Fashion 

Balaclavas Might Just Be the Biggest Accessory Trend This Winter

Cozy and practical, the balaclava is the holy grail of cold weather staples.

By
20,229 Hypes

No longer just the go-to accessory of skiers and bank heisters, the balaclava has gone off-piste this season, arriving in droves to runways and Instagram grids alike. The accessory served as the cherry on top of Miu Miu’s Alpine-themed FW21 collection. A variant covering the full face served as an integrated — and integral — part of Kim Kardashian’s shocking Met Gala look this year. Depop shoppers and TikTokers can’t seem to get enough of it, either. And for good reason. The balaclava is cute — it’s cozy, it’s clandestine and it’s the most sought-after accessory this winter.

No doubt this season’s balaclava craze has stemmed from the current moment — the last year-and-a-half, to be specific. In 2020, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the widespread use of face masks to slow the virus’ spread. Since then, face coverings have become a part of our daily lives. Along with our wallet, keys and cellphones, masks are likely one of the items you won’t find yourself leaving home without. Last year, designers put their own ornate spins on the new essential: Collina Strada in oversized ribbons, PHLEMUNS in graphic patterns and Eckhaus Latta in space-dyed yarn. For Fall/Winter 2021, however, the fashion industry is leaning further into the accessory’s practical side. This time, by way of the balaclava.

The holy grail of winter accessories, the balaclava offers more protection than the standard beanie and scarf, combined, protecting the head, the neck and — most notably — the face. It’s an area of our bodies that has oft been overlooked in the arena of everyday winter-weather protection. That is, until last winter. “Ok but wearing a mask when it’s cold and windy kinda slaps,” one Twitter user wrote last winter. Over 40,000 people agreed and retweeted. For Winter 2021, brands from Miu Miu to Lemaire have answered our collective call for a cozier, more stylish iteration of the face-covering accessory. Miu Miu’s version of the balaclava, aptly named the “wool helmet,” even arrives with a detachable woolen mask, which can be added or removed to adapt to the weather — or occasion — at hand. In September’s balmier conditions, and on the red carpet, The Crown star Emma Corrin wore the Miu Miu accessory sans mask to the 2021 Emmy Awards.

The balaclava’s recent resurgence comes, too, from another of the pandemic’s necessities: lockdown. After months of quarantine, the majority of us are excited to leave the confines of our houses and apartments and return to the spaces — restaurants, movie theatres and museums — that we love. But some of us are less eager to relinquish the comforts of home: namely, naps, homemade sourdough and our beloved in-fits. The balaclava is perhaps the perfect crossover accessory during this transitional moment, bringing the coziness of indoor-living into the great outdoors.

The trend’s homespun roots are evident in pieces created by designers like Cecilie Bahnsen and Lolo Crochète’s Lory Labossière. Knitted from feather-light mohair, Bahnsen’s iteration of the woolen face-warmer is an extension of her ultra-cozy FW21 collection. Think matelassé garments that mimic quilts and bedspreads, and wrap dresses that give the impression of being swaddled in a blanket. For Labossière, her crochet label began as a quarantine hobby. While her label is still based out of her home studio in Montréal, the designer’s hand-crocheted balaclavas are definitely designed for our post-quarantine reality, to be worn out-and-about.

Of all the celebrity proponents of the balaclava, Kim Kardashian is the strongest. In early September, the former KUWTK star arrived in New York wearing a leather gimp mask, from Vetements’ Spring/Summer 2019 collection by Demna Gvasalia. Two days later, she stepped onto the Met Gala’s red carpet wearing that face-covering Balenciaga bodysuit. It was a look that, as GQ writer Rachel Tashjian put it, “turned the most visible and overexposed woman in the history of the world into a giant void.” In this context, the balaclava offers a different kind of protection: anonymity. The sartorial equivalent of going “incognito mode,” or of “no pictures, please.” And of, maybe — just maybe — going completely off the grid. The Instagram grid, that is.

Below, shop eight of our favorite balaclava styles for Winter 2021.

