Beanies are a type of hat for both men and women, most often worn in cold weather. Although the style of beanie has changed throughout the decades, they are most often brimless. Beanies are generally decorated with different colors and, oftentimes, insignias of sports teams, schools, or even bands and musicians. Although they are made for cold weather, some beanies are worn year-round as a statement of style.
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The most famous type of beanie is the propeller beanie. Worn by children in the early 20th century, this beanie is often associated with geekiness and sometimes worn by clowns. Most beanies at this time were typically made of wool felt with four or six panels sewn together forming the cap.
As for modern beanies, most are either woven or knit. Woven beanies are often made with triangular sections of twill, leather, or felt which are seamed together around the sides and topped at the crown by a button. Knit beanies are currently the most popular and stylish type of beanie. These are either knit or crocheted caps and are often called a toque, toboggan, or ski cap.
The wool beanie cap was most popular amongst boys in the early 20th century, from the 1920s to the early 1940s. They originally fell out of style due to the prominence of the baseball cap. However, they reemerged in the 1990s along with the rise in popularity of cold-weather sports, such as snowboarding and skiing. At this time they also became a part of the "grunge" clothing trend, which partially continues their popularity today.
Beanies are often used in cold, winter weather to keep warm in day-to-day activities or during sports, such as skiing. Beanies are also worn as a fashion statement or for their association with sports teams and schools.
Beanies in all varieties are brimless hats with either a small embellished visor or no visor at all. Popular knit beanies have a cuff or turn up, but that is dependent on style.
The beanie, besides its association with "grunge" style and music, has made its mark on popular culture via the humorous propeller beanie. The infamous hat has appeared in a storyline for the comic Calvin & Hobbes. More recently, the term "propellerheads" has been usurped to describe computer geeks.
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