15 Traditional Hats Around the World

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Wherever I go in the world, the traditional hats grab my attention quickly. I always wonder why these headgear are so popular? What are the stories behind these hats and caps? What do these hats represent when it comes to local culture or religion? And most importantly, how will I look in these hats?

Just like me, didn't such beautiful hats catch your eye when you were wandering the streets of Paris or London? Haven't you tried Turban in India and clicked a lot of selfies? I am sure everyone loves to try traditional hats like Akubra, Cowboy Hat or a beret while traveling around the globe.

So, let us know more about such 15 unique traditional hats around the world.

1. Akubra / Aussie bush hat - Australia

australian bush hat

Akubra is an essential part of Australia's history. Always at the forefront, Akubra adorns the heads of state & royalty, film & sporting personalities and particularly people of the land. It might look similar to Cowboy hat but is not! Prince William had worn an Akubra on a 2011 trip to Australia. Synonymous with the culture and landscape of Australia, they are the signifiers of the Australian tradition.

Fact about Akubra: A real felt fur Akubra is waterproof and very much comfortable in the hot sun.


2. Fez - Hat of Middle East

A Fez is a cylindrical felt hat dating from 17th Century Turkey. The best way to wear Fez is to be a Turkish, Cypriot or North African when it looks dignified and appropriate.

History of Fez: About 980 AD, the hajj was interrupted, and the pilgrimages of those living west of the Nile were directed to Fez as to the Holy City. A Moor in Fez supplied a new style of headdress that started to be widely used by the students of a particular school. The Moorish Fez became a mark of intelligence and came to worn all along the northern shores of what today they call Africa. The Fez meant that you claimed your bloodline and that you were a high evolved person. The original form is still worn in Tunisia, Tripoli and Morocco tassels.

3. Tam Hat - Scotland

PC: Flickr.com

This hat style is a name given to the traditional Scottish bonnet worn by men. This headdress derives its name from Tam o' Shanter, the eponymous hero of the 1790 Robert Burns poem. Similar in form to the various types of flat bonnet common in northwestern Europe during the 16th century, the Scottish bonnet or tam o' shanter is distinguished by the woolen ball or toorie decorating the center of the crown. Of course, it is now considered a hipster hat style and people sport with a lot of panache.

Interesting Fact to Know: The velvet academic tam worn with a tassel is part of the ceremonial dress used at many universities to distinguish those holding a doctoral degree (e.g. Ph.D., Ed.D) from those holding other academic degrees.

4. Ayam - South Korea

Ayam (Cap) is a Korean traditional winter cap mainly worn by women. They wore it for protection against the cold in the Joseon period (1392-1910). It is also called Aegeom which literally means ‘covering a forehead’ in Korean.

Facts About Ayam: Some of the Ayam (Cap) worn by kisaeng were very luxuriously adorned with big and sumptuous jewels, such as jade, amber, or orpiment, on the tassels of both sides.

5. Turban - India


Wearing Turban is an essential part of Sikhism in India. More than of a style statement or a fashion emblem, its usage is completely religious.

History of Turban: The turban, since ancient times, has been of significant importance in Punjab, the land of the five rivers and the birthplace of Sikhism. There was a time when only kings, royalty, and those of high stature wore turbans. Two people would trade their turbans to show love or friendship towards each other.

6. Conical Asian hat - Asia

The conical Asian hat is also known as the sedge hat, rice hat, paddy hat or coolie hat. Conical Asian hat is a simple style of conical hat originating in East and Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Japan, and Korea.

Facts about Conical Hat: Because of its distinctive shape, it is often used in the depiction of East Asians. In mainland China and Taiwan, it is called dǒu l. In Japan, the hat is called sugegasa. In Korea, it is called sasgas, mostly worn by Buddhist monks; in Vietnam, the name is Nuten lá (leaf hat). The conical hat varieties in Vietnam are notable for their romantic and timelessly crafted adornments.

7. Fedora - USA Illinois

Fedora hat

Fedora, a short-brimmed headgear has come to be associated with many movements including the first wave of feminism, militant atheism, libertarian politics, and the men's rights movement.

Do You know: Although more famous for its political association, Fedora hat was but a common headpiece whose main purpose was keeping sun and rain off the wearer's head in a visually pleasing fashion.

