There are a few things that signal the beginning of winter. A drop in temperature. John Lewis Christmas ad on the box. Six days of complete ragers on the trot. Oh, and Keanu Reeves in a black beanie hat. Year after year, the actor whips out his trusty beanie hat and gets on with his life – and he inadvertently cuts the ribbon on the most wonderful time of the year (for menswear).

Yesterday, Reeves was photographed in New York City arriving at the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live. He was in his cold weather best: a pair of indigo selvedge denim jeans (extra insulation!), a black pea coat, a charcoal scarf and his go-to black beanie. Ribbed in design, with a little extra room on top, it’s part trawlerman, part gnomecore, part Soviet factroy worker, and it bangs without even trying.

There’s a legacy here. There was a nine-inch skull cap beanie that he wore as Neo in The Matrix Resurrections movie. Then there’s the one that he wore that he wore on that cool Cali evening at The Devil’s Advocate premiere in October 1997. Or the one he frequently wears to run around New York City. Reeves loves his black beanies so much (we stan a sustainable king!) that there’s even a handful of Instagram accounts dedicated to that very thing.

Keanu Reeves

But Reeves is onto something. The beanie hat has an enduring appeal, and not just among east Londoners who like craft ale. The beanie hat is worn by some of the coolest guys in the style history books. It’s an item that’s not to be overthought. Just shove one on, Reeves-style, and away you go. Kurt Cobain, arbiter of ’90s grunge cool, wore them. Harry Styles wears them on the regular. And most recently Bad Bunny sat front row at the Gucci show alongside Kendall Jenner in his own.

It’s the big brands that consistently ship the beanie too. Gucci sent them down the catwalk, paired up with baggy slacks and oversized blazers. At Fendi super luxe beanies are cut from Italian wool: luxe and ready-to-wear. Aimé Leon Dore has made them front and centre of its seasonal lookbooks, while Bode’s are crafty and woven.

It wouldn’t be winter without Keanu in a beanie – and this winter, you should grab one too.