Scarves, like gloves, puffers, and hats, are a bonafide winter staple. They keep your neck warm when the weather gets cold and can be used as an accessory to elevate your style. But not every fit — as those who like their tech and sportswear will attest — demands one.
Anyone who’s ever played in, or watched, a football match will know what a snood is. For the uninitiated, it’s a wide ring of knitted material worn as a hood, or around the neck. Traditionally, it was a type of female headgear designed to keep hair in place. Nowadays, the word snood is used casually to refer to anything worn around the neck or head that doesn’t have an open end, such as hoods, balaclavas, and neck gaiters.
In European football, the snood hit peak popularity in 2010 and 2011 when players such as Carlos Tevez, Samir Nasri, and Gianluigi Buffon wore them during games. The headgear was met with public dismay in England, and former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson even went as far as to say he would ban his players from wearing them.
In the past few years, other parts of football culture, such as retro kits, have been adopted by the streets and are suddenly cool again. All the while, people are still sleeping on snoods, although there are more than a few solid options for those looking to break away from the science that is tying a scarf properly and securely.
Nike x MMW
The first was a simple black balaclava with oversized Nike branding. It represents one of the safer options that are more easily incorporated into an outfit. It can be worn as it is intended to, covering the lower half of your face, but it can also be worn loosely around the neck. Williams’ second option is a little more out there, though it, too, can be easily incorporated into a fit. Featuring an all-over camo pattern, the Nike x MMW Balaclava features a hood and an extended neck that drapes over the shoulders.
The North Face
Outdoors specialist The North Face, unsurprisingly, has its own brand of snood. It features a drawstring cord for an adjustable fit, something those who place an importance on utility will no doubt appreciate.
In addition, it’s about as low-key as it gets, coming in all black and featuring just a small white TNF logo near the top of the snood. Other The North Face products, such as the Nuptse down jacket or the recently-unveiled FutureLight collection, have withstood the test of time and are at the technological forefront of their respective categories. There’s no reason to expect any less from the brand’s snoods.
Nike also has its own, mainline versions of Matthew Williams’ snoods, which will be of interest to those that don’t want to pay a premium for collaborations.
The first is the Hyperwarm Hood, which can be used for running just as easily as it can be incorporated into a sportswear-influenced, tech-wear outfit. Think Errolson Hugh-era Nike ACG or, for the bigger spenders, ACRONYM. Nike also offers a squad snood as part of its football category. This snood, unlike typical facemasks, has a lower cut that covers the mouth and ears without covering too much of the face. Perforations at the mouth also allow for easier breathing, handily for those who wear their snood when playing sports.