I don’t know about where you live, but where I’m currently stationed it’s been a very wintery winter. And to that end, I’ve heard horror stories of snowfalls shutting down metropolises and bone-chilling mornings in the -40’s across the nation. Yikes. My mom instilled in me at a pretty young age that given we’re a climate where you wear coats (and mitts and toques) for about half the year, it’s okay to not only spend a little more on your outerwear, but to have multiples. After all, it’s that outerwear that’ll often give people a first (and sometimes last) impression about your personal style. Find me a Canadian boy or girl that lives with one pair and mitts or a single jacket year-round and I’ll be shocked. With that in mind I wanted to introduce you to a fun and fab outerwear accessories company from the USA called YAK Apparel.
These beautiful (and warm!) hats are available for both men and women – like the cheery yellow-and-grey guy’s Wool Hat ($24.99) pictured on the left and the girly pink-and-brown Faux Fur Hat ($34.99 but on sale as of me writing this post) on the right. Although the company is based in Boston, they actually draw their inspiration from much, much further away.
The company was founded after a trip to Nepal and the discovery of talented artisans weaving elegant silk scarves and snug knit caps by hand. Inspired not only by the artistry, but the work ethic, entrepreneurs Marion & Sanjay saw an opportunity to create a chic line of winter accessories that would allow the folks in Nepal to make a decent living, and the heads of North Americans to be warm and stylish. Knowing that bit of back story makes the downhome embroidery of hats like this classic fleece-lined Natural Pom Pom Hat ($35.99, but also on sale) make perfect sense – doesn’t it remind you of those kitschy yet on-point Fair Isle sweaters?
Of course, I recognize not every girl wants to don a full-on cozy toque, nor does the climate always call for it. Hence why YAK Apparel’s fun line of winter headwear alternatives also tops my books – like this Blue Melange Head Wrap ($19.99 but on sale!) – that’s kind to your hair, works with just about any colour of winter coat, and still manages to keep your ears (the worst when they’re cold) absolutely warm. Looking for something a little toastier but not ready to commit to an earflap hat? YAK Apparel also offers a line of hand knit beanies for a classic Canuck look.
Also genius is the fact this is one of the few fashion retailers out there that I feel comfortable with saying is a pretty safe bet for the guys on your list. Oddly enough, men tend to be a little more lax in terms of how much ‘style’ they allow in their outdoor accessories. Try and force a cravatte or a pink dress shirt on your guy and expect to be rebuffed. Give him a hand knit cap in lime green and grey ($24.99 but on sale!) and suddenly he’s game. YAK Apparel has a good collection of guys caps and they really do make great gifts – your brother, dad, boyfriend, and best friend will all appreciate this safe style statement.
One last little style factoid for you: because the hats are made of wool, you know you’ll stay nice & snug, but since every hat is lined with fleece of faux fur, you also avoid that itchy feeling or gaps that tend to come with wool. Genius! Hats in general really are a fail safe gift idea. As I alluded to, winterwear is a category of clothing that never goes out of style for Canadians, and the price point makes it totally accessible whether you’re shopping for Great Aunt Suzy or your very best friend Stacey. And with the amazing sale currently taking place at YAK Apparel, you better believe now’s the time to stock up for year-round gift-giving (although fair warning, summer is not cool to give away a hot hat). YAK Apparel hats are sold in over 2,000 retailers throughout the USA, but up here in Canada you’ll have to settle for shopping on their website. The good news? Shipping is a total bargain of about $5 an order. Want to learn more about the brand? You can also dive into their Pinterest, Blog, Tumblr, and StumbleUpon accounts for the latest & greatest!
To keep one of you nice & toasty as we cruise through the final weeks (or realistically, months) of winter, I’m offering up a YAK Apparel hat of your choice to one lucky winner. Here’s how to enter:
1) Leave a comment by March 1st with your favourite YAK Apparel hat – please list it by name & include a link back to it after browsing their fun site!
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around March 2nd to select the winners, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry: Like YAK Apparel on Facebook and tell them what you think of their hats to earn yourself a bonus entry. Be sure to tell me your FB username and / or link to your wall post in the comments below so I can count your entry.