Paul Galvin: Get the heads-up
Published 25/11/2012 | 06:00
Paul Galvin isn't one for hats, but you can't go wrong with a winter beanie
There's a man called Sam Lambert who wears beanie hats with everything. He's a very stylish man, a fashion designer and head of design at Spencer Hart (if you don't know about Spencer Hart, then you need to).
Sam Lam thinks nothing of wearing a slouchy beanie hat with a fine tailored suit. Talk about a clash of two opposites.
A beanie hat is the last thing you'd expect anyone to wear with a three-piece suit and bow-tie. Yet he always looks well.
It got me thinking about the humble beanie, the faithful companion of GAA supporters all over Ireland. There's nothing more important in a match-going fan's wardrobe.
You won't see them in Croker, though – I'm talking about the club supporter heading over to the local pitch on a late summer evening, standing on the grass bank watching a bad game of hurling.
The cold and the midge meet an impenetrable barrier atop your head and hover around it, wondering what the hell has happened to the man's head.
There's great comfort in the beanie hat. The only drawback is having to draw it back from over your ear to hear what the guy next to you is saying.
The heads of GAA supporters and rock stars are where you'll mostly find the beanie.
The name itself interests me. It's said to have originated from the cloth button you find on the top where the three triangular sections meet and join to finish the cap, which is bean-shaped.
Another theory relates to the slang-word for head being 'bean', hence the word beanie.
Any comic-book lovers out there will remember Beany Boy, who wore a propeller beanie resembling the mortar board.
I've never been a hat lover, but when I was younger every lad had an itchy forehead from the beanie. They are always great in winter for guys and girls. In fact, I prefer them on girls sometimes.
The world's most famous beanie-wearer has to be The Edge. No ordinary beanie for Edge, however. No sir. Being a rock 'n' roller, he needs something with a bit more, ahem, edge.
Any decent rock star will only wear a skull cap. A bobble head wouldn't look right on stage, would it? Edge has made the skully famous.
Beanies work best for me with a rock-star kind of look – a leather jacket, T-shirt and jeans. The relative bulk of the hat is offset by the narrow leg, giving a smart, almost triangular silhouette.
Johnny Depp is another man to rock a tuque. He manages somehow to make them look like an accessory to sex. A beanie on his head is practically a sex toy.
We're not all so lucky as to be able to transform sweaty, woollen headgear into a weapon of mass seduction. It's the long hair, I reckon. You need long hair for them to look best. But that's just me.
It doesn't matter what kind of hat I put on my head, it just looks wrong.
I have what I like to call head envy when it comes to hats. I envy people with a suitably shaped bonce for hat-wearing.
Winter is in for keeps now, so a beanie can be your best friend. I like the slouch beanie that hangs loose from your head.
Patterns are good, too. Fair Isle prints are always a winner. Asos online is a great source for all your beanie needs.
Go on, give your head a hug this winter.