Hats are a winter essential for men. Whether you are a guy with a shaved head or a long head of hair, a hat can keep your noggin warm and protected from the cold temperatures and heavy winds of an Amherst winter.
Hats come in all sorts of shapes and styles. One of the most basic styles is the beanie, which can be worn loosely and far back on the head for a more hipster look or covering the forehead and ears for added warmth. California-based Neff Headwear offers a wide selection of beanies in bold colors and unique styles, such as the Vanilla White Cupcake Beanie ($29.95 at Zumies skate and clothes shop), which looks exactly how you might imagine. A cheaper alternative (and personal favorite) is the Merona Men’s Knit Hat, available at Target for just $4.
Snapback hats are another great look that has gained popularity since replacing fitted caps as a staple item in the hip-hop community. They come in a huge array of styles. Most sports teams sell a snapback on their team website, and many of them feature throwback styles, like the Patriots’ New Era Throwback 9Fifty Gamer Snap Cap ($29.95 at proshop.patriots.com). Some even feature cartoon characters, like Finn and Jake from Adventure Time ($19.99 at Newbury Comics). Urban Outfitters is another great place to find snapbacks in striking prints and styles from brands like Obey and Stussy.
Five-panel hats are a different approach to the snapback trend, with a more relaxed, comfortable fit and often made with soft flannel. FairEnds has a selection of interesting prints in both bright and neutral colors, ranging from $46 to $75 (fairends.com). To really stand out from the crowd, check out Urban Outfitters’ leopard print, world map and “Where’s Waldo” five-panels, each $24 at urbanoutfitters.com.
For a classic look, albeit one that’s harder to pull off, you can look for a fedora, found in many different patterns and colors. The Brixton “Jones” Fedora ($50 at nordstrom.com) features a feather and a look similar to the fedoras Bruno Mars is often seen wearing in his videos and performances. If you are on a tighter budget, the classic Rat Pack look can still be achieved for just $12 at K-Mart. Fedoras might not be an everyday look, so try one on in the store with a suit or blazer and maybe you’ll find a great look for a special occasion.
Last but not least, trapper hats are a winter classic, and have been updated with a range of new styles in the past few seasons. They feature ear flaps to keep your ears fully protected, and often include buttons or ties to hold these flaps up when they aren’t needed. You can score the traditional red plaid look with the Yukon Red Buffalo Plaid Gray Fur Hat ($30 at target.com) or go full fur with the Lewis Faux Fur Trapper Hat, $36 at djpremium.com.
This winter, be bold and keep warm without the standard baseball cap or pom-pom knit hat. A unique hat can serve a practical purpose and help you to stand apart from the pack.
Jake Reed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.