Hot heads have an easier time of it in cold weather, whether watching the inaugural parade or waiting on a skilift line. The most important place to start with special clothing for frigid weather, say the experts, is with a proper hat.

"The body will go to any length, even draining blood from other parts of the body, in order to keep the head and brain warm," explains Dr. Charles Ireland, former medical director, Howard University Hospital.

Cowboy hats help, and so, obviously, do the traditional knitted ski hats. CAPTION: Illustration 1, Loden green wool felt hat with rolled brim by Stephen Bruce for Serendipity, from Marie Claire ($50).; Illustration 2, All-wool navy watch cap from Super Surplus Center, Bethesda ($4.98).; Illustration 3, Ragg yarn knit helmet called Balaclava, approved as Artic survival gear, from Eddie Bauer (7.50).; Illustration 4, Fluffy angora/wool/nylon beret in white and many colors by Kaps at Hecht's ($13).; Illustration 5, Lurex and wool hat, handknit by Bonnie Cashin in fuchsia, pink and gray, at Horsefeathers ($48).; Illustration 6, Classic Irish country walking hat in wool tweed from Georgetown University Shop ($27.50). By Martha Vaughan for The Washington Post