How to Wear a Beanie

  • Style

When there’s a chill in the air, a beanie is not only a great way to keep your head and ears warm. Rather, it’s a true style statement. Whether you're aiming for a laid-back vibe or adding a pop to your outfit, we’ve got all the coolest ways to wear a beanie. From choosing the perfect colour to tips for styling the rest of your outfit, we’ve got a ton of ways to make sure you look great.

What is a beanie?

Beanies are snug, soft, versatile hats. They’re typically knitted, with triangular sections of fabric joined at the crown, and are designed to be worn to cover the ears and forehead. Unlike the stiff brim of a fedora or the visor of a cap, a beanie moulds to the shape of the wearer’s head, offering warmth and comfort.

The beanie as we know it traces its origins back to the early 20th century. It was first recognised as a working-class symbol in the United States, as the hats were often worn by labourers who needed to keep their hair back and heads warm. However, similar styles have been around since the 19th century or earlier.

Yet it is in skate culture where the beanie has really made its mark. Indeed, by the 1980s and 1990s the beanie had become a true icon of skate fashion. Both functional and cool, the beanie helped skaters keep hair out of their eyes and stay warm – both on and off the board. Plus, with so many ways to customise and wear it, the beanie was soon an emblem of the culture.


How to wear a beanie

When it comes to how to wear a beanie, there is no right or wrong way. Indeed, the beanie's versatility is one of its most important features. Cold day? Wear your beanie pulled down over the ears and forehead to keep the chill at bay. Not as nippy? Style yours perched atop the head for a more relaxed, slouchy look. Beanies can be worn straight on, tilted to the side or even angled towards the back of the head. The choice is yours.

Beanies also come in lots of styles. Some have a folded cuff around the bottom edge, which adds an extra layer of warmth around the ears and adds space for brand logos or patches. Some are tight-fitting while others are designed to have a more slouchy fit. Love a playful touch? Beanies with pom poms on top are easy to come by.

The material of a beanie is also key when it comes to styling. A thickly knitted wool beanie provides lots of warmth. Meanwhile, a beanie made from a lighter, breathable cotton blend might be better for spring or autumn. High-performance synthetic fibres are often used for sports, as they have moisture-wicking properties and can keep the head warm even when damp.


Looking for some detailed styling advice on making the most of your beanie? Here are some ideas on outfit pairings and more.

Skate session

When it comes to skateboarding, you’ll want to opt for a fitted beanie that stays secure no matter how much you’re moving. Darker shades like charcoal or forest green are a classic choice, plus they’re less likely to show wear and tear. Combine with a graphic tee or a sweatshirt, add a pair of durable chinos or cargo pants and finish with a pair of classic Vans skate shoes.

Casual days on the go

For a laid-back day, a slouchy beanie is an easy go-to. Choose a neutral colour like grey, navy, or black to keep it versatile. Pair it with a relaxed hoodie, a pair of jeans, and trainers for an effortlessly cool vibe. If it’s not too cold, a lightweight cotton beanie can be a great choice.


Outdoor adventuring

Heading out for an easy hike or just exploring the city? A wool or synthetic blend beanie can provide warmth and wick away moisture. Bright colours or patterns can add a playful touch. Match with tracksuit pants or your favourite jeans, then pop on a band tee or vintage shirt. You can also layer a corduroy, denim or bomber jacket over the top, depending on the weather.

Cold weather

In colder climates, a thick wool beanie is ideal. Choose one that fits snugly over the ears and forehead to lock in heat. Cable knits or ribbed patterns not only add texture to your look but also offer additional warmth. Match the beanie with a warm coat, boots and gloves to ensure you don’t feel the cold.

Mild weather

For those days when the weather is cool but not cold, a beanie can serve as a stylish accessory. A lightweight beanie in a breathable material like a thin wool or cotton blend is perfect. You can wear it slightly back off the forehead and ears to help regulate your temperature.


Professional settings

While beanies are typically casual, they can also be work-appropriate in creative or more informal industries. To get it right, choose a fitted beanie in a fine knit and solid, neutral colour. Pair it with a smart-casual blazer or overcoat to maintain a professional edge.

Evenings out

Headed out as the sun’s going down? Darker colours like burgundy, forest green, or classic black all work well. Pair with a well-fitted jacket and smart boots for a smarter look. Or wear it with your favourite Vans trainers, jeans or track pants for a more easy-going vibe.

Keeping active

If you're wearing a beanie to the gym or out on a run, think about a beanie with reflective logos, a snug fit and breathable fabric. Bright colours are great when you’re keeping fit, and can help keep you visible if you’re out in low-light conditions.


A beanie for every occasion

No matter where you’re headed, a beanie can be a great style choice that takes your outfit up a notch. At Vans, we’ve got a broad range of men’s and women's hats and beanies. From neutral colours to stripes and pastels, you’re sure to find the perfect match. Also, if you are looking for a kids beanie we have a wide range of colourful options to cover any occasion. Want the latest, coolest looks? Check out our new arrivals and Vans exclusives to ensure you are always on trend.