I have issues with hats. This is mostly a performance thing. While the scientific robustness of the old claim that you loose an outsize amount of heat through your head is coming into question, the fact that temperature regulation via hats is fast and easy remains unassailable. As readers will know, I have a brain which is both massive and extremely active, and produces the expectable amount of heat and sweat. Hats which work are something I value highly.


Oftentimes the best hats need to be modified. One example is the mongrel above, which combines the top of a Patagonia Capilene 4 beanie with the band of an As Tucas Costatiza beanie.  Neither were big enough to cover my ears further than 4 days post-haircut, and the resultant hybrid looks a little funny.

The Dynafit hat shown below is another example.  It is big enough, and is a great warm but not too warm blend of wool and acrylic.  Unfortunately the white and blue combo was the only one on sale, and white is not one of my favorite colors, especially for something which will be often pressed against my unwashed for 4 days forehead.


There is an easy solution to these aesthetics problems: RIT die, which can be picked up in the grocery store for a few dollars. It’s not advertised as working on synthetics, so special techniques are advised.


First, get a die-specific pot. Using RIT in something you also use for food is not recommended. Add the die to a minimal amount of water (perhaps 40 ounces for a hat), along with a cup of vinegar. I’ve not done a non-vinegar test, so I can’t testify to its necessity. Bring to boil, add hat, boil for 15-20 minutes, drain die (ideally into a utility sink which won’t stain), rinse hat, wash on cold, dry. Wear.


The Patatucas hat was died with wine colored RIT, and has been used and washed many times since.  These die jobs are mostly, but not entirely, colorfast after one wash.  I noticed a trace of pink on the pads of my bike helmet the first time.  The Dynafit hat got a fairly light (~10 minutes) treatment in dark green RIT, and is still rumpled from the drier.

Others have reported success with items are large as packs, so have at it.