Traditional Hats From Across The Globe And Their Stories
What we wear, can say a lot about us, and where we are from. Hats have been an integral part of traditional dressing throughout history, signifying everything from social and political status to local weather patterns.
Numerous hats have become icons of their countries of origin. From fur caps designed to combat brutal winter to military headdresses turned fashion statements, here are some intriguing hats with equally fascinating backstories from around the world.
Fez is often identified with the dresses of Middle Eastern and Moroccan men. Variations of the fez have been found everywhere from Serbia to Cyprus. The Fez is a particular hat with a tassel on the top, that was popularized during the Ottoman period. Usually, there are two types of fez: one is in the shape of a truncated cone made of red felt, and the other type is a short cylinder made of kilim fabric.
Sombrero has a more utilitarian origin and is the signature wide-brimmed hat of Mexico. Sombreros were ideally designed to protect wearers from the sun, taking its name from the Spanish word for “shade” or “shadow.” In Mexico, the brim of the sombrero could be as much as two feet wide.
The Tyrolean hat is also known as the Bavarian or Alpine hat. This headwear originally came from the Tyrol in the Alps, in what is now part of Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. It is an essential and distinctive element of the local folk costume. The Tyrolean hat was commonly made from green felt and featured feathers, flowers, or other ornaments in the hatband.
An ushanka also called a shapka-ushanka or trooper hat is a Russian fur cap with ear flaps that can be tied up to the crown of the cap, or tied at the chin to protect the ears, jaw, and lower chin from the notoriously frigid winters of the country.
Tam o’ shanter
A tam o’ shanter is a 19th-century traditional Scottish bonnet worn by men. It is named after Tam o’ Shanter, the eponymous hero of the poem written by Robert Burns in 1790. It’s a close relative of the Balmoral hat and Glengarry bonnet, both of which preceded the tam o’ shanter as infantry gear. The floppy Scottish hat was worn exclusively by men until the 1920s when derivative hats called tams were introduced as women’s fashion in America and Europe.
Don’t you think hat styles have become iconic cultural markers of how people dress in various regions around the world?