The Balaclava Is The Surprising Fashion Accessory Of Winter.
Paloma wearing a yellow balaclava
You’re either a hat person or you’re not a hat person. But even hat people might find the latest trend in headwear a little – how should we put it? – head-scratching. Balaclavas. According to global search platform Lyst, balaclavas (and, crucially, their slightly more wearable cousin, the knitted hood), should be on your radar this winter. Over the past two weeks, global searches were up 64%, with shoppers saving balaclavas from Paloma Wool, New Balance, Weekday, and Miu Miu (the luxury brand responsible for the balaclava brigade), to their wishlists.
All the influencers wore Miu Miu’s, which, with its buttoned chin fastening and ever-so-slight peak, almost look like high-fashion bonnets. Sounds weird, but is something really quite wonderful when you see it on Paola Locatelli. She styled hers with a faux-fur coat, bare legs, and chunky stomper boots, proving that there’s nothing babyish about the bonnet.
As well as luxury and high street brands, a crop of independent knitwear designers has cornered the market when it comes to handmade balaclavas. ROWS, a knitwear brand based in York, makes knitted hoods to order in yellow, blue, white, brown, and natural (although you can also contact the team to enquire about custom colors). And for anyone feeling the stirrings of creativity, you can also download the knitting pattern for £4.50.
MILA Èt MILA, a handmade knitwear and jewelry brand based in Berlin, is another influencer-favorite. She has all kinds of styles made from merino, angora, cashmere, mohair, and cotton, available in sugary shades like candy floss and pistachio.
Finally for some styling advice. Since the balaclava/bonnet is kind of like a bow – naturally very sweet – you need a counteracting force like pumped-up trainers, a puffer jacket, or some cargo pants (Locatelli’s stomper boots would also do the trick) to make it look grown-up. Suddenly, winter’s not looking so bad, is it?
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