Hats have always been an important indicator not only of one’s style preferences, but their age, occupation, and even religious affiliation as well. Moreover, the headpieces that a certain someone, man or woman, wore back in the day can say a lot about the nation that they came from, their traditions, customs, climate, and other crucial details. Let’s take a closer look at five distinctive hats from around the world to understand what makes these headpieces so culturally unique.

Cowboy Hat – the USA

The cowboy hat is probably one of the most well-known hat styles in the world, mostly thanks to its portrayal in Western movies. This headpiece featuring a wide brim and high crown became a true symbol of American culture and the cowboy lifestyle, and nowadays it is widely worn by men and women alike. Perfect for a thematic party, photo shoot, or simply to protect your eyes on a hot, sunny day, a cowboy hat makes a smart addition to any wardrobe. 

Irish Cap – Ireland 

The Irish cap comes in plenty of designs, one of the most recognizable being the newsboy cap whose popularity skyrocketed after the airing of the ‘Peaky Blinders’ series. Originally a cap made for the men of the working class, this headwear became a symbol of resilience and Irish caps are still widely worn by men all across the globe. These hats are warm, comfortable, and durable, as they are made of natural fabrics such as wool, tweed, or cotton, and they can be worn all year round regardless of the weather. 

Ushanka – Russia 

Speaking of hat styles portrayed in mass media, ushanka hats are instantly associated with Russia and the stereotypes about the cold, unsmiling Russians. However, because of the extremely cold temperatures in the depths of Siberia, ushankas are more of a need than a fashion choice, and are often made of materials being sheepskin, rabbit, or muskrat fur. Due to its warm fabrics and comfortable ear flaps, ushanka can protect you from any biting cold, making it a practical accessory. 

Conical Hat – Vietnam 

Also known as the ‘non la’, the conical hat is a traditional Vietnamese headpiece that is worn by both men and women and is usually made of palm leaves or bamboo. Just like the name states, it has a basic conical shape that offers protection not only from the sun rays, but also from the heavy rainfall. To make the simple design more interesting, these hats are often decorated with intricate designs from Vietnamese culture. 

Beret – France 

The French beret is the last on our list – a soft, round, flat-crowned hat that has long become synonymous with French style. Although these days it is associated with artists, intellectuals, and fashion influencers, the beret was actually originally worn by shepherds in the Pyrenees mountains and it gained popularity only in the early 20th century. Today, the beret is worn by people of all ages and backgrounds as a symbol of French elegance and sophistication, as well as one of the most popular French souvenirs to bring back home.