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How old is too old for knit hats with animals?

I get that hats can be a way to express yourself, but woolly toques with animal faces must have an age cut-off. How old is too old to sport a raccoon- or bear- inspired chapeau?"

You see these things on shoppers in malls: They are knit hats with the face of some furry northern animal on them and often come with matching mittens. They are for people who like the idea of warm animals in winter but who don't want to actually wear dead ones. They are the coward's fur. And you're right: They are so cutesy they look like children's clothes. We tend to stop wearing smiling animal faces on our clothes when we move into grade three or four. I would suggest wearing gloves with fingers and wool hats without imagery for those who are squeamish about using rabbits for this purpose and also want to look like adults (although I can't help also pointing out that rabbits are in no danger of extinction and can be bred and killed humanely).

Russell Smith's new novel, Girl Crazy, has just been published. Have a fashion question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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