Adventure seekers, young and old, let’s face it we all love‘playing’ outside. Whether it is a long country walk, a blast down the ski slopes or a simply enjoying a glass of wine in the garden being outside felt inherently great!
As we move into autumn and the temperature inevitably begins to drop, our enjoyment and love for nature grow increasingly dependent on the gear we own!
Enter the beanie hat. The one-piece of cold-weather gear for the outdoor lifestyle you simply cannot do without.
We all know the warm, comforting touch of our favourite beanie wrapped around our heads, so snug that we want to curl up into it. We might even remember being so cold in our tents on some wild adventure, that we even kept our beanies while sleeping. some coils argue that it could possibly be the most important accessory for any sort of outdoor lifestyle or adventure seeker. After all, 30% of our heat loss comes from our noggin’, and let’s face it, no one looks forward to frostbitten ears!
Yet many of us know the woes of an ill-fitting beanie that threatens to wip off your head as you pick up speed skiing down beautiful snowly slopes, or at the first gusts of howling winds up high in the mountains. Even more of us have probably bought a cheap beanie in past that has casued constant pawing at ones’ forehead in irritation while negotiating tricky terrain where the use of both hands would be nice and sensible!
The fit of the beanie around the head and ears are important to say the least. Always, size your beanie right and ensure a snug, comfortable fit, equally as important whether you are getting slammed by harsh winter winds at high elevation, galloping on horseback, or simply out with the family on a brisk autumn Sunday walk.
Those who live in temperate climates know that come winter, or in some parts of the world even autumn, the beanie hat is the one accessory you simply do not leave home without, when the temperatures start to drop. Not only is it protecting you from the cold, but the right beanie will also keep the wind out, and the heat in. The insulating layers of material work together to trap heat, giving us that warm, snug feeling.
The material of the beanie comes next with acrylic, fleece, wool and cotton being the most widely available and desired. Each of these materials has a different feel, and everyone has their own favourites. Cheaper beanies are usually made with inferior materials, can irritate your scalp and skin, and even cause rash and breakouts.
That being said, there are some beanies simply better than others. With construction and features fulfilling different needs, each one is unique to the purpose it was designed for. Chunky knit uses bulkier yarn and a distinct knit pattern that gives a more traditional outdoorsy look. Crochet beanies as opposed to knit beanies are a style of stitching that gives a thicker look and are less prone to being stretched. Lined beanies, usually with fleece, give us that extra insulation for the colder days and protects our skin from itchy fibres. Bobble hats, or “pom-poms”, are a fashion statement in themselves and a quintessential part of any winter wardrobe. Earflaps give extra pieces of material to fully cover the ears, and reversible beanies give you two beanies in one!
Be prepared to pay for quality, but your favourite beanie hat doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Superior materials like acrylic wool cost more and are worth shelling out for, yet with some brand name beanies you pay for the brand, just like any other accessory piece.
Did you know you could choose a beanie to flatter the shape of your face? Shorter or rounder faces do well with a beanie without a turn-back cuff and a looser style can add some height to your face. Wear it slightly loose, and back off your face, instead of pulling it straight down your ears. Longer faces suit turn-back cuffs, even better if they have contrasting colours. Wearing a beanie snug against your head also prevents adding length.
Then ladies (and gents!), there’s the dreaded “hat-hair”. We take our beanie hats off and the first thing we do is to ruffle our hair in an attempt to shake out the flattened ‘do’. What about hairstyles that fit so perfectly under a beanie that they seem made for each other? Tight braids on either side frame the face, a single French braid keeps the hair tangle-free, cascading loose curls draw attention upwards and since a beanie covers the top, you just have to worry about curling the bottom half of your hair.
And then there are bobble hats. Bobbles have a pom-pom, which in recent years have grown in popularity as a fashion icon, but came from a rich history dating back to the discovery of a statue of the Viking God Freyr wearing a hat with a pom-pom. The indomitable Hungarian cavalry, the Hussars, all wore shakos as part of their uniform, decorating the top of the tall hat with a pom-pom. The military use of the pom-pom was widely accepted to not only distinguish between companies, but was a source of great regimental pride. Napoleon’s infantry soldiers used pom-poms to distinguish between companies with green, blue, violet and orange pom-poms.
Who knew that the beloved pom-pom, now a classic winter icon, had such impressive historical usage? Fitting it under a helmet would be our biggest challenge these days!
Whether you spend your days ripping down slopes, horseback riding or up a mountain clinging onto a cliff face, the modest beanie hat is the fundamental part of any winter wardrobe. Choose wisely and it will be your best friend, always by your side and follow you on all your wacky adventures. Rock that beanie!
Explore our awesome, funky, fun and fabulous beanie and bobble hat range here, and join the Zaini tribe today!