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Winter hats

Finding winter hats to buy is easy. They are readily available throughout the fall, winter and even into spring.

The hard part is choosing a hat because there are so many styles! You can select the latest hat fashion, a functional hat or wear a jaunty sports-like cap or a stylish, solid colour felt hat. Then there's everything in between to suit whatever occasion or purpose you have in mind.

Hat choices

There is an endless range of hats to choose from, which is good news for you and your family. You also need to think about how many hats will you need too. What you wear for every day use will quite likely be different from other occasions when you might need another type or style of hat.

When you are deciding on a new hat, first decide what is the purpose of the hat you are buying.

Now, ask yourself questions like:

• Is it for everyday use like going shopping, going to work, or taking the kids to school?

• Is it for extreme winter cold snaps only or when you have to shovel snow?

• Is it for a sports-related activity like skiing or snowboarding?

• Is it for more mild winter days when you want to take a walk outside with the temperature around zero?

The most important question is how warm do you want the hat to be? It makes sense to have a range of lighter and warmer weight hats to match the season. For me, this means I have hats for fall and for winter; the fall ones are lighter weight while the winter ones are made of thicker and denser wool and felt. There's also the added benefit of all my hats can also be pulled down tight around my ears and cover my neck from cold draughts.

Hat types

There are fitted and loose-fitting wool beanies, wool caps with or without tassels or a wool fringe on top, pull-on schoolboy or newsboy caps with stiff rounded brims, bucket caps, shaped wool hats with a crown and brim, hats with earflaps called "trapper hats" or "trooper hats".

Then there are more stylish hats like berets, cloches, Russian winter hats, floppy fur hats, pull-on caps with inbuilt scarves, cable-knitted pull-ons with knitted bands just to name a few of the more common ones you'll find in stores, arts and craft shows and online.

Then there are the fad hats like jester hats, hats resembling animals, mad hatter hats, and way-out-there-more-costume-like hats for the more adventurous sort who want to make a real fashion statement!

There's more... then there are balaclavas for really cold spells and alternatives like earmuffs and headbands when you might not want to wear a hat at all.

Hat materials and fabrics

You can find hats made of both natural and man-made fibers in any clothing retail store from the fall to the end of winter. There is a huge range of styles and types to choose from ranging from pure wool, to real or fake fur (faux) to knitted wool and cashmere to down-filled, acrylic and other synthetic fibers.

Popular hat styles

The most popular hat styles are usually:

  • Pull-on wool beanies
  • Caps
  • Trapper, aviator, trooper hats (they have ear flaps)

The style may also depend on the age group as well.

Warmest hat materials

The most popular and warmest materials for hats are:

  • Wool
  • Fleece
  • Sheepskin
  • Down-filled feathers
  • Fur

Now for the more mild winters or for spring and fall weather, there is also hemp, bamboo and silk for more lightweight hats, probably combined with other materials or they can be used for inside lining. Cotton is thin and has little insulating value so where it's used by itself, it's often in the lining of the hat. These fibers are sometimes added to provide softness or "lightness" to hats.

Hats smarts

There are some strategies to know about when buying your hat for the winter season.

Winter hats for women

There's a really broad selection of different styles, types and fabrics for women when buying a hat for winter.

Winter hats for men

Men's hats tend to be more functional i.e. it has to do its job for which it was bought but still has to be warm, weatherproof, cover the ears and be durable.

Kids' winter hats

Just like adult hats, children's winter hats offer a similar dizzying variety. Everything that I've mentioned above applies to finding winter hats for children.

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