The wool knit cap or for those of us living in the twenty-first century, the beanie, was originally worn in the eighteenth century by working men labouring outdoors- particularly in Scandinavia and other cold regions of the world.

Most are constructed out of one piece of material, tapered to the peak and designed in head hugging form for a close fit and snug warmth. Some beanies boast a folded brim, but not always. Today, and particularly during the winter months- the beanie is not only a welcome style accessory but also- a truly functional piece.


Look for a beanie crafted in Merino wool, cashmere or for something more exotic- Alpaca and Angora wool. We prefer a regular fit- not too slim and not too thick, with a skull-fitting design not a large baggy peak (a little excess material is fine).

Most brands offer their own version of the beanie but we prefer to wear those are specialise in wool and accessories specifically. Not only are they experts- resulting in a better product but they often have matching scarves to complete your coherent look. Here are Ape’s three of the best.

Johnstons of Elgin Ribbed Cashmere Beanie


Made in Scotland by Johnstons of Elgin this Cashmere Ribbed Beanie Hat in gray is 100% cashmere- chosen not only for its warmth and softness but also natural breathability.

£60 from MR PORTER

Drake’s Natural Fisherman Knit Cashmere Hat


This traditional fisherman’s knit cap is Made in Scotland and crafted in 100% super-soft cashmere for maximum comfort and warmth retention. With thanks to Drake’s for the featured image (top).

£85 from DRAKE’S

Slowear Zanone Ribbed Cashmere Beanie


A classic Slowear Zanone beanie with ribbed knit for extra comfort. Crafted from 100% cashmere in a dark red colourway for a little seasonal pizzazz.

£140 from SLOWEAR