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5 Hats He'll Wear – and You'll Enjoy Knitting

“Would a guy wear this?”

It’s one of the most frequently asked questions before the holidays. You want to knit your father, husband, boyfriend, son, nephew, even co-worker, something for the holidays, but are unsure if he’ll wear it or just put it in a drawer. If at all possible, I recommend bringing the man in question into the store to see for himself. It may lessen the surprise, but it’s the surest way to know what he’ll wear.

Knit him a hat

I realize it’s not always possible to get his participation in yarn and pattern selection, however, so I say knit him a hat. Here’s why.

  • The weather inevitably gets cold enough, even if just for a day or two, that everyone needs a hat.
  • If you’re losing or have lost your hair, your head gets cold; too cold sometimes for just a baseball cap.
  • Hats make a small fashion statement compared to a scarf or a sweater. You may want everyone to know you’re wearing a hand knit accessory, but he may not.
  • Hats are a smaller investment of knitting time and yarn money. You’ve given him something that shows you care, but haven’t spent all fall and all your yarn money on something he may not like.
  • Hats are very one-size-fits-most friendly. If he doesn’t like it, you might, so you’ll have a new hat.

5 hats he’ll wear

All of the following hats are guy-friendly, but I’ll list them from most to least to narrow it down even more. Yarn choice and color selection are key. If you have to ask if he’ll wear that shade of blue, the answer is probably no. Still color and texture are not out of the question, as you’ll see.

1. Skinny Striped Hat

Skinny Striped Hat
Skinny Striped Hat knit with Blue Sky Skinny Cotton
This ribbed watch cap features a thin repeating stripe that’s very sporty. Stick with neutral or dark colors. To be completely safe, eliminate the stripes and just knit the hat in one color.

The pattern calls for Blue Sky Skinny Cotton yarn. You may not think cotton’s warm enough, but it may allow him to wear it more throughout the year. For a wool alternative, consider Filatura di Crosa Zara yarn. It’s a very soft extrafine merino yarn that comes in lots of good guy colors.

2. Triple Play Hat

The Triple Play Hat
The Triple Play Hat in Blue Sky Sport Weight yarn
The Triple Play Hat is a classic watch cap with a ribbed edging and a stockinette crown. It’s knit with three strands of Blue Sky Sport Weight or Melange yarn.

Choose two or three different colors and you get a rich heathered look. Between the two yarns there are lots of good neutrals – browns and grays – and dark or muted colors to choose from. Again, you can always just use one color. Because it’s knit with three strands of yarn it knits fast, which is good if you’re in a hurry, and it’s very warm.

3. Go Team! Hat

Go Team! Hat
Go Team! Hat knit with Spud & Chloe Sweater yarn
It may surprise you, but a lot of guys ask for hats with earflaps. The Go Team! Hat is a great choice because of it’s basic shape and clean lines. The stripes and the contrast edging are fun, but once again, if in doubt, make the whole hat in just one color.

The Go Team! Hat is knit with two strands of Spud and Chloe Sweater yarn. Sweater is a blend of machine washable wool and organic cotton. It’s warm but not too warm and it’s very soft and comfortable.

4. Habitat

Habitat Hat
Habitat Hat in Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn
Habitat is a cabled hat that will add a little texture to his wardrobe. It’s not as fast to make as the others, but it’s a lot of fun to knit the cables.

The Habitat pattern includes charts. This is a plus for some knitters, but can be intimidating to others. If charts are new for you, this would be a good project to try. I place a sticky note above the row I’m working on to help me keep my place. It’s also a good idea to check your work after each round, at least at first until you get into the rhythm of the pattern.

Habitat is designed by Jared Flood and knits up beautifully in his new yarn Shelter. This is one of those rare yarns where I think almost every color is guy friendly, so if you think he’s game, have a little fun with the color choice. Otherwise, there are 6 naturals to choose from that are all beautiful and good for guys.

5. Botanic Hat

Botanic Hat
Botanic Hat knit in Malabrigo Worsted Merino yarn
Even though I’m listing it last, the Botanic Hat is still a very wearable hat for guys. Yes, it uses two colors, but when chosen well, it really appeals to men. Last winter we had it in the window and men kept coming in the shop asking to buy the hat. Really.

Botanic is reversible, so there’s a bolder side and a quieter side. Weave your ends in neatly and the choice is his. With two skeins of super soft and fun to work with Malabrigo Worsted Merino yarn, you can knit two Botanic hats, so it’s an economical choice, as well.

Top it off

I believe, and I’ll guess you do too, that a hand knit gift is special because of the thought, care, and time we put into it. Unfortunately, not all knitted gift recipients will feel the same way about knitting that we do. If you knit him a gift – or anyone, for that matter – don’t be disappointed if it isn’t received with the same enthusiasm with which it’s given. Your efforts still have meaning and value. And you can always share it with us here.

Good luck and have fun!

8 thoughts on “5 Hats He'll Wear – and You'll Enjoy Knitting

  1. Great post, Craig. This is really helpful. 🙂

  2. […] so he knows what men would wear and he is an excellent and knowledgeable knitter and shop owner.  Click here to see the post! Two of his five hat recommendations are made with our yarns. One is the Skinny Striped Hat made in […]

  3. thanks for these tips. I really want to knit things for my guys so this was really helpful!

  4. You’re welcome, Sue! Glad it’s helpful.

  5. Would one of these patterns be good for someone who’s never knitted a hat before?

  6. Ann, I think the first and second patterns are the best for a new hat knitter.

  7. Just made Habitat for DH. He loves it. Nice and cozy. I did have to pay attention on a few rows, but the cables aren’t too difficult. Might make a good class to teach cabling without a cable needle :-).

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