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Winter hat smarts

Having winter hat smarts is an intrinsic part of your overall winter wardrobe strategy. Having appropriate winter head gear is key to keeping warm. Most body heat loss happens when you have your head exposed to the winter elements.

Choosing a winter hat can depend on what you are going to use it for. There are hats to suit each purpose. They can be the latest fashion trend, just stylish, functional, a specific sport-only and everything in between. It's your choice for whatever suits you best and what your budget will allow.

Winter season

Winter varies from mild winters to a rainy damp winter to full blown snowy and below freezing temperatures all across North America. Keep this in mind when buying a hat or any clothing for that matter.

Fur and really cold temperatures go very well together although it may not be a popular choice for many people. In a rainy, damp or occasional snowy climates, more waterproof options such as leather, vinyl, oilskin or waxed materials with brims are better.

Top 10 hat tips

My best advice about being winter hat smart is:

  1. Decide on what you need the hat for? e.g. work, evening, shovelling snow etc.
  2. What kind of winter is it where you live? Is it a milder winter climate or is it a full-out below freezing winter with frequent snow storms-type of winter?
  3. Does it need to be waterproof, just warm or both?
  4. Choose the type of fabric that is the most comfortable for you
  5. Make a short list of features you want in a hat e.g. big brim, front brim, longer at the back, loose fitting, easy to care for, dark colour to hide the wear and tear or dirt
  6. Try it on!! Adjust it. Move it around. Make sure it fits comfortably over your head
  7. Make sure it covers your ears and part of your forehead if you are particularly concerned about the wind hurting your ears or any exposed skin (I am!)
  8. Buy it to suit the season i.e. fall or winter
  9. Can it be gently washed yet still maintain its shape, size, texture etc?
  10. What's the potential for 'hat hair'? High, medium, low?

How many winter hats?

The answer is, however many you and your family need. Each person will have two or three hats each. That, I think is the minimum.

Here's are the main hat types you should probably consider. One hat may do double or triple duty, depending on the winter weather and the activity. However, being winter hat smart, you should have more than one spare.

For winter:

  • Every day hat
  • Work hat
  • Evening hat
  • Sports hat
  • Spare hat (multipurpose one).

For spring and fall:

  • One or two lighter weight hats to cover off all the potential uses that I mention above.

Hat types and styles

There really is a huge range of winter hat types and styles. Each season there seems to be more terms to describe winters hats but here are some of the most common hat names you'll find.

For everyone:

  • Fitted beanie caps
  • Loose beanie caps
  • Schoolboy or newsboy caps
  • Bucket caps
  • Wool shaped hats
  • Trapper, trooper, aviator and flap hats.

Us lucky women, have a few more winter hats styles on offer to add to our winter wardrobe.

Winter hat fabrics

Winter hat fabrics and materials tend to be wool, fleece, sheepskin and felt. These are very popular and come in an endless variety. Each type is durable and can take the wear and tear of winter life very easily. They bear up well when dropped, sat on, get splashed, or end up with dirt and salt stains on it.

Sheepskin or shearling hats with a fur/faux fur lining are warm too. Wool blends work well too although they will not be that wind-resistant like other materials. There are other winter hat fabrics too like various types of fur and faux fur and leather.

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