Day 11 – energy challenge – baby you can keep your hat on

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My dad used to take my sister and I skiing each winter. Yeah, such middle-class luxury! I don’t know that I fully appreciated it growing up, but now that I have to save to take my kids I most certainly do.

As we were preparing to get all kitted up in warm ski gear and head out, my dad was always insistent that we wear a beanie.  (These days helmets are the smarter thing.)  “You lose up to 70% of your body heat through your head,” he said. Being a scientist and someone that I considered to be very smart, I believed him.

I certainly felt a lot warmer when I wore a beanie out on the slopes.  I have followed this advice each Canberra winter, regularly choosing a new beanie to wear as a fashion statement.  I wear a beanie at home, I wear it under my bicycle helmet when cycling to work, I wear it for outings with friends, I wear it just because.  I always feel much warmer, snug and I hope, cute.

Ms Frugal Ears wearing a beanie while holding a baby
Me in a beanie – no, not my baby, just having a cuddle but he is soooooo cute

Turns out that modern science has debunked the 70% body heat theory.  It is to do with the amount of the surface area that is exposed, rather than the head (or brain) being warmer per se.  But certainly keeping warm anywhere will help, and wearing a beanie is a good idea because we often forget to keep our heads warm.  I still love my beanies.  And I really love the Pussy Hat Project beanies in Canberra.

Founded by keen knitter Stephen Lawton, the hats (which became a symbol of women’s rights during the protests that took place when Trump was inaugurated President) are a symbol of power and a uniting force for women & girls who want to live their lives free of violence.  The hats cost $20 each, and money raised goes towards supporting Canberra’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS). To purchase a hat or to inquire about knitting one, please contact Stephen Lawton at, or message via the Pussy Hat Canberra Facebook page.

One lucky Australian reader has the chance to win a Pussy Hat beanie valued at $20.  To enter, please leave a comment on this post to say why you would be proud to wear a Pussy Hat beanie.  And please don’t forget to chat with others people doing this challenge on the Frugal Dare to Millionaire Facebook group.


  1. I love beanies too! While it doesn’t often get super cold here in Sydney, I still take advantage of those few moments I can get away with wearing one, they look cool and keep me much warmer (even if that has been proven a myth).
    I haven’t heard of the Pussy Hat Project before but it sounds like a great initiative and worthy cause.

  2. Glad to know there is a fellow beanie-wearer out there. Is a myth of sorts. Still effective, just they realised you don’t lose up to 70% of the heat of your body through your head. The Pussy Hat Project is founded by someone in Canberra and is still new. I hope they do really well.

  3. I do still subscribe to some truth in the adage of 70% heat loss through the head; or at least I know that I very quickly feel it deeply and lose my ability to concentrate if I let my head cool down.
    Agree that this is a brilliant tactic to keep warm and save on heating bills, especially if you match it with a dressing gown around the house.

    I want the beanie 🙂
    Reason being that a) I’d be proud to wear it as a survivor of DV
    b) I think it’s cute as hell – and a dramatic improvement on the original pussy hats
    c) it would match my ski jacket and lipstick perfectly

  4. I can’t believe the 70% body heat theory isn’t true!!!! Ahhh….science always challenging my beliefs. Still, I’m a big fan of dressing up to conserve energy and I love beanies. Come to think of it though, mine don’t get much use in SEQ. I tend to wear hats all winter long for the sun – it seems sometimes that the sun is more in your face in winter than summer, probably just because it’s lower. Anyway, that’s a terrific project and they’re very cute beanies.

    1. Yeah, I still like to believe the 70% body heat theory is true as well! I know it is important to get enough vitamin D in winter, but it does seem odd that our hat awareness goes out the window in winter!

  5. Working at Menslink, where we do a lot of work to prevent domestic violence, I’d be proud to arrive at work wearing a pussy hat! Given how cold the office is on Monday mornings, I’d be inclined to leave it on! 😉

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