When it comes to winter fashion nobody loves a cosy accessory more than moi. There's something about layering different textures over and over that just makes my heart sing. Every year as the temp starts to drop my excitement begins to grow as my TikTok FYP and Instagram explore begin to generate the season's newest trending must-have. This year, the must-have in question is the Balaclava and hood.
Now, I know the balaclava and hood (aka snood) trend has had its limelight in previous years, but this year there seems to be an influx of coloured knit variations, custom DIY revamps and a mixture of options from both luxury and high-street brands.
What is a balaclava?
Originally made by troops to keep warm over the winter months during the 1854 Crimean War, balaclavas have withstood the test of time when it comes to practical fashion. Back then, the balaclava was basically a sock for your head with an opening to see out of, covering as much skin as possible to stay warm. Now, the balaclava is made in various different silhouettes, but the premise remains the same - to stay warm.
What is a hood?
Typically attached to other clothing garments like a coat, sweatshirt or cape, the hood is basically a piece of fabric which covers the top, back and sides of a person's head. Once used by Knights for protection against bladed weapons ( theirs were made out of metal ofc), hoods are more commonly worn now for function and fashion purposes. Have you ever had a coat that you wished had a hood to keep you warm on your morning commute or dry whilst waiting for the bus? Well, that's where the hood comes in.
How do I style a balaclava?
Not one to shy away from something a little out there (I was the girl at school whom people referred to as "the one with the weird clothes" so do what you will with that info) a balaclava/ hood is as much of a winter essential as a raincoat in London. I love to wear a balaclava/hood with anything that needs a little spice, especially when you don't feel like dressing up but still want to feel cool and in the know.
How we chose the pieces:
Style: With multiple variations out there, we wanted to focus on an array of different silhouettes to showcase how there truly is a balaclava/hood to suit everyone. We look into account those who prefer a more understated look and those who aren't shy of a little colour.
Brand: Whether you're unsure if a balaclava or hood is for you and want a low-cost commitment or are positive that you'd like one and are looking for a long-term investment, our picks range from high street to luxury.
Cosiness: This particular focus is on the winter knit which means they have to meet our cosy tick of approval. From cashmere and merino to fluff and crochet, we cover all the snuggly musts.
Why you should trust me:
I am Hello! Fashion’s Fashion Features Writer. With a love for all things fashion (the quirkier the better), I can usually be found playing dress-up in my own wardrobe, watching Gilmore Girls for the 8th time or finding new outfit inspo and DIY musts on TikTok, nothing in my closet is safe from a safety-pin bow embellishment. I have been in the styling world for almost 5 years now, specialising in editorial features, luxury campaigns and music videos. I also did a quick stint in the celebrity styling scene. As for the world of magazines, I have worked for various digital and print publications around the world, focusing on fashion. Basically, fashion is my bread and butter.
Without further ado, I give you the top 10 balaclavas and hoods that boast big cosy core energy:
This cap, hood and balaclava hybrid is giving off ultimate aprés vibes. I’m picturing this La cagoule casquette with an all-white ensemble, right down to the snow boots. Although extraordinarily chic, be sure to wear a bare face as I can only imagine the horrified look on the washing machine's face come wash day.
This beige number from COS is the epitome of quiet luxury. Perfect for wearing under a camel-toned coat or boxy blazer, this ribbed 100% cashmere balaclava will be your saving grace come snow season.
Packing a bold statement this electric blue Urban Outfitters Fluffy Knit Hood is perfect for injecting a hit of colour to a monotone outfit.
Known for their uber-cute knits, Damson Madder never fails to make granny-chic actually chic. I am in love with the crocheted granny squares and even more in love with the cream, black and mustard colourway. I’m thinking matching mustard knee-high boots wouldn't go amiss with this one.
I believe the secret ingredient to any gloomy winter day is to perk yourself (and passers-by) up with a little dopamine dressing. This hot pink 100% merino wool is as cosy as it is stylish and for that, it’s going straight to the top of my winter wishlist.
Two for the price of one, yes please! This scarf/hood duo is as multifunctional as it gets. Available in both a dusty white and dark grey colourway, there's quite literally no outfit that this wouldn’t suit. The option to double-wrap the scarf either under an oversized hoodie or bomber jacket has me excited for Sunday winter markets.
This bold Burberry number is everything you could ever dream of in a winter accessory. I am in love with the blue hue Burberry has coined “Knight”, however, I also equally love their bright yellow “Pear” colourway. If you want me to justify this purchase to you, then here is your front-row ticket to Orion’s Girl Math University (for this to work you need to imagine me in a two-piece power suit and wearing glasses.) Retailing for £690, a pretty penny if you will, if we divide that by the number of days there are in winter, which is 89, that works out as £7.75 a day. Now that fellow Girl Math students is the equivalent of one croissant and a blueberry and custard brioche from Gails. You. Are. Welcome. *chefs kiss*
Following closely behind Burberry’s Check Wool Hooded Scarf is another monogrammed delight. For those of you who love a black-and-white look then Louis Vuitton’s Fall For You Scarf will be your best buddy.
Sometimes less is more and Miu Miu’s knitted ski scarf proves exactly that. Widely understated yet overly chic, this Navy blue hood would look amazing with a plain white tee, a double-breasted navy coat, some slouchy blue jeans and a pair of cosy UGGs.
I am in love with the knit of this Arket ribbed hood. With just the right amount of slouch, this hood would look great with a pair of over-ear headphones, a puffer jacket and a lace slip dress. Because this winter is all about juxtaposition, trust me.
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