Over the years, beanies have gained remarkable popularity for their unique and edgy style statement, not to forget the unparalleled comfort of a snug cashmere beanie on a chilly winter night. However, despite its popularity, not many are aware of the rich history of the beanie, and how it came to be known as the trendy accessory that it is today.
Let’s unravel the mysteries of history surrounding the fashionable invention of the beanie, shall we?
12th & 13th Century: Monmouth Caps
Thousands of years ago, the people of Wales coined the fashion trend of the beanie hat, and back in the day, there were two basic varieties to flaunt the beanie: a rounded seamed cap with top button, and a stretchable, soft knitted cap. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the beanie was famous as the Monmouth caps, named after the town where they were created. The earliest varieties of the Monmouth caps were made with exquisitely embroidered silks, satin, velvet and even taffeta, and these glorious creations were flaunted by both, men and women.
15th-18th Century: Age of Evolution
The earliest artists credited for the creation and evolution of the beanie trend were dedicated to quality and exquisiteness of the product. Towards the 15th and 18th centuries, the evolution of the Monmouth caps designed for women drew towards the knitted beanies that we flaunt today. Artisans would craft these woollen hats with exquisite hand knitting techniques and high quality wools.
Soon, Wales’ South-eastern town of Monmouth became famous for intricately hand knitted Monmouth caps, made with the fine grade wool of the Monmouth sheep, known as the Ryeland sheep. During the 15th and 18th centuries, Monmouth grew into a bustling community of hand knitters, and slowly, it expanded into a powerful cap manufacturing industry.
The town of Monmouth began exporting these hand knitted woollen caps all across the world, and soon, they began designing these felted waterproof woollen caps for soldiers and sailors.
1900s: Beanies for College
Towards the 1900s, the beanie hat adopted a smaller and well-fitted appeal, and they became increasingly famous across the United States of America. These hats became increasingly popular amongst college students, and towards the 1950, they became even more popular amongst blue collar workers.
Workers began wearing these beanies to make sure their hair stays out of their way, and soon, this functional brim-less hat became a trendy and super-functional accessory for an everyday outfit. During this time, the beanie hat was worn more as a respect to traditions and its functional features rather than a fashionable accessory.
Towards the 1990s, the beanie trend gain more traction and popularity on the trend radar. Both, men and women began flaunting this cool accessory as endorsed by sports men, athletes, super models, celebrities and other trend setters. Sports teams began adding beanies to their ensembles while college students made it a vital staple in their uniforms. Today, fine cashmere beanies are all the rage on the fashion radar, and they are revered as a timeless icon of glamour and functionality.