Ear Muff Fail, Winter Hat Win!

I’m going to tell you right now: I have not had an East Coast winter in 7 years and the missus and I are preparing like it’s the Arctic up in here. We both have crazy coats, and just today we discussed buying wool socks. She’s also going kind of nuts for army/navy grade thermals. Because we’ve lived in New England before and, as much as all the neighbors who ask us about it seem to not believe us, WE REMEMBER.

Initially I had an awesome winter hat idea. One thing that always annoyed me about beanies or other serious wool hats was that I’d get hot as balls indoors. So I thought it would be awesome to get a nice wool cap instead, like one of these:

Raised by Wolves 5 Panel Hats

Or these:

Plaid Flannel from DQM

Then I would get a pair of vintage-y looking ear muffs and BAM! My ears are warm on my walk to work, then I’m inside and I’m wearing a nice hat and not looking like a tool. I just need some ear muffs. Sounds easy enough, right?


I am here to tell you some terrible news: men’s ear muffs are the worst. And lady ear muffs are also terrible, actually, but maybe if you comb through the frou-frou silly ones you can find something you wouldn’t mind wearing on the feminine end, I don’t know. I’ll leave that up to Michael. Look at this shit show:


Also: why is he looking at me like that?!

Everything else was super utilitarian and not exactly ugly but very…L.L. Bean, if you know what I’m

saying. These babies from Topman are okay, I guess:

Topman Nordic Print---eh

But I don’t know. I’m not convinced.

So after a lot of this sort of thing, I got kind of down. I am a hat guy, and I don’t want to be stuck matting my hair in a beanie all winter. However, I worry about my ears. I guess if I got desperate I could wear big, bad ass headphones but what worked in SF does not feel realistic as a way to fend off the bitter winds of Boston.

BUT NEVER FEAR! Because you know what I forgot about? Ear flaps!

Norse Projects New Hunter

I guess that the creative energy designers could (and should) be pouring into ear muffs have gone into making these types of hats, which I forgot about because I didn’t need them in California. But this is what’s up! Stylish wool with ear flaps attached. A two-in-one!

RUGBY Wool Buffalo Plaid Hunting Cap

I really like the Rugby and Norse Projects versions of these hats, but the winner and my hard earned money goes to winter-weather wunderkinds, Filson for this piece:

Filson Mackinaw Cap--THE WINNER

What’s so excellent about the Filson Mackinaw cap is summed up in their description: “Our wind and rain-resistant Mackinaw Wool cap keeps your head dry and warm. 2″ bill, insulated crown, concealed ear flaps.”


I like it in black too

This is a stylish cap, no doubt about it. Plus it comes sized, so for us smaller heads, we won’t look like we’re swimming in it. Big plus. And if you’re wondering what this looks like in use, here you go:


I like it! So, in summary, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster but the ears came out on top. Stay warm!


About Thomas Page McBee

Gentleman first, always. James Dean is my patron saint, poet is my gender. More about me here: www.thomaspagemcbee.com


  1. Michael von Braithwaite

    I would TOTALLY do that Topman Nordic Print ear muff situation. But then, I look absolutely ridiculous in ear flap hats…like a supremely ill-equipped and a-little-slow-on-the-uptake hunter.

  2. Cornailia Guest

    Two words: stormy kromer

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