Winter Hats

Russian people know hats. When I was growing up® almost every Soviet citizen owned some variation of a fur hat. You could tell a person social status by the hat: the cheapest ones were made out of rabbit fur and more expensive ones were made out of fox, wolf, sable, mink, beaver (yeah, I said beaver), etc. The typical Russian hat style is ushanka, which simply means a hat with ear-flaps.

Many years ago my Father had a muskrat hat custom made which at that time was very expensive, several times his monthly wages. I have to say that we got our money’s worth because I still own this hat and occasionally wear it to work to the delight of my co-workers.

And  no, my cat is still alive:

Of course in my hometown wearing this hat didn’t attract as much attention as it does here.

And in the army it was a part of the winter uniform:

Policemen wore them (this one is from Finland, which was a part of the USSR for some time):

Police officer wearing warm uniform and hat. © Time Inc. Carl Mydans

Regular people wore them:

Opaque silhouette of man in Russian fur hat. © Time Inc. Ted Thai

And even Kissinger put one on when it got cold enough:

Whatever you do, if you are a heterosexual male do not ever leave your house wearing any variation of ear-muffs, ear-warmers or other partial hats (visors included). These devices are the crocs of the hat world. If you are in a bind and a small animal is within reach you can easily have a do-it-yourself hat within seconds.
By the way, if you are in search of a small furry dead animal, please contact Happy In Bag, he will set you up.

  • I own a very similar hat. Mine is blue on the outside and I got it to wear with my security uniform because I’d have to be out in Iowa cold until 3 am, bored out of my mind.

    It also evokes the image of Cousin Eddie in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation…”Merry Christmas…shitter’s full!”

  • Cara

    Somewhere in this picture there is a Russian hat. Can you find the hat? 🙂

  • I think I’ll keep wearing my old stocking hat, thank you very much. It hasn’t let me down thus far.

  • midtown miscreant

    I never see anyone wearing the flaps down on those, why is that?

  • I almost bought one of those ushankas, but after trying on my father-in-law’s, I realized just how ridiculous it looks on a non-Russian…

  • DLC

    As you know, I love hats, but I don’t own one of these. It would be hard to pull off the look, but hey, if Gerald Ford can do it, so can I!

  • MM:it doesn’t get cold enough here, consider this photo from the movie Fargo.

  • dumbwhore

    dude, great post. Wow!