Best Winter Hats for Men & Women

Whether you are looking for men’s or women’s winter hats, the following list should serve as a comprehensive guide on your best shopping options. We will mostly focus on stylish and practical hats handmade of real and faux fur. An important consideration when buying a formal or casual hat is face shape, so please always bear that in mind.

Trapper HatMink fur ushanka hat

Perhaps the most versatile of all winter headwear is the trapper hat. Thanks to its flaps, this type (known as ushanka in Russian), can protect not only your head but also ears, cheeks, chin, and back of the neck. Drawstrings allow for this trooper hat to be worn differently depending on how cold or windy it is outside. Most importantly, it suits both men and women. All you have to do is choose between faux fur and natural varieties. The latter vary greatly and include beaver fur, fox fur, mink fur, muskrat fur, Persian lamb, rabbit fur, and sheepskin.

 

Model in a Persian lamb ambassador hat

Ambassador Hat

The ambassador hat proves the fact that fashion is affected by recurring cycles. What used to trend in the 1960s Soviet Union among (mainly) Politburo members, is back in vogue now.  Karakul diplomat (pie) hats, are finding their way back into the wardrobes of many men that like to dress smart. Neither are such classic hats viewed as exclusively male accessories any more. Since 2015 the wedge hats have migrated from catwalks to heads of stylish women, who also try to improve the overall look by decorating the hats with gorgeous brooches.

Cossack Hat

Cossack kubanka hatCossack hats are often confused with trapper hats. In reality, the former comprise many styles worn by (surprise!) the Cossacks in Southern Russia and Ukraine. These are generally made of sheepskin and Astrakhan fur. The most common types are called kubanka and papakha.

Cossack papakha hat

Differences are many but the most important ones are height, structure, softness, and length of fur. Although color variations are limited due to the nature of materials, beautiful shades of brown and gray undoubtedly make up for this.

 

Fox Fur Hat

Keira Knightley in Doctor ZhivagoFox fur hats are probably the safest option for women, regardless of the face type. These are by far the lightest winter hats available on the market. In addition, they provide excellent warmth. If you would like to look fabulous out in the cold then your search is definitely over. Just pair the hat with a nice coat. Keira Knightley shows how this should be done.

Newsboy Cap

Leather newsboy capAnother case of resurrected fashion is the newsboy cap and its many incarnations. The style lives on 100+ years later. For those of you who are lucky to live in places where winters are mild or non-existent, a fisherman’s cap is a great option. If you are bored of common linen and woolen types though, consider caps made of genuine leather and Persian lamb. Finally, remember that these are very much unisex accessories nowadays.

 

 

 

How To Stretch Or Shrink Hats

One of the most common disappointments associated with hat purchases is imperfect fit. The fit is a vital consideration since it provides for comfortable wear even during prolonged periods of time. However, you could well find yourself in such an unpleasant situation upon failing to measure the head size correctly.

Antique wooden hat stretcherIf a hat turns out to be too small and you cannot exchange or return it due to a merchant’s policy or excessive restocking fees, there are two options. Find a local hatter that has an electrically-heated metal mold. Alternatively, buy a wooden hat stretcher for just over $10 and do it yourself. It is important to note that hats with more rigid structure – such as ushanka, Kuban Cossack, Moscow, and Leningrad styles – will give way up to a size above the original. Softer hats – including ambassador, papakha, Imperial, and shepherd styles – may well be stretched two sizes up.

Self-adhesive feltOn the other hand, if a hat runs one to two sizes large, attach self-adhesive felt strips to the lining. Alternatively, visit a furrier who could fix this by sewing a string into the hat’s structure all the way around the interior. You would then pull the string to adjust the size accordingly.

Unless a hat is three or more sizes below or above your true head circumference, a solution is always available.

Fur Care & Storage

Some fur hats initially go through a period of shedding if purchased brand new. This is particularly true of bespoke or custom made hats. It is a perfectly normal process that results in removal of loose strands left over from production and could be accelerated through shaking.

Hats made of real fur may only be cleaned from dirt and dust with extra soft brushes. Any residual moisture should be dried naturally outside or in a well-aired room, at a distance from any heat sources.

Once the cold season is over and you are ready to put your winter gear away, ensure that dry odourless insecticide is applied to the intended storage space first. This advice applies to coats, jackets, vests, and any other fur items as well. Canvas bags may also be used for additional protection from moths. Store hats on shelves and clothing on high-quality wooden hangers of suitable size. Always ensure there is ample room so that your clothing and accessories are preserved in their original shape and condition for as long as possible.

During prolonged storage periods, it is recommended to periodically air items made of genuine fur. When doing so in summer, use shade to avoid direct sunlight.

Measuring Head Size

Head measurementWith over ten years of experience producing handmade bespoke winter hats, we are positive that the most important factor in buying a hat is the size. If a customer does not already know it, we always suggest using services of a local professional. In case this is not possible, a tape measure could be used. Wrap it snugly around the head just above eyebrows and ears. Use our chart to convert the measurement to a hat size or simply mention the result in inches or centimeters to your preferred furrier.