That happy medium between poodle and Conehead?
January 25, 2014 8:06 AM   Subscribe

I have a giant head, lots of big, curly hair, and a fairly round face. I cannot find a winter hat that fits my head well when the curls are free--usually I have it jammed down and look kind of like a poodle with the curls sticking out, and then it slowly creeps up on my head and I look like a Conehead (and it falls off easily if I lean over when shoveling). I've long avoided the winter hat problem by just getting a good earband, but the Polar Vortex II is just too much and I really need better protection from the artic misery out there. Please help me find a winter hat that will fit when I have my hair down, MeFi! Bonus if you suggest something that might be flattering as well as functional.
posted by TwoStride to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You're going to hate this answer... but do you knit? Or know someone who does? That's the best way to get a hat for exactly your head size that won't move around. As for styles, I like hats with a longer, slouchier top so that I can stuff all my (big, curly) hair inside it. I made this with some modifications to the brim to make it stay put better. This designer does a lot of slouchy hats that are cute and relatively easy.

I would link to something you could just buy but I haven't bought a hat in years. :/
posted by lilnublet at 8:24 AM on January 25, 2014

I have large poofy hair and think I look awful in your usual winter hat. But I look adorable in a hat with earflaps! Give it a try - the flaps keep the hair down and give lots of extra warmth, and lots of earflap hats are fashionable or cute, depending on the colors and materials. You might associate them with goofiness but I swear they look and feel great, and I've never once gotten flack for them, only compliments.

Hrmm, perusing online I like...
Purple w/ faux fur brim
Nice colorwork
Fun stars
Cool grey
Secret side pockets!
posted by Mizu at 8:24 AM on January 25, 2014 [3 favorites]

Another "do you knit?" answer. I also have a giant head etc and the Stella's Hat works for me. I made it large enough that it isn't stretched out when I'm wearing it, so it looks blockier than on the photos on the page.

Or a beret, like this one. Would that work?
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:29 AM on January 25, 2014

I'm not a knitter. I might try to suggest one of these as a future project/present from my more skilled friends, but in the meantime I'm looking for something I could buy ASAP while the deep freeze is on. Thanks!
posted by TwoStride at 8:34 AM on January 25, 2014

I can't wear a beanie or other narrow knit hat because my big, curly hair just pushes it right off my head. I have the most success with a knit beret like this, especially if I pull it down over my ears. Also, don't underestimate the utility of a few well-placed bobby pins.
posted by assenav at 8:41 AM on January 25, 2014

A handmade hat is a good idea, but as you say, it's not an immediate solution. I also have a problem with standard hats being too tight etc., and I just buy wintercoats with lined hoods and pull the hood over when it's frigid out. Hoods are actually very warm and comfortable if they're lined. Land's End makes several styles of ladies coats with flannel or similarly lined hoods, which Velcro closed and are never too tight for comfort.
posted by RRgal at 8:51 AM on January 25, 2014

Ugh, the dreaded winter conehead! I try to explain it to people but they just don't get it. What works for me are slouchy hats like this, or this. You want it to fit a bit loosely, they don't tend to fall off my head when I wear them. Using a couple of hair pins will make it more secure if you need it.
posted by Requiax at 9:06 AM on January 25, 2014

This isn't a suggestion for a hat, but have you tried wearing one of those light weight gator type bands over your ears with a hat on top? The friction seems to keep the hat down over my head, and the bonus is the warmer ears. Cuts the wind a bit more, too.
posted by BlueHorse at 10:11 AM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Skip the hat entirely and a really long scarf so you can wrap it around your head (several loops from chin to crown, and then a couple around the neck, keeps everything nice and warm).
posted by platypus of the universe at 10:11 AM on January 25, 2014

My mother has a larger-than-standard head (which she passed on to us) and thick hair. She's opted for a hooded scarf as her cold weather head gear.
posted by EvaDestruction at 10:11 AM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I came to recommend the hooded scarf as well. I wear an earband with a hooded scarf over my head and my head can stay nice and toasty. (I also have massive amounts of curly hair, and this has the bonus of no hat-head.) This solution works for Polar Vortex II, Minnesota edition.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 11:13 AM on January 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

Another scarf wearing Minnesotan here. I just don't wear hats, because I don't want to go around with hat-hair all day. A loooonnng scarf wrapped over your head and around the lower half of your face will keep you really warm. Versatile. Attractive. No hat-hair.

If you decide to take up knitting, making your own scarf should be your first project. By far, the easiest thing to knit. You get to decide how wide and how long to make it. And if you want to make it heavier, it's pretty easy to knit with more than one strand of yarn to increase the bulkiness and warmth. Make it with two complementary colors of yarn if you like. You can use some fancy complex knitting stitches when you're ready, but for your first scarf, you can just use a simple straightforward knit stitch for the whole scarf. Add a little fringe (very easy to do) if you like.
posted by marsha56 at 11:28 AM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Alas, those of us with big heads and/or big hair know that "Fits Most" does not mean us. Men can buy hats by size, women can't unless they want to stick a derby over a nice warm scarf. It is possible to find baseball caps with adjustable straps in the back. Not very warm, but the bill would keep the snow out of your eyes while a scarf kept you warm. A Greek fisherman's cap from a men's wear place might be available in a size for you. It would be just your style of beret.
posted by Cranberry at 1:16 PM on January 25, 2014

This winter I finally (after seeing recommendations on websites for some time) bought a Mad Bomber trapper hat (this one, actually, but they come in many materials and colors, and are available online and at lots of brick-and-mortar stores) after finding one on half-price sale. It's been wonderfully warm to wear in Chicago's polar vortex (down to -18F, and we're going to get it again), and I'm so glad I got it. It's pretty well-made, thickly quilted from warm fabric, satin-lined (which helps cut down on hat hair), fur trim, and with adjustable chin straps which will hold it firmly to your head and keep your cheeks and chin warm at the same time. It even goes from Small up to XX Large size. It's a little silly-looking, admittedly, but I've never found anything warmer.

Oh, it even looks like there's a MLK Day special, though you should probably still shop around other sites.
posted by spelunkingplato at 11:26 PM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was prompted for a follow-up, so: I ordered the Mountain Hardwear Pillow Drift Beanie in L/XL and IT FITS!!! Finally! I've even gotten some compliments on it (well, two). It's really warm and I recommend it to any other bigheads out there.
posted by TwoStride at 7:28 AM on March 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

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