13 best winter hats for women
From the simple beanie to the sophisticated cloche, the hat is back this winter
There are two types of people in the world: those of us who start to look longingly at our winter hat collection from late August onwards, waiting for the moment when it becomes socially acceptable to dust it off – or splurge on something new – and those who need some gentle persuasion to dress their heads for the chillier weather.
If you’re not a hat lover, we have good news and bad.
The bad is that hats are unavoidably in vogue this season, with outlandish trends from veils to balaclavas dominating the catwalks and the 1990s revival still going strong on the high street, from baker boys to bucket hats.
The good news? There’s so much choice. With berets, beanies and bobble hats in every colour and fabric, from super-fluffy to high-gloss pleather, there’s something to suit everyone without the need to go near a balaclava.
It’s worth remembering that hats on the high street often come in one size, so try them on when you can. And if you still can’t be persuaded, compromise with a vibrant headscarf instead – if it’s good enough for the Queen…
Cable Knit Faux Fur Bobble Hat: £6, matalan.co.uk
There’s nothing quite as cosy and traditional as a bobble hat, but the modern mustard shade and large faux fur appendage make this a stylish choice too.
With incredibly soft fabric and an appealingly slouchy fit, you’ll never want to take it off. Plus, at just £6 it’s a complete bargain.
Textured Bakerboy Hat: £16, uk.accessorize.com
This flattering burgundy baker boy is a grown-up take on the Dickensian urchin look. It’s a style that’s ubiquitous on the high street this year, but this smart option comes in a decent size and an enticingly tactile textured fabric.
It’s available in three colours – black, grey and burgundy – but the last is our favourite.
Checked Baker Boy Hat: £17.50, marksandspencer.com
Combining the trend for baker boys with this season’s checks, this M&S hat has a bit of stretch to it, making it a comfortable flattering fit.
Although it’s lined, this is still a lightweight hat, so perhaps not one for deepest winter, but a trendy choice for the changing of the seasons.
ASOS DESIGN Leopard Print Knot Front Hat: £12, asos.com
A good option for the hat-shy, this turban-style number sits somewhere between a headband and a hat, incorporating one of this season’s key trends – leopard print.
Soft and stretchy, its one-size perhaps doesn’t have enough depth to be pulled firmly onto a larger head, but it’s a pretty option for those who are ready to dabble in animal print without going the whole hog.
Beret: £19.99, amocouture.co.uk
There are some of us who’ll always be drawn to a bright red beret like a moth to a flame. The classic Parisian-chic – or revolutionary – choice, there’s something eternally stylish about the beret, but this year, they are officially “in”, hurrah!
This luxury beret from Amo, in a blend of wool and fake fur, comes in one size but it was the only hat we tried that featured an adjustable cord inside, so the fit could be adjusted to the size of the wearer’s head. A classic choice.
Snake Effect Beret: £14, topshop.com
A bold take on the beret, Topshop’s snake effect version is another one that celebrates this year’s animal print fetish, as well as offering more water-resistant coverage than your average beret with its glossy finish.
It’s not the roomiest of berets – so those with larger heads beware – but a sharp dresser could definitely pull it off. Accessorise with bright red lipstick and attitude.
John Lewis & Partners Floral Woollen Pleat Cloche Hat: £25, johnlewis.com
In a sea of berets and baker boys, John Lewis’s cloche hats stand out with a splash of 1920s style. This pleated wool range comes in seven different colours but the floral detail looks sharpest in scarlet.
Although the fabric is soft and foldable, a little wiring around the brim that it will maintain its shape popped in and out of a handbag. While the grey feathered cloche from John Lewis is perhaps more elegant, this is a better day-to-day choice.
John Lewis & Partners Feather Detail Cloche Hat: £45, johnlewis.com
Hat lovers will drool over the feathered detail on this grey cloche. Beautifully shaped in a flattering style, the brim is wider at the front than the back.
A hard hat, fashioned from knitted felt, it’s more suited to occasion wear than John Lewis’s woollen cloche range and will require more looking after, too. However, in turn, it’s also more protective for the head against the elements.
Felted Wool Hat: £19.99, hm.com
This eye-catching fedora boasts an appealing autumnal colour combination: brown with a dusky pink ribbon (it’s also comes in all-black).
Available in small, medium and large, it’s a felted wool hat that offers the wearer decent shelter from low winter sun or autumn drizzle.
The firm brim is around 7cm wide and it’s worth noting that the brim has more of a wave to it than the photograph suggests, though it’s an extremely pretty option nonetheless.
Torri Pommed Beanie: £38, anthropologie.com
An item that demands to be stroked, this faux-fur pommed beanie is ridiculously soft. Its fluffy texture will be a friend to you as the weather gets chillier, but it’s no shrinking violet.
The vibrant shade fits in with this season’s bold palette (Anthropologie calls it red but it looks a bit closer to orange), but if you want something more demure, it’s also available in black and cream.
It’s not cheap, but then it’s not your average beanie.
Robson Faux Fur Hat: £48, anthropologie.com
A gloriously luxurious hat for those who are not afraid to stand out from the crowd, this faux-fur pillbox from Anthropologie comes in a deep wine hue or stunning silver.
As the label on this Helen Moore hat proudly states, this is not a fast fashion item: “It has been individually made in our factory in Devon, England and is designed to last.”
Possibly not one for popping to the shops in, but definitely an accessory for when you want to keep particularly warm or look particularly fabulous.
J by Jasper Conran – Black felt wool fedora hat: £30, debenhams.com
The huge floppy brim of this fedora will lend the wearer an air of mystery – one for a winter wedding, perhaps, or a mild hangover.
With a soft felt finish and a grosgrain ribbon embellishment, it’s only available in one size, but comes in a stylish camel shade, too. Please note: despite its umbrella-like brim this is not a hat for the rain.
Checked Rain Hat: £15.99, zara.com
This super-stylish rain hat is possibly the most practical item on the list and ticks so many boxes for the fashion-conscious, featuring checks, a high-gloss fabric and trendy bucket hat shape.
It’s a robust, practical choice, too – tough enough to be kept in a handbag and pulled out at a moment’s notice without losing its shape or style.
The Verdict: Best winter hats for women
While Anthropologie and John Lewis have some stunning hats in stock, which are well worth a look as an investment buy, you can’t beat Matalan’s bobble hat or the Accessorize baker boy for combining current style with seriously good value.
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