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How To Wear a Ski Hat Guide


Ski hats may be designed for hitting the slopes during the winter season but they have quickly become an important fashion accessory to own among all types of consumers – not just skiers. From the streets to the slopes, the versatility of ski hats is what makes them such a popular choice of headwear. 

Table of Contents
Global market value of winter hats
Reasons consumers purchase a ski hat
How to wear a ski hat
3 types of ski hats
Ski hats in the upcoming winter hats market

Global market value of winter hats

The winter hats market is booming. With such a wide selection of hats for consumers to choose from there’s more demand than ever before for new designs and materials being incorporated into classic styles of winter hats such as beanies, bobble hats, and ski hats. A rise in the overall income of consumers has also contributed to the rise in sales of winter hats as consumers look to add more than one look to their winter wardrobe that not only looks good but keeps their head warm too.

The global market value of winter hats reached USD 25.7 billion in 2021. By 2030 this number is expected to rise to at least USD 36.4 billion with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.0% between 2022 and 2030. As well as the points mentioned above, changes in temperatures have created a higher demand for hats made of warmer materials to keep consumers snug during cold periods. 

Woman in yellow and black striped sweater and black beanie

Reasons consumers purchase a ski hat

Out of all of the winter hats available in today’s market, ski hats are among the most popular due to their versatility. A ski hat can come in the form of a balaclava to cover the entire face, but it can easily be adjusted to fit under a helmet or to be worn as a regular winter hat. Consumers will often purchase ski hats with outdoor activities in mind because of this.

However, ski hats can also take on the appearance of a beanie or bobble hat, with extra warmth factors built-in. These hats can be worn on the slopes but they work equally well for streetwear. There are a few different ways that ski hats can be worn, which will now be looked at. 

Woman on slopes wearing ski hat and applying sunscreen

How to wear a ski hat

Consumers who are on the hunt for a suitable ski hat to wear in the winter months should take into consideration the multiple ways to use the hat and the overall comfort level when wearing it.

Full balaclava

The most popular and useful style of ski hat to own is the balaclava. This version of a ski hat is often referred to as a ski mask too since it’s a tight fitting garment that’s designed to cover all parts of the head, including the neck. The mask will either have slits for the eyes and mouth or the eyes only which is what makes it very suitable for outdoor sports. It’s both windproof and warm, but there are a few different ways that consumers can wear it in the event that they don’t want their entire head covered.

Neck warmer

Balaclavas that have a wide face opening can easily be pulled down and worn around the neck. By doing this consumers are able to layer the neck to keep it warm but also have the option to pull the hat up to cover their mouth and nose. This way of wearing a ski hat is often used when walking through a snowstorm or freezing temperatures. Consumers also have the option of purchasing a neck warmer that doesn’t double up as a hat but is purely designed to fit around the neck and keep warmth in.


A very common form of winter hat is the beanie, and it’s this style of hat that’s also a popular form of ski hat. The beanie is very warm and comfortable, keeping both the head and ears warm. There are different materials to choose from depending on the temperature outside, as well as different knitting patterns and colors too. Apart from regular beanies, balaclavas can easily be folded to create a beanie and the thickness of the brim can be altered to fit in with the individuals’ preference. 


A very common way to wear a ski hat is to layer it. This can be done in a number of ways depending on what type of hat is being worn. Balaclavas can be worn underneath both a neck warmer and another ski hat or beanie for optimum warmth. A skull cap can also be worn under a traditional ski hat or beanie to help keep the head warm while outside. 

Man on slopes with skis and patterned neck warmer

3 types of ski hats

There are a lot of unique designs of ski hats in today’s market, with 3 in particular retaining their popularity season after season. The ski mask balaclava, the knitted balaclava hood, and the traditional beanie are always highly sought after when the autumn and winter seasons roll in.

Ski mask balaclava  

The ski mask balaclava has always been a popular choice of winter headwear, both for outdoor sports and streetwear. Masks that are being worn under another layer of headwear are often made of a thin acrylic material so that it isn’t too bulky. On the other hand, cotton ski masks are designed to be worn by themselves due to the thickness and warmth of their material. 

Ski masks are traditionally meant to blend in so it’s common to see them in either black or navy. But in today’s market more consumers are looking to purchase colorful ski masks that add more personality to a look and stand out. 

Lilac colored ski mask with slits for eyes and mouth

Knitted balaclava hood

An alternative to the tight fitting balaclava is the knitted balaclava hood. This type of ski hat is more likely to be worn on the streets as opposed to being worn for outdoor sports. For consumers who are wearing jackets without hoods or simply want an additional layer of warmth added to their outfit the knitted balaclava is the perfect choice. 

There are various designs of the knitted hood to take into account. Some will have buttons along the front of the neck so that it’s easy to slip on and fasten. Others will be a simple pull-on hood and may come with fashionable drawstrings attached to them to give it the appearance of a hoodie. Whatever way the consumer chooses to wear this type of ski hat is completely up to them but it’s proving to be a very fashionable choice of winter headwear. 

Woman wearing beige knitted balaclava hood with drawstrings

Traditional beanie 

Not all consumers like the idea of a full face covering, which is why retailers can’t go wrong with the traditional beanie. Beanie hats are the perfect cold weather accessory to own as they can be worn in the autumn as well as early spring as well. There are several popular styles of the beanie now on the market such as the knitted beanie, skullcap, and jacquard beanie but all serve the function of keeping the wearer warm.

Beanies are quickly becoming more than just an essential piece of winter headwear though. They’re a core part of many people’s wardrobes and are a popular streetwear accessory. Beanies have been around for a long time, and with so many new styles, designs, and eco-friendly materials being incorporated into them it looks like they’re here to stay.

Man wearing black beanie standing in snowy forest on phone

Ski hats in the upcoming winter hats market

So, what’s the best way to wear a ski hat? It all depends on the individual and what type of ski hat has been purchased, but some of the most popular ways to wear ski hats include around the neck, layered, a full face balaclava, and of course the traditional beanie that can be dressed up or down. In terms of ski hats being worn today, the balaclava, knitted balaclava hood, and the beanie are three of the most popular.

Ski hats in recent years have become a much more popular choice of winter headwear as temperatures around the world plummet in the winter months. The three styles of ski hats mentioned in this article are set to retain their popularity, but buyers should also take note of how popular eco-friendly and sustainable materials are becoming in all types of clothing and fashion accessories.

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