How to wear a beanie when you are a grown up

beanie from I love your styleLast week I went to New York, where it was even colder than it has been in London for the whole of 2013. It was BITTER and even though I was wrapped up in layers of Uniqlo Heattech and down my head needed help, so with some reluctance, I bought a beanie.

The beanie came from the Treasure & Bond store, a cooler, charity based offshoot of Nordstrum along from our hotel, mostly because it had a good selection in the sale, including, by strange coincidence the smart cashmere and fur pompom one seen in the above photo. This image is from Amanda Brookes’s blog I Love Your Style (one of my favourite blogs) and makes me a bit sick, how can anyone over the age of 25 look so cool in a beanie? The beanie in question cost a cool $225 when at full price but even in the 50% off sale it was too much to pay for a three day holiday break. And it looked considerable less cool on me when I tried it on.

In the end I bought a sweet 1717 Olive one in salmon pink and my friend Ros (below left) bought a cream cable cashmere/wool knit one from Carolina Amato. Even fortified by a couple of cocktails from Employees Only, we didn’t look as cool as Amanda Brooke’s friend. We look happy though.And warm.

ros and mandWearing a beanie needs thought in order not to look like a mum that has grabbed her sons’ skater hat in order to nip down the high street for milk on a cold day (yes dear reader, it has happened before…I’m not proud). As it is still freezing cold here with no sign of letting up, I thought it might be worth taking a moment to seek inspiration on making a beanie work on us grown ups.

beanies with red lipstick

Images, the Sartorialist, Pinterest

Not only do you need to pick a good shape beanie – not too tight, good quality fabric and absolutely NO skater graphics on the front- but you need to think about lips, how fabulous do these women look with their red lips balancing out their headwear? Hair needs to be neatly tucked in or artfully arranged to the side of your face.

jewells and stuff beanies

Images, The Sartorialist

Additional jewellery helps, I am going to be sewing a few gems onto mine this weekend inspired by this wonderful image from the Sartorialist (left) and do not underestimate the importance of the perfect bobble….the hat on the right, in cherry red is rocking quite a big bobble, a small bobble takes it into ‘Where’s Wally’ territory.

margaret howell

Image, Margaret Howell

The beanie of course is a native New Yorker -they used to be called ‘dinks’- I am now thinking this Margaret Howell hybrid tam-o-shanter might be a more flattering option with its touch of Fairisle and slight floppiness in the crown. Somehow here the small bobble looks perfect.

Of coure now it is actually cold it is almost impossible to find selection of lovely beanies of any shape, as we are officially in SPRING and not buying things to keep us warm, but should you feel the need, can we point you to Atterley Road’s smart cable knit one similar to my friend Ros’s, or Madeleine Thompson’s lovely ones here. Wrap up warm people!



  • Sue says:

    I spend a lot of time on my bicycle and the wind whipping in from the Fens is absolutely freezing. So, reluctantly, I’ve started wearing woolly hats. Brora do really nice ones and I quite like Madeleine Thompson’s aswell. And they almost always go into the sales.

  • Marv says:

    Or you could knit your own….

  • Amanda says:

    Yes I looked at Brora’s Sue, there’s a very nice one there, and how lovely are Madeleine Thompson’s! Have put the link in the blogpost, thanks Sue. Marv we mightneed you do start knitting classes for us all….in time for next year’s cold snap. A

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *