I’ve always struggled with hats. It’s probably because I don’t have the head for them. A bit like an overinflated balloon caught in a yew tree, neither my head nor my heavy mop of hair have allowed a hat to work on me since childhood - and even then it was a bit touch and go.
I’ve not been sure about them on other people either. Perhaps it’s because, invariably, it’s only slightly questionable men that wear them. Let’s face it, the pork pie hat has sduffered irreparably at the hands of Olly Murs; and the saggy beanie was struck a fatal blow when the members of One Direction started wearing them to hold in their brains.
Even a traditionally elegant panama hat puts me on edge. And don’t get me started on a fedora. The affectation to end all affectations, unless your hat serves a proper function (a deerstalker in the Arctic) I’ve always thought they look a bit silly.
That being said, I’m on the brink of changing my mind.
For Autumn Winter ’14 the hat has made a subtle comeback, and it’s a return that even I’ve been able to stomach. The key piece for the season is the burglar beanie. Worn high and tight on the head, Serpico-style, this truncated take on the wool beanie was shown in neutral shades at Bottega Veneta, Agi & Sam and Dsquared2. Teamed, invariably, with chunky knits and oversized coats, these beanies looked functional, chic, and above all, warm.
It’s not just the beanie that’s making a comeback either. Baseball caps in wool and cashmere feel luxurious and elegant, while even train driver hats have a jaunty appeal.
Here, to help you in your quest for your essential winter hat is my pick of the season’s best - and there’s not a pork pie in sight (sorry Olly).