Cecilie Bahnsen Gaia Hat

Cecilie Bahnsen
Gaia Hat
€300 EUR (Approx. $339 USD)
Cecilie BahnsenCecilie Bahnsen 

BEVZA Knyahynya Balaсlava

BEVZA
Knyahynya Balaclava
$169 USD
BEVZABEVZA 

Marine Serre All Over Moon Balaclava

Marine Serre
All Over Moon Balaclava
€175 EUR (Approx. $198 USD)
Marine SerreMarine Serre 

Miu Miu Crochet Wool Helmet With Face Mask

Miu Miu
Crochet Wool Helmet With Face Mask
$6,250 HKD (Approx. $801 USD)
Miu MiuMiu Miu 

Shrimps Pauline Balaclava

Shrimps
Pauline Balaclava
$335 USD
ShrimpsShrimps 

Stussy Stock Knit Balaclava

Stussy
Stock Knit Balaclava
$40 USD
HBXHBX 

SUNNEI Acid Green Knit Balaclava

SUNNEI
Acid Green Knit Balaclava
€210 EUR (Approx. $237 USD)
SUNNEISUNNEI 

Ruslan Baginskiy Balaclava

Ruslan Baginskiy
Balaclava
$200 USD
Ruslan BaginskiyRuslan Baginskiy 

Zoë Kendall is a writer and editor specializing in fashion and culture. You can find her at her website and Instagram.

Read Full Article
Share this article

What to Read Next

Isa Boulder's Winter 2021 Collection Brings the Heat
Fashion

Isa Boulder's Winter 2021 Collection Brings the Heat

The Bali-based brand continues to push the boundaries of knitwear.
12,206 Hypes

Marc Jacobs' FW21 Collection is the Definition of Post-Pandemic Cool
Fashion

Marc Jacobs' FW21 Collection is the Definition of Post-Pandemic Cool

Dominated by blown-up logos, vibrant colors, bulky silhouettes and more.
762 Hypes

Stella McCartney’s Pre-Fall 2021 Collection Is the Label's Most Sustainable Yet
Fashion

Stella McCartney’s Pre-Fall 2021 Collection Is the Label's Most Sustainable Yet

Made with 80% eco-friendly materials.
1,499 Hypes


Louise Trotter Reimagines Lacoste for Fall/Winter 2021
Fashion 

Louise Trotter Reimagines Lacoste for Fall/Winter 2021

We spoke to the designer about inspiration, heritage and the new “Super Croc.”
1,093 Hypes

The Most Iconic Hip-Hop Style Moments Through the Decades
Fashion 

The Most Iconic Hip-Hop Style Moments Through the Decades

From Lauryn Hill in the ’90s to Rihanna in the ’00s.
18,170 Hypes

Best New Music of November: Adele, Lorde and More
Music 

Best New Music of November: Adele, Lorde and More

Including “sad girl fall” tracks and futuristic AI-themed numbers.
1,836 Hypes

Pharrell x adidas To Drop the Humanrace Sičhona in Neon "Yellow"
Footwear

Pharrell x adidas To Drop the Humanrace Sičhona in Neon "Yellow"

Following “Blue,” “Burgundy” and “Black.”
1,266 Hypes

Doja Cat Admits She Doesn't Find Joy in Making Music Anymore
Music

Doja Cat Admits She Doesn't Find Joy in Making Music Anymore

The rapper hasn’t been enjoying her work for “maybe five years.”
2,384 Hypes

Dior's Latest Sneakers Are a Vibe
Footwear

Dior's Latest Sneakers Are a Vibe

Are you team “Gold” or “Silver”?
1,470 Hypes

BAIT Unveils Its 'Squid Game'-Themed Apparel and Toy Collection
Fashion

BAIT Unveils Its 'Squid Game'-Themed Apparel and Toy Collection

Hoodies and tees featuring your favorite characters.
991 Hypes

Patta x Nike Continue Collab With Black Air Max 1
Footwear

Patta x Nike Continue Collab With Black Air Max 1

Adding to the “Rush Maroon” and “Noise Aqua” colorways.
1,813 Hypes

Watch the Official Trailer for Netflix's Latest Korean Sci-Fi Series, 'The Silent Sea'
Film & TV

Watch the Official Trailer for Netflix's Latest Korean Sci-Fi Series, 'The Silent Sea'

Starring Doona Bae, Gong Yoo and more.
17,650 Hypes

YouTuber Creates Real-Life 'Squid Game' With 456 Players
Culture

YouTuber Creates Real-Life 'Squid Game' With 456 Players

Featuring Red Light, Green Light, Tug of War and the Glass Bridge.
1,755 Hypes

Masked Models Take Over Vetements' FW22 Collection
Fashion

Masked Models Take Over Vetements' FW22 Collection

Inspired by social media and Bitcoin millionaires.
733 Hypes

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Keep updated on the latest news.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Adblock Detected

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. If you enjoy our content, please add us to your adblocker's whitelist. We'd really appreciated it.