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Now that the weather is colder (and you might not be washing your hair as often), you’ll be more inclined to throw a hat on for your next morning stroll, afternoon lunch break, or night out. But with the plethora of hats on the market—and not all being winter-friendly—it can be hard to decipher what styles of hats are best for when the temperatures plummet. One thing to note, though, is that a hat can be just as important an accessory as, say, your bag or shoes.
"A winter hat—or any hat for that matter—can change the entirety of an outfit," says fashion stylist Chelsea Volpe. "It's the cherry on top of the cake!"
Read on for our roundup of best hats for winter, along with some expert advice from both Volpe and stylist Karen Schijman.
Meet the Expert
- Chelsea Volpe is a New York-based fashion and still life stylist represented by Honey Artists. Starting out as the assistant stylist for Alicia Keys, she's since collaborated with commercial and editorial clients including Bloomingdale's, Hypebae, and Victoria's Secret.
- Karen Schijman is a New York-based stylist represented by Honey Artists. She also recently launched the handbag line Chascona Bags.
Best Overall: Umeepar Faux Fur Bucket Hat
TikTok has created more trends than we can count, and wearing a faux fur bucket hat could not be forgotten. "A bucket hat can be made casual or dressed up as long as the wearer has confidence," says Volpe. "There is no wrong answer when it comes to a bucket hat." You’re guaranteed warmth and extra comfort with this option, not to mention versatility in the wide selection of colors and patterns. Plus, it’s under $20. Check, and check.
Material: 100% polyester | Colors/Prints: Beige, Black, Burgundy, Caramel, Grey, Khaki, White, Chess Black Pink, Cow Print, Leopard Print Beige +more | Sizes: One size fits most | Circumference: 22.6 inches
Best Budget: American Trends Winter Beanie
You can keep your ears extra warm for around $6 this season with this American Trends beanie. It comes in several neutral shades and also red and yellow if you're needing a pop of color. The pack of three comes in just over $10, which is perfect for a small family or anyone who needs to stock up on a budget. Reviewers say these are soft and comfortable and hold up well in the wash (meaning they shouldn't shrink or pill).
Material: 100% acrylic | Colors/Prints: Black, Yellow, Red, Gray, Navy, White +more | Sizes: One size fits most
Best Ecofriendly: The North Face Cragmont Bucket Hat
Products that use earth-friendly or recycled materials are always a win in our book. This one from The North Face is made from cozy fleece that happens to be 100 percent recycled. Featuring a moisture-wicking sweatband, it aims to keep you comfortable no matter the conditions. And that shade of green? This is one hat that’ll make you stand out.
Material: 100% recycled fleece | Colors: Laurel Wreath Green-Thyme, Aviator Navy, Bleached Sand | Sizes: S/M, L/XL | Care: Hand wash
Best Beanie: Outdoor Voices OV Beanie
Your head will be super cozy in this fitted beanie from Outdoor Voices. Made from wool and recycled polyester, it’s both breathable and warm, so you can wear it on the go, on a run, on a hike, or just for a walk down the street.
Material: 55% Merino wool, 45% recycled polyester | Colors: Melon, Pistachio | Sizes: One size fits most | Care: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low
Best Trapper: Overland B-3 Sheepskin Aviator Hat
Once temperatures really drop, this is a hat you're going to want to add to cart. Its plush shearling earflaps will keep your ears extra warm on those sub-freezing days, and the suede drawstrings will ensure that it doesn’t go flying off your head if the wind picks up. This would look extra cool paired with a chunky knit sweater and leather pants, don't you think?
Material: Leather and shearling | Colors: Dark Brown/Cream, Black/Black, Burnt Cognac, Jungle/Beige | Sizes: S-XXL | Care: Specialty cleaning
Best Brimmed: Lack of Color Boater Hat
If you're a hat fanatic and haven't heard of Lack of Color, then the time is now to jump on the bandwagon. The Aussie brand specializes in upscale hats that are so unique they are inspiring us to start a serious collection. We love the boater hat that is equal parts country as it is rock 'n' roll. Each color hat features different themed gold conchos and invigorates a charming personality to any outfit it's assigned.
Material: 100% Australian wool | Colors: Navy, Cream, Black | Sizes: S-L | Care: Machine wash
Best Beret: Ganni Recycled Wool Blend Beret
Ah, oui! Nous aimons ce béret! (Or, in other words, we love this beret!) This wool-blend style of the French classic is perfect for the colder months, without sacrificing style or comfort. Step out on the town looking (and feeling) super chic in this beret all season long.
Material: 60% recycled wool, 18% polyamide, 10% wool, 7% recycled polyamide, 5% other fibers | Colors: Sky Captain, Brazilian Sand, Placid Blue, Egret | Sizes: One size fits most | Care: Hand wash, dry flat
Best Fisherman: Brixton Fiddler Fisherman Cap
While they won't cover your ears, a classic fisherman cap like this one by Brixton ensures your head stays warm for chillier outings—especially great for the fall and early spring. The rope detail adds a nautical touch while the classic newsboy-style structure will elevate your everyday ensembles.
Material: 55% linen, 45% cotton | Colors: Black | Sizes: XS-XL | Care: Spot clean
Best Cossack: Overland Mouton Shearling Cossack Hat
Cossack hats originated in Eastern Europe and were traditionally made from genuine fur and leather. This style from Overland is made from sheepskin and shearling so you can expect optimum warmth and softness. Pair with your everyday oversized puffer to add a touch of effortless elegance.
