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The Balaclava is Winter’s Cosiest Accessory Trend – These Are Our Favourites

It's a hat and scarf hybrid.

Last Updated on December 29, 2022

We’re seeing one accessory all over our Instagram feeds again this winter and that’s the knitted hood, or more commonly known among the fashion scene as the ‘balaclava’.

The snood-like fashion accessory that you would more often find on the slopes or being used in combat, is turning out to be the surprise trend of the season!

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From Givenchy’s knitted devil horns balaclava to the late Virgil Abloh’s checkerboard style, the balaclava has made an unapologetic presence on the runway in recent years.

You may also remember seeing the the accessory feature heavily at the Miu Miu’s show at Paris Fashion week last March.

Since then, the accessory has been seen in all recent collections of major fashion designers including Stella McCartney, Balmain and Moschino, before trickling down to the high street to stores such as Zara, H&M and & Other Stories.

The hat and scarf hybrid historically got its name from the Ukrainian town of Balaclava, where in 1854, British and Irish troops were sent to fight during the Crimean war. The soldiers arrived in their summer uniforms to freezing conditions. When the British women learned of the lack of supplies, they knitted full-face hats to keep their men warm and so the balaclava was born.

At the time of writing this article, there are 421.7 million videos attached to the hashtag #balaclava on TikTok and 325k hashtags on Instagram of people wearing the accessory proving it’s going no where anytime soon.

So why exactly is the knitted hood trending now? According to the global search platform Lyst, the accessory’s rise in popularity was originally attributed to Kim Kardashian’s headline-grabbing Balenciaga Met Gala outfit, which comprised a full-face covering, after which searches for balaclavas soared.

Another theory is that it’s due to Gen Z’s two favourite hobbies – TikTok and knitting, with countless video’s on the platform detailing how to knit the perfect knitted hood.     

Whatever the reason, this trend has come at a very fitting time. Since the pandemic, we’ve become far more comfortable with face coverings – so whether you go for the full face covering or the slightly more wearable knitted hood, it’s both on trend and practical in freezing cold winter weather.

Keep scrolling for our edit of the best balaclavas on the high street right now

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Shop the best balaclavas

Grey Knitted Balaclava

Grey Knitted Hood, £18, River Island – buy now

STELLA MCCARTNEY Intarsia wool balaclava

Intarsia Wool Knitted Hood, was £295 now £207, Stella McCartney – buy now

Ella Hairy Knit Balaclava weekday

Ella Hairy Knit Hood, £19, Weekday – buy now

Wool Cotton Fitted Hood

Wool Cotton Fitted Hood, £59, ARKET – buy now

Damson Madder crochet balaclava in lilac mix

Damson Madder Crochet Hood In Lilac, £55, ASOS – buy now

Crochet virgin wool hat, £420, Miu Miu at MyTheresa

Crochet Virgin Wool Hat, £420, Miu Miu at MyTheresa – buy now

simone rocha Crystal and faux pearl-embellished cable-knit balaclava

Embellished Cable-Knit Hat, £198, Simone Rocha – buy now

TAN Balaclava Knit Hood

Balaclava Knit Hood, £40, & Other Stories – buy now

Mabel Balaclava

Mabel Knit Hood, £225, Shrimps – buy now

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