Emily Weiss

The Grown-Up Beanie

Knit beanies, for the most part, are a province of the young. These days you can’t walk into a bar or stroll around a mall without seeing teens and twentysomethings wearing all manner of trendy knit caps. Of course, this kind of headwear also has practical appeal — after all, what better way to keep your ears warm when the temperature drops? The trick is to avoid looking like an overage adolescent, and that means following four basic rules. KEEP IT SIMPLE: Choose a cap devoid of punchy graphics or words like “love,” “joy,” “fetch” or “dope.” Stripes, color blocking, Fair Isle geometrics or ombré patterns are fine, but the general rule is — the less funky, the better. LOSE THE POM-POM: It’s easiest just to buy a pom-pom–free beanie in the first place. Still, you can also carefully pull out the threads that attach the pompom and remove it from a cap you otherwise like. DON’T EMULATE THE SMURFS: Those blue cartoon characters may be European, but they’re not very sophisticated. It’s OK to wear a medium-size cap like this one. But if you’re over 40, steer clear of long, slouchy beanies that droop like a nightcap. RATCHET UP THE REST OF YOUR LOOK: Wear the cap with a chic jacket or well-tailored coat. That way, it won’t appear as though you’re trying to pass yourself off as one of the kids. — Lola Ehrlich and John Birmingham

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