Material: Shearling and sheepskin; polyester lining | Colors: Black, Ivory | Sizes: S-XL | Care: Specialty cleaning
Best Cashmere: Everlane The Cashmere Rib Beanie
This super-soft cashmere hat from Everlane will keep you super-warm. It’s made of Grade-A cashmere, which promises greater durability and gets softer each time you wear it. While the price point is on the higher end for a beanie, knowing it gets better with wear ensures it will stay in your closet for seasons to come.
Material: Top: 96% cashmere, 1% elastane, 3% other fibers; Bottom: 82% cashmere, 16% nylon, 2% elastane | Colors: Black, Charcoal, Canvas, Pecan, Persimmon | Sizes: One size fits most | Care: Machine wash cold, lay flat to dry
Best for Running: New Balance Lightweight Skull Cap
Running in cold weather is no easy feat, and keeping all parts of your body warm while exercising is super important. This skull cap by New Balance is perfect for those daring to do just that. Not only does the beanie keeps your ears warm, but the material is designed to be thermoregulating and moisture-wicking. Plus, running in the winter means less daylight, so the light-reflecting logo can help keep you safe. The polyester/spandex material is machine washable (and dryer-friendly), too.
Material: Polyester and spandex | Colors: Black | Sizes: One size (fits 20.6-24.5 inches head circumference) | Care: Machine wash cold with like colors, and machine dry
Best Cable Knit: Whiteleopard Thick Slouchy Cable Knit Beanie
This hat has it all: fleece lining, a large pom-pom at the crown, and comes in 17 colors. For less than $20, you may want to snag a few of these just so all your winter outfits are covered. We love the striped options—very après ski vibes.
Material: 100% acrylic | Colors: Black, Caramel, Cream, Dark Grey, Ginger, Grey, Lake Blue, Lilac, Orange, Navy +more | Sizes: One size fits most | Care: Hand wash
Best Fedora: ASOS Design Structured Fedora
"I tend to gravitate more towards a fedora for several reasons," explains Schijman. "I usually have my hands full with clothes or bags, so I prefer the hands-free approach of wearing a hat that somewhat doubles as my umbrella (while also avoiding frizzy rained-on hair). I also—believe it or not—like wearing them while it snows. It keeps your eyes and face protected from pelting snow and you don't have to worry about blind spots like you do with hoods." This particular fedora from ASOS is about as classic as it gets: pinched crown, soft felt, and pure black. Pair with a wool coat and leather boots in the fall and winter—and a T-shirt and jeans in the early spring.
Material: 100% polyester | Colors: Black | Sizes: One size fits most (adjustable) | Care: Spot clean
Best Patterned: Madewell Merino Ribbed Beanie
This ribbed, wool, leopard print beanie is slouchy, soft, and, as Madewell says, “like a cozy hug for your head.” Pair this beanie with any solid turtleneck, sweater, or long sleeve tee to add some dimension to your otherwise neutral winter ensemble.
Material: 100% Merino wool | Colors: Painted Leopard Toffee | Sizes: One size fits most | Care: Machine wash
Best Baseball Cap: Rag & Bone Addison Baseball Cap
If you just can't quit baseball hats despite the chillier temperatures, Rag & Bone has something for you. The 'Addison' baseball cap is remade in cozy sherpa (from 100 percent recycled polyester) and lined with a breathable mesh fabric so your head stays warm but doesn't overheat. Style with your everyday sweatsuit or favorite pair of jeans for a classic look that's still functional.
Material: 100% recycled polyester | Colors: Antique White, Black, Rose Dust, Paradise Pink, Eiffel Blue, Camel | Sizes: One size fits most | Care: Spot clean | Circumference: 19 inches (adjustable)
What to Look for When Buying Winter Hats
The hats on our list are made from an array of materials. Wool and cashmere will typically be a lot warmer than those made of cotton or polyester—although added fleece lining ensures warmth, too. "For serious cold days in New York, I stick to heavy ply cashmere beanies," explains Schijman. "They don’t make your head too hot when you have to commit to it for the day, can roll down to cover your ears when needed, or you can wear a looser one that sits atop the head for breathability. Also sticking to cashmere or angora is kindest on your hair and hairstyle."
Of course, there are a plethora of styles to choose from. Some are meant to be worn in warmer weather (think a ballcap or floppy straw hat), but this list is specifically curated for those colder months. Beanies, trappers, or faux fur hats are designed specifically to keep your head warm; however, more structured styles like fishermen hats, berets, bucket hats, and fedoras can be worn year-round but still offer enough warmth for elevated fall/winter dressing, too.
What are the benefits of wearing hats in winter?
Schijman explains how a hat can elevate even casual daytime looks. "If you have run out [for errands] and throw on an oversized coat, belt, and a loose beanie with sneakers or chunky snow boots, what could have looked like 'I threw this on to run to the store' now looks stylish," she says. "Not to mention the obvious benefit of keeping crazy static flat winter hair in place or hiding that last day of unwashed hair."
Can you wash hats?
Depending on the material that a hat is made of, they could be thrown in the wash with other delicates on a low rinse cycle. However, hats that have more of a shape to them, or are made of a special material (e.g. brimmed hats or fax fur hats), you’re better off spot cleaning them; you don’t want to risk being a hat out of shape or tampering with its material. If the base is sheepskin, it's best to go to a specialty leather cleaner.
What are some ways to store hats?
Hats can be stored on shelves, hung on wall hooks, or even put back in the boxes they came in (if applicable). If you want to be creative, hanging your hats in specific positions on your wall can not only dress up your space but make it easier for you to grab one on your way out the door.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Byrdie contributor Kylee McGuigan went to school in central Pennsylvania, so she had to bundle up in a hat as early as the end of October. After hours of researching different types of hats and chatting with our experts, she’s gathered enough insight to determine which are worth buying this season.