The cold is officially abrasive.

49 of the 50 states have been blanketed with snow in the past week, and you might’ve found out yourself that the quest for warmth usually ends with a good knit hat.

From afar, watch caps can seem deceptively similar, so we’ve done the legwork to bring you three simple rules for finding the best and wearing it right.

Behold, the watch cap manifesto…

Measure Twice, Fold Once
When it comes to classics, proportion is everything. In the case of the watch cap, it’s exceptionally crucial. The cuff should be substantial and overlap at least 1/3 of the cap as to avoid unfortunate cases of peaked excess. The good news: this rule isn’t cap specific. A glance in the mirror and a some minimal adjustments before running out the door should be sufficient.

Understated Embellishment
Simplicity makes a watch cap, so you’ll want to avoid multiple colors and prints, but that’s not to say there aren’t subtle ways to embellish it. If you opt to do so, we are in favor of contrasting knits, like those seen on this Opening Ceremony number.

You Can’t Stop the Mussing; You Can Only Hope to Contain It
This isn’t so much a rule as perhaps an undeniable law of physics. Fit is key, and when it comes to the watch cap, a good fit is inherently a function of cling. Embrace this and opt for softer fabrics despite their propensity for static cling. With any good watch cap, some level of hat hair is inevitable. Don’t fight it. Instead, we propose a discreetly tucked pocket comb and 30 seconds in the bathroom once you reach your appropriately heated destination.

—M.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Marisa Berman