balaclava outfit winter fashion

The Trending Cold Weather Item That’s Worth Adding to Your Winter Wardrobe

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When a practical clothing item becomes trendy, I take notice. I usually try to avoid filling my wardrobe with items that will be “out” in 3 months, but if a useful and versatile item becomes popular? Well, that’s a different story. Thanks to TikTok, a balaclava made its debut as a fashion accessory last year. Naturally, interest dipped over time as trends do, but now according to Google Trends, balaclavas are spiking in popularity once again. Living in the midwest and with -20 degree winter weather sadly being the norm, I’m always on the lookout for a stylish way to stay warm. And I think I found it.

And for those that are going to say I should button my coat…I left it open just for the pictures!

What is a balaclava?

A balaclava (pronounced ba·luh·klaa·vuh and not to be confused with the greek desert baklava) is generally known as a ski mask. This headgear is worn to protect the face from the winter elements. This tight-fitting garment that sometimes leaves just your eyes exposed is meant to keep you warm and dry for your skiing, bicycling, and other outdoor activities.

What is a balaclava as a fashion accessory?

A balaclava worn without the intent to ski is still a useful and practical cold-weather accessory. Though it’s not as tight and it doesn’t cover as much of the face, fashionable balaclavas act as a hood and a scarf all at the same time.

And now since the balaclava got an upgrade and it’s offered in an array of colors, prints, and materials, this winter piece makes a stylish addition to your wardrobe.

Can you wear balaclavas with big and/or curly hair?

Yes! One big pro of this accessory is that since it acts as more of a hood, it won’t squish your curls or give you hat hair as much, as long as the hood is loose enough.

When shopping for a balaclava, either make it the star of your outfit in an eye-catching print or go for sleek and chic. Try to avoid anything that actually looks like a ski mask, unless you’re going skiing, of course!

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For those that get frigid temps, making a balaclava work in your outfit is definitely something to consider. They don’t ruin your hair as much as a hat, and some styles even protect your neck as well. It’s pretty and practical. And for those that live in warmer climates, tuck it away for your snowy holidays!

If you’re looking for other ways to stay warm yet stylish this season, how you layer can make all the difference. Check out 20+ Stylish Ways To Layer Clothes Like a Fashion Pro


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.