Balaclavas have quickly become one of this season's hottest accessories.
For anyone in the know, this shouldn't be a surprise! During the summer of 2021, Kim Kardashian sported a full face covering, courtesy of Balenciaga, to one of ex-husband Kanye West's listening parties. A few weeks later, the Skims founder traded the style for a leather "face mask" at a night out in New York (when it was still hot out, no less!).
Similar styles of headgear were known in the 19th century as the Ulhan cap worn by Polish and Prussian soldiers, and the Templar cap worn by outdoor sports enthusiasts.
The name comes from their use at the Battle Of Balaclava during the Crimean War of 1854, referring to the town near Sevastopol in the Crimea where British troops wore knitted headgear to keep warm. Handmade balaclavas were sent over to the British troops to help protect them from the bitter cold weather.
Today, the balaclava is not only associated with keeping you warm, but also has apocalyptic connotations. Its protective and concealing qualities make the headpiece nearly ominous — think 'Purge' vibes, but make it fashion. Over time, the winter garment has made its way on the runway, like Calvin Klein and Gucci’s Fall 2018 shows.
The balaclava has a variety of covering options, so you can wear whichever piece depending on your style and comfort level. The hooded look can be paired in a number of ways, since it comes different prints, textures and colour schemes to suit any mood. You can add some colour to a monochrome outfit, or achieve your inner glam maximalist by going for more vibrant and funky designs / patterns. Another styling tip, according to street style shots and ‘fit pics on Instagram, includes showing off bit of your hairline as well.
If you’re ready to jump on one of the year's hottest trends, check out some of our favourite picks --> 21 Street Club Balaclava Collection