At the time of writing it was -12ºC. And I have a dog, which means I have to go outside and walk around, at least 3 times per day, wind, rain, shine, or minus-degree-blizzard.
Hats just don’t cut it anymore (also they fly off in the wind and you look a little silly). Ear muffs? Automatically look like a moron. Don’t wear ear muffs. Ever. Solid rule.
So I did it. I bit the bullet, and bought a balaclava. It’s from Loro Piana, and it’s fantastic. Normally I would’ve thought that balaclava’s are exclusively for people who live in Alaska and Yeti’s, but this season they were seen all over the runway, and covering all the heads of the chicest women. Slightly different from a Yeti…
Yep, all sorts of designers are into the balaclava. Miu Miu, Bally, Maje, Marine Serre, Jacquemus, Shrimps – it was rife.
Honestly, when Jacquemus came out with his A/W22 collection that was inspired by mountain hiking, I guffawed, because really, have you seen those little cardigans? Minimal fabric held together by a teeny-tiny gold Jacquemus tag and God’s good will.
However, one thing Simon of Jacquemus (mon cheri) did get right was to include balaclavas, the thing of the moment, the saviour of cold ears, cold heads, and cold chins.
As well as being seen on established designer runways, smaller knitting businesses which have been making balaclavas since their grandfather came in from the cold have seen a boom in sales – and instead of spending £1000 on one from LP (crazy, but that’s Loro Piana for you), you can get a kitschy multi-coloured home-knitted made-with-love balaclava for a 1/10 of the price. Bargain!
The way to wear them is with hair out and worn around your shoulders with the balaclava cradling your tender head, and keeping those ears warm while your hair flows in the wind. Can wear with a flannel shirt over a top like Camille Charrière, or wear with a large puffer jacket and leggings to emulate Balenciaga.
Do you think you can pull off a balaclava? Will it be a staple of the winter wardrobe? If it keeps being minus-double-digits this winter, it’s going to have to be…