To Beanie or not to Beanie?


For the last few years I’ve struggled during the winter months in Lancaster. Regardless of how many layers, scarves, and pairs of gloves you attempt to don, the ice-cold winds are always chilly, leaving you to channel the Michelin man. The only thing to defeat Lancaster’s harsh winter is a hat.

Since first year I’ve dabbled with a whole host of hats, all of which have embarrassed friends, amused strangers, and confused lecturers. The newest addition to my hat collection was a non-starter, with one friend telling me to ‘take it off, people are laughing.’ However, surprisingly, other people can successfully don a beanie, beret or something woolly and look stylish. So, after a chat with a few of my well-dressed mates, I’ve finally realised how to stay warm whilst not compromising on style.

For the last few years the high street has been cashing in on the fashion elite’s call for hats. From fedoras to fur, they’re everywhere and you almost feel obliged to buy one. Granted, the models look great in the magazines with knitted bunny ears and closh hats, but can you honestly look serious on campus in one of these knitted wonders?

brown_fur_hat topshop, c/o fashion gps Personally, the most important rule when choosing your hat is to decide what works for you.  If you can get away with a cutesy panda hat or kitten design with furry ears, good for you, wear some kitsch animal atop your crown all winter through. Unfortunately, some of us don’t suit the ‘cutesy’ trend; I’m too tall and not alternative enough to wear a giant bobble hat, let alone one covered in puppies. If you’re like me, opt for something plain and versatile. This hat is to keep your head warm, not to wear for fancy dress.

If you know you’ll be in and out of university on a regular basis, whether that be because you cycle to classes or just have a crazy timetable, please don’t choose something with annoying ties or zips, or a hat light enough to be blown away by the wind. Holding onto books and files whilst waiting for that bus is annoying enough without the addition of a difficult hat. You have been warned.

Finally, make sure your hat fits. Last winter, whilst overexcited in Topshop, I bought a Russian style fur creation. At the time it seemed sensible to impulse buy, but due to its small size I ended up looking less like Anastasia and more like Frankenstein’s monster on a winter break. I’m not the shortest of girls, so the extra height really didn’t help matters.

My choice these days is a plum-coloured beret, pretty and practical, however it’s only worn when I’m feeling extra brave and it’s really cold. If you’re after something simple and inoffensive, try a beret, but remember stay away from the traditional black design, unless your standard uniform is a Breton top and a string of onions.

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