laugh, at the very least rolling their eyes, if you've never been skiing before you'll be on your butt about half the time, would you really want to be in the snow on your butt in leather? and as for those ridiculous chanel skis with quilted leather on them...
If its not too late, I just want to encourage you to give skiing a try. Dress in basic gear as it really is not a great idea to draw attention to yourself while learning (you will be on your butt quite a bit). Its SOOO much fun, though. You should really give it a go. At least once anyway. Then you can be the snow bunny in the bar after the lifts close.
Oh, and my sister in Aspen said that even out there she's never seen the Chanel quilted leather skis before I showed them to her in this month's Vogue. She said its obvious that the mag is written by New Yorkers who have beach houses rather than ski chalets.