My head is the size of a melon, and it just snowed.
December 2, 2007 8:34 PM   Subscribe

I have a huge head and need a winter hat.

my head is 25 1/2 inches, or about 66cm. That's a wee bit bigger than a men's xxxl hat.

I'm trying to find a warm winter hat or balaclava that will stop the wind, is somewhat water resistant, and will fit. I will be bicycling, hiking, and cross country skiing in Utah with it. My ears protrude like Prince Charles so I have to have ear coverage.

Should I:

1. just get a stretch hat and wear good ear muffs

2. Make my own from Polartec fleece (I have family that can snow)

3. Find a good balaclava and trust that it will stretch to fit

Or something else? My budget is about $30.
posted by mecran01 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
There's no hope. One time I got a sheepskin hat made custom, but that cost about five times your budget.

We fat-heads have to live with knit pull-over hats. Get the one big enough so that everyone else leaves it loose, and pull it tight.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:37 PM on December 2, 2007

As a fellow big-head whose head cannot fit into size 29 hats, I sympathize with you. I was so disappointed when I couldn't fit into any of the cool hats people wore up in Xinjiang.

I second just getting a knit beanie to wear.
posted by pravit at 8:41 PM on December 2, 2007

Best answer: I'd say make your own. That way you can dictate how big and how much ear coverage. You can make it with ear-flaps and a roll-up roll-down brim -- or even a full face mask. I usually go knit (wool) with fleece lining. With your win-resistance needs you may want to check how windproof the fleece is. You may be able to sew in some kind of lining.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:44 PM on December 2, 2007

My head isn't as big as yours by measurement, but everyone I know says I have a "big fuckin' head" and the standard black knit dockworker hat is the only thing I can do in the winter.
posted by notsnot at 8:45 PM on December 2, 2007

You can get tons of custom made hats at Etsy (fleece, knit, crochet, whatever you want.) Many, many folks on etsy will custom make stuff at no additional charge if you just send them a message through the site. (Some of them will charge a small fee.)

Prices are all over the place. Just look through the site for affordable stuff.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:49 PM on December 2, 2007

Best answer: Learn to knit? One of my first projects was a ribbed beanie made of bulky weight wool on big needles, and it only took me a couple of hours (very satisfying for a novice knitter). I've since made dozens of hats of every weight, style, and size. It's really easy to customize them to exact specifications of size and density with a little experimentation.

Wool is pretty water resistant, and it's pretty easy to rig up a fleece lining too (I've done that, and it's an easy and almost skill-free handsewing endeavor). I have skiied like crazy in Colorado and Tahoe wearing my efforts, and I still have both ears and an intact scalp.
posted by padraigin at 8:49 PM on December 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

You might want to check out something from Buff (site here). I just ordered a Buff, but I haven't gotten it yet.
posted by daveqat at 8:59 PM on December 2, 2007

Response by poster: This link on making a leather hat might be useful if I were to make something out of leather with a fleece liner:

leather helm
posted by mecran01 at 9:00 PM on December 2, 2007

2nding knitting or Etsy as the way to go. My first ski hat actually turned out really really loose for my 23" head (want it? it's green and would need a wash.), but was pretty trivial to learn how to knit. $5 yarn + $10 DPNs + 3-4 hours time + = your new hat.
posted by cowbellemoo at 9:07 PM on December 2, 2007

Since it looks like you might be open to making your own, this is the best knitting pattern I've ever found for making other people hats: Marsan watchcap.
posted by adiabat at 9:11 PM on December 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Here are some fleece hat patterns that will do the trick, I believe:

fleece hat patterns
posted by mecran01 at 9:16 PM on December 2, 2007

Response by poster: Ok, as usual, just posting the question and getting responses helped my redefine my search queries and hat desires. The Buff is still a little small. I believe I am going to make myself a leather tunturi hat using a hand awl, with a polar fleece liner.
posted by mecran01 at 9:24 PM on December 2, 2007

Seconding that the Marsan watchcap is gorgeous and easy to make. (for anyone who does decide to knit a hat)
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:31 PM on December 2, 2007

Best answer: If you're not into knitting, but want the warmth of wool, may I suggested felting? Take old sweaters, either your own or purchased on the cheap from Goodwill &c bins, and wash repeatedly until they become thickly felted. Cut out the shapes you need and stitch 'em together. My brother made a felt hat for me that's much along the line of your leather helm. Other interesting styles are certainly possible.
posted by mumkin at 10:43 PM on December 2, 2007

I have a huge noggin, and have been buying from them for years. They might not offer the exact type you're looking for, but they might have a suggestion for you.
posted by tom_g at 5:41 AM on December 3, 2007

Interesting question, as my head is also large. But did you say your family can "snow". That is excellent.
posted by genefinder at 5:47 AM on December 3, 2007

My enormous melon is the one reason I still stop into that teenage paradise, American Eagle. For some reason, they make giant winter hats. Given our snow today, I am writing this wearing one of their Trapper Hats. Just slides in under your budget, assuming no shipping.
posted by yerfatma at 7:18 AM on December 3, 2007

Response by poster: Yerfatma: would you mind telling me the dimensions of your noggin? The AE hat may do the trick if I waterproof it.
posted by mecran01 at 8:36 AM on December 3, 2007

Response by poster: Ah, we have an American Eagle Outfitters at our local mall, of course!
posted by mecran01 at 8:37 AM on December 3, 2007

I don't know if I have them on hand and I'm all by my lonesome today. Best I can do is say I think my fitted baseball cap size is between 7 5/8" and 7 1/2". And that there's room to grow in the AE hat.
posted by yerfatma at 10:04 AM on December 3, 2007

What about etsy? I have a pretty big noggin, too, and I get all manner of super-warm, specially made hats there. I don't think you should just stretch a hat- it decreases its ability to keep you warm and doing that (at least for me) gives me a headache).
posted by arnicae at 10:10 AM on December 3, 2007

Response by poster: The AE hat is a tad too snug, and kinda cheap.

The felt thing looks awesome. I will spend a little more time at Etsy and figure it out. Thanks all!
posted by mecran01 at 10:38 PM on December 3, 2007

Response by poster: update: I bought a stretchy balaclava at a local store that works, as long as I don't mind looking like a terrorist.
posted by mecran01 at 7:10 AM on December 19, 2007

Response by poster: up-update: a cheap black watchcap also fit, and one of my students sold me his Nepalese hat for $5.00 after he found his original hat that he liked better. Because I know you were all on edge about this. So the answer is stretchy wool. Although I still want to buy an awl and make something out of sheepskin.
posted by mecran01 at 5:58 AM on February 5, 2008

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