8. Ushanka - Russia

ushanka russia

"Ushanka" is one of the most prominent in all the symbols of Russian apparel. Instantly recognizable, this extremely comfortable and warm winter hat style has become a fashion icon as of late. When most people think of Russia, the classic ushanka hat is one of the first things that come to mind.

Interesting Fact about Ushanka: The Russian word "ushanka” literally translates into English as "ear hat”. This style of hat has been around for many years to get people through the harsh Russian winters. In fact, people in the northern regions of Eastern Europe also wore similar hats dating all the way back to the 1600’s.

9. Bowler - England

PC: Wikimedia Commons

An icon long associated with the City of London, the unmistakable vintage hat style bowler hat was an essential part of every City worker’s uniform.

Trivia: When the prototype ‘Bowler’ hat was invented, Mr. Coke came to check it out. He showed up in London on the 17th of December, 1849 and headed to Lock & Co’s shop to examine his new hat. Remembering that he had asked for a particularly durable creation, Mr. Coke threw the hat on the ground and jumped on it twice to check its strength. When the hat remained in shape, Coke proclaimed his satisfaction at this new invention and paid twelve shillings for the hat.

10. Newsboy Cap - Ireland

This cap grew in popularity at the turn of the 20th century and was at the time standard boys' wear. They were worn to school, for casual wear, and with suits. Flat caps were almost always worn with knicker suits in the 1910s and 20s.

History: A 1571 Act of Parliament to stimulate domestic wool consumption and general trade decreed that on Sundays and holidays, all males over 6 years of age, except for the nobility and "persons of degree", were to wear woolen caps on pain of a fine of three farthings (3/4 penny) per day.

11. Rogatywka - Poland


The caps sported by military officers around the world inevitably command respect, but the Poles perfected the look with this square effort.

Fact about Rogatywka: Although rogatywka (derived from rutegwhich means horn or corner) in English seems to mean the same as czapka, the word 'czapka' in Polish designates not only rogatywka, but all caps (not hats).

12. Karakul - Afghanistan

PC: telegraf.mk

Known as a karakul hat, and made of the pelt of fetal or newborn lambs of the karakul breed of sheep, traditionally it was something worn by Tajiks and Uzbeks from northern Afghanistan. When Mr. Karzai, a Pashtun from the turban-wearing south, took office in 2002, the karakul hat was part of his attempt to devise a wardrobe that was Afghan rather than ethnic or regional.

Interesting Fact: This cap is also called the Jinnah cap as Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan used to don it.

13. Greek fisherman's cap - Greece

PC: Wikipedia.org

From the ports of Corfu Greece to towns with a strong Greek heritage like Tarpon Springs, Florida, this classic fisherman’s hat has been popular since the late 19th century. Now worn around the globe, its old-world feel evokes the lure of the sea no matter how far from the ocean you may be.

Trivia: During the Beatles' first tour of the United States in 1964, John Lennon wore a black fisherman's cap which quickly became popularly known as a "John Lennon Hat."

14. Gaucho Hat -Argentina

A gaucho hat is one of the Gaucho clothing items that are most commonly associated with the typical South American gaucho. There is a distinctive physical appearance that many people identify with traditional gauchos and it includes a specific style of hat, saddle, boots, pants, shirt and head covering.

Trivia: Although the term has been used as a reference for those who live in the country's grasslands, pampas and chacos regions most people instantly think of the iconic Spanish cowboy when they hear this word being spoken.

15. Beret - France

Beret french

The stylish and iconic French "Beret”. A soft, round cap that is flat at the crown and typically made of handwoven knitted wool or wool felt. This hat is quite classic and versatile.

History: Head adornment similar to the modern beret is said to have been worn since the Bronze Age across Northern Europe, including ancient Crete and Italy. The Greeks are said to have first worn the assemblage of the beret. The Romans borrowed the adornment of this cap, calling it the "Beretino”. Interestingly, it was the Romans who are said to have classified the berets by color, creating a distinction between aristocrats and commoners. It is very interesting to know How a Peasant's Hat Turned into a Political Statement

So which is the most impressive cap for you? Let us know.

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