When beanies began reappearing on the runway a few seasons back, I was not excited. At all. I kinda thought they looked like head nipples and assumed they'd turn my hair into a static cling '90s nightmare, like some kind of Melrose Place guest star or Axl Rose on his second Chinese Democracy rewrite. But I was wrong! Beanies are pretty great: they're low profile, they keep your ears warm, and they give any outfit a little menswear-inspired accent. Plus, what other kind of hat can you stuff into your pocket or throw in your bag without completely crushing it? (The answer is either cloches or berets—but c'mon, berets.) Not all beanies are created equal, though. Each one is a unique little snowflake, just like you. And while I can't necessarily find your knit cap soulmate for you, I can offer six options to help get you started:
1. Marie Marot Psy[chic] Beanie: How high is your quirk factor? If your answer was "SO HIGH OMG," I have just the hat for you! This thing's got it all: wordplay, brass plaques, wool. Seriously, though, if you're in the market for something extremely wearable but not super pedestrian and you love a good parenthetical pun, you should check out Marie Marot's entire line. (Also, check out her Top Shelf.) It's cute without being cutesy, if you catch my drift.
2. Alexander Wang Donegal Beanie: So nice we've used it twice. This is the beanie that started it all for ITG, and it still has a special place in my heart (and on my head). It's the Platonic ideal of a cap: perfectly proportioned, snug without being tight, and supremely versatile. Plus, it's hard to feel cold when you look this cool.
3. Saint Laurent Fair Isle Beanie: Sometimes I think that everyone in the office should just move to Paris and spend our days eating coq au vin and hanging around outside the Saint Laurent atelier waiting for Hedi to toss perfect leather biker jackets down on all of us like a beneficent grunge angel. (Emily? Nick? Michael? Can I get some sort of approval here?) Since that's not the case, I guess I'll just wear this hat. I mean, it's Fair Isle and studded, so at least I've got that going for me. Buy this beanie, and when our team finally goes all Continental I will let you ride on the back of my Peugeot.
4. Eugenia Kim Jill Slouchy Beanie: This Eugenia chick is some kind of hat wizard, because I swear I want everything she makes. The "Jill" comes in rich navy with a soft chunky sweater weave that makes it feel a little retro, like something you'd pair with a J.Crew '70s color-block puffer coat and blue Sambas. It also has a nice cuff so you can adjust the look depending on your forehead (or lack thereof, if you are like myself).
5. ASOS Roll Turn Up Beanie: Your most basic, everyday beanie. If it were a person, its friends would describe it as "salt of the earth" or "just one of the guys." This is the cap for people who lose hats constantly and are terrified at the prospect of investing in something as ephemeral as a tiny piece of stretch wool.
*Holiday Bonus* Brian Lichtenberg Cúntie Beanie: Bad gal, lipstick aficionado, and occasional singer Rihanna is a fan of this slightly outré number. If you have no idea why someone might find this hat offensive, you are either too young to read this website—sorry kids, the internet is for cats and grownups—or the best possible person to possess this beanie. Maybe not something you wanna wear to work (unless you work here), but pretty rad for those times you want to confuse and shock random strangers.
Photo via Chanel.