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Men’s fashion: Tip your hat to warmer cap purchases this winter

Courtesy of MCT

I first started wearing hats after a snap decision to shave my head for the first time last year. Having always had a full head of hair, I never thought about how much the extra layer really helped keep in the heat. Immediately, I realized the problem of being bald in 50-degree weather and borrowed an old, beat-up green knit cap from my roommate that I wore every day for a month.

Eventually, summer came along, my hair grew back and my dire need for head coverage waned. My need-based hat-wearing transformed into something that just made my life a little bit easier. I discovered the comfort of wearing a hat and finally understood the attachment my high school friend had to that Cleveland Browns hat he continued to wear every time the team lost.

I’m anything but an expert when it comes to the subject of hats. My collection amounts to little more than two snapbacks, a John Deere baseball cap and that same green knit cap I eventually ended up keeping.

But now the weather’s starting to get cold again and, hair or not, I realize the importance of covering my head when the snow starts to fall today, tomorrow or a month from now – who really knows in Ohio.

So I’ve started searching for a new winter hat: something practical, something warm and something I can wear every day without looking like one of those cartoon characters who still hasn’t changed their clothes after 20 years.

Being someone who always puts warmth at the very forefront, I’ll probably go with another knit cap with as much coverage as possible.

Cable knit everything (hats, sweaters, scarves) are being sold everywhere this season, so finding one that meets your liking shouldn’t be too hard. As for color, black and gray will match almost anything, but “GQ” recommends throwing in some color. Apparently, this season, mustard yellow is where it’s at.

If you’re looking for something a little different, driving caps, also known as newsboy caps, are growing increasingly popular with brands such as Gap, J. Crew and Lands’ End. These hats are normally made from wool or tweed, so they’ll keep the top of your head warm if you don’t mind leaving your ears exposed to the cold.

What I do not endorse are fedoras. I think they’re a little impractical and I don’t really trust anything worn by Jason Mraz on a daily basis. Whether they’re made of wool, straw or anything else, when wearing a fedora you’re either going to look like an over-privileged beach bum or a 1920s-era gangster.

The most important thing about shopping for a new hat is finding the one you won’t get sick of – the hat you’ll continue to wear even if the seasons change, even if it’s someone else’s stolen property and even if your team is bound for yet another losing season.

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