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“You lose 75 percent of your body heat through your head” – Nagging parents everywhere.

Turns out that is a lie. Apparently we lose heat through our head at the same rate as any other exposed body part (unless you are an infant in which case your head is gigantic compared to the rest of your body and you would therefore lose more heat through your head.)

Having said that, being “hot” and looking “hot” are not always the same but you can achieve both with a well-crafted Toque (which is the Canadian word for “beanie” aka “knitted-cap”). The Toque was recently voted “Best Example of Whistler Style” by readers of Whistler’s Pique Newsmagazine, so The Insider decided to drop in on some Whistler’s preeminent Toque merchants and fashion headwear trendsetters to find out what’s hot this winter, in both senses of the word.


Showcase is generally considered the best snowboard shop in the country mostly because the staff there rip hard and are cooler than stink. Emily was rocking their most popular toque when I walked in the door, a floppy thing from Burton that, at $14.99, is also their cheapest. “It’s more of a fashion toque,” she says. “Too floppy for riding and it won’t fit under a helmet. When people come in I ask what kind of look they are after? Floppy, Pom Pom… do you want to stand out? Everyone is different.” And yet we all need warm heads. Showcase has locations in the Mountain Square (under Sushi Village) and Whistler Marketplace.

Whistler toques are the go-to fashion this winter

The Circle

The Circle is a “core” snowboard shop which means it was started by a group of legendary local riders and when it dumps on the mountain they might not be open right at 10am (which is how it should be.) Steph broke it down as far was what are good toques to wear with a helmet. “Right away you gotta get rid of anything with a pom pom,” Steph says. “You want something simple and not too thick so it will fit under the helmet without being too warm.” She then modeled the Circle’s very own logo-toque and everyone noted it looks perfect. The Circle is at 4369 Main Street.

healthy hot or cool toques kick ass in Whistler for snowboarding or skiing

Amos & Andes

Amos & Andes is best known for their Nordic sweaters but Jane was actually knitting a toque when I walked in the door. “The most important thing in buying a toque is colour,” she says. “It’s a statement.” Aside from her own creations Jane also sells import toques from all over the world. “All natural fibres,” she says. “Like these Dale of Norway toques, they’ve been making them for 128 years. They’re totally waterproof because of the lanolin in the wool.” Amos & Andes is located on the Village Stroll across from Cows.

Toque-mania! Of course there are many other fantastic toque vendors in town, so go search out your perfect fit and while you’re at it, look into picking up that other most integral piece of Whistler fashion- the “kangaroo jumper”, aka “the hooded sweatshirt”, or as we call it “the Hoodie.” With a good Toque and flashy Hoodie you’ll be skipping the line-up at the bar in no time, local-style.


Feet Banks moved to Whistler at age 12 so his parents could live the dream and ski as much as possible. He ended up living it too. After leaving home Feet did a few good stints in warmer climates and 4 years of writing school before returning to the mountains to make ski movies, hammer out a journalism career and avoid the 9-5 lifestyle as long as possible. He’s been a hay farmer, a hole digger, a magazine editor and has a jump named after him on Blackcomb Mountain, Feet’s Air. It’s tiny.