The Best Hats For Your Toastiest--And Most Stylish--Winter Yet

Ellie Goulding and Taylor Swift are hat pros.Fact: if you're not wearing a hat to keep warm, there's really no reason for it to be on your head (we're looking at you, hipsters), and unless you're Kate Middleton (and if you are, please call us and let's hang out), chances are you have very little occasion to rock a full-on formal fascinator. The perfect hat needs to hit that delicate balance between cute and functional, stylish and warm, and we have years of anecdotal evidence that this balance is not an easy one to strike. Thankfully, there is a wealth of cozy, non-crazy winter hats out there. We at The Thread have discovered the best ways for choosing the right winter hat and more importantly: how to style it.

Wintery ActivitiesTraditional Fair Isle Hat, $28, topshop.com
Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding--whatever your game, you're going to want to keep that noggin nice and cozy (and protected, naturally. If you're a beginner in any of these sports, skip the hat for a headwarmer and securely-fastened helmet--safety first!). Take a page from British singer Ellie Goulding's book and opt for a snuggly and secure hat in a festive Fair Isle print. This one from Topshop is only $28 and embraces the throwback charm of those printed pom-pom toppers you've only seen in photos of your parents from the '70s, but it's modern, preppy color scheme and proportional pom-pom make it the perfect thing to take from the slopes to the lodge in style. This would look stellar with a white, navy, or even pink puffer coat and camel scarf.

Taking a Stroll
H&M Hat, $9.95, hm.comLet's set the scene: it's a beautiful, crisp Sunday morning, and you've been a lazy bum all weekend. Take a stroll! Call up your bestie or significant other, throw on your cutest, most comfortable boots, and start bundling. A slouchy beanie is the perfect excuse to hide your bedhead from the world while keeping your ears and head nice and toasty. Bonus: if it's a breezy day, a beanie (when worn correctly over your ears like Taylor Swift did above) will stay firmly in place! Because the last thing you need on a relaxing stroll is having to run after a wayward chapeau. This adorable lilac-colored option from H&M is only $9.95 and would look bright and cheery with a navy peacoat and your favorite lived-in brown or tan boots.

Hitting The TownCatarzi Exclusive to ASOS Color Block Hat, $70.36, asos.com
Pull a Kate Moss and reach for a wide-brimmed fedora like this two-toned Catarzi design. The wool hat is guaranteed to keep your ears and head warm, while the structured design will ensure that your carefully coiffed 'do won't get smushed and staticky like it would with knit hats. We love the grey-and-black color scheme and subtle leather detailing--it makes a relatively inexpensive hat ($70.36) look like it's worth about five times that. Pair with your chunkiest scarf, a black, fit-and-flare wool coat, and ankle boots for an outfit that would have even the most super of models seething with fashion envy.

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