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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

REVIEW: By wing, paw or flipper, keep warm with animal hats

%28Illustration%29
Cameryn Davis
(Illustration)

We humans don’t have the best adaptations for surviving the cold, so when winter comes around, and animals start growing thicker fur, we start layering jackets, gloves and hats. Hats are important to wear because our heads are very exposed, and we lose heat easily from an unprotected head. That being said, many choose not to wear hats or use very common hats like hoodies or beanies, and almost everyone overlooks the glorious fashion opportunities of the animal hat. 

Animal hats are a unique form of self-expression and a bold fashion statement. In a world of beanies and hoodies, you could be the proud wearer of a llama hat. Imagine walking around the Wichita State campus or town and seeing adorable renditions of anything from monkeys to blobfish or even a fantastical creature. That world seems like a brighter and more imaginative place to me. 

Because animal hats aren’t too popular yet, wearing them is a great way to distinguish people in crowds. It’s easier to spot your friend’s neon green lizard hat than just another black beanie. This could be beneficial when going to events or activities with friends, especially if you get separated. 

Animal hats also serve as great conversation starters. I am the proud owner of a few animal hats, one of which is very cute and people often compliment it, but my favorite thing about it is how no one (including myself) knows what animal it is. It’s always fun to talk to people as we debate what it could be.

Another reason animal hats are wonderful is because of the wide variety they come in. If your favorite animal is a frog, there’s a hat for you. A squid? You bet. I have a hat of a monkey wearing its own hat. There are so many different animal and creature-themed hats out there that you’re bound to find one for you. Some types of animal hats are even made to have moving ears, wings, and arms. But if you’re not into loud hats or fashion in general, it’s easy to find more subtle animal hat options, too. 

I know as college students, there is a lot of pressure to grow up, and animal hats seem childish. The truth is, they are, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There’s lots of research out there that demonstrates the benefits of having stuffed animals on anxiety and depression in adults, and I believe animal hats can have similar benefits. Just because we’re ‘grown-ups’ doesn’t mean we can’t wear fun hats that make the world just a bit more playful.

If you’d rather make your own animal hat you can use a variety of techniques like sewing, knitting or crocheting. It’s also a great opportunity to learn a new skill in a beginner-friendly way. Animal hats are great gifts, too. If your friend’s favorite animal is a tiger, you can make them a tiger hat (and matching paw mittens). But if arts and crafts aren’t your specialty, there are plenty of artists whose small businesses you can support online through shops like Etsy or in person at craft shows and farmers markets, which still have that special handmade feeling. 

Ultimately, animal hats are a unique way to keep warm in the cold winter seasons that allow your individualism to shine. Why not take the opportunity to get or make one yourself and brighten the world (and your outfit) a bit?

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About the Contributors
Lydia Steeby, Reporter
Lydia Steeby is a first-year reporter for The Sunflower. She's lived in Wichita her whole life and loves to be outside. A freshman, she is an undecided major exploring different career paths involving writing. Steeby also enjoys reading, playing the trumpet and making art.
Cameryn Davis, Illustrator/Designer
Cameryn Davis is an illustrator and designer for The Sunflower. She is a freshman at Wichita State University majoring in secondary English education and hopes to become TESOL certified. Davis plans to eventually teach the English language in Brazil. She uses she/her pronouns.

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