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LuckyGuy's avatar

Can someoine explain the purpose of this type of hat?

Asked by LuckyGuy (34731points) February 6th, 2013

They are called Winter fur hats and have flaps that fold down to cover your ears and have a chin strap to hold it in place. That makes sense to me.
But what’s the point of the fur flap in the front? If you fold it down, it covers your face. You can’t see and you get a mouthful of fuzz. I don’t get it.
This style of hat has been around for ages so I figure I must be missing something.
Do you have a hat like this? Do you ever fold down the flap in front? Do you crash into things when you do?

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20 Answers

Seek's avatar

I would presume it’s for sleeping in cold climes. Breath keeps your face warm, and you don’t need to see when your eyes are closed.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m not sure if you’re messing with me or not. Why not wear a balaclava ? That makes sense to me.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I always thought the top part was supposed to stay up to help keep the snow off your face. I never saw anyone wearing one folded down.

thorninmud's avatar

I wondered the exact same thing and then forgot all about it, but your Q has made me give it some more thought.

We all know that massive amounts of heat are lost through the head. The forehead is the prime leakage spot (as you can see in this thermogram). The whole brain case pisses heat, of course, but there’s usually hair covering the rest, and that hair is a good insulator.

So that flap up there effectively doubles-up the amount of insulation over a particularly vulnerable area.

rojo's avatar

I always thought of it as a snowcatcher because of how great it looked covered in frost. It complemented the rest of the facial hair.

Seek's avatar

@LuckyGuy Perhaps the hat style was designed long before the balaclava was, or at least the two were designed in different regions.

I mean, why wear a sari when an a-line skirt covers the legs just as well?

ucme's avatar

There has to be a purpose? It’s just a hat, probably aimed at student types as fashion…if the cap fits.

thorninmud's avatar

Somewhat relevant to @ucme‘s comment: This Radiolab episode has a segment (18:40–27:35) that applies the principles of evolution to the question of how the cowboy hat came into being. It’s an interesting way of thinking about this kind of thing.

Carinaponcho's avatar

@rojo That was what I was thinking.

Berserker's avatar

Maybe it’s as @Adirondackwannabe says, it helps to keep some of the snow out of your face when it’s snowing.Not sure, really.
If I had one of those though, I’d purposely fold down the top part and stick it in my face, it looks all soft.

rojo's avatar

Remember the old trapper hats that had an animal head still attached on the front? I wonder if it isn’t a vestige of that timeperiod/style. Something like This

Earthgirl's avatar

I had so much fun reading people’s theories about the hat that I don’t want to end it. I don’t think I have the definitive answer so maybe we can continue to throw our guesses out there but I did find an article about this hat style. It’s called the Ushanka and the Wikipedia article I am linking to says that as well as providing warmth “The thick dense fur also offers some protection against blunt impacts to the head. While no match for a helmet, it offers protection far superior to that of a typical beanie cap should the wearer fall and hit his or her head against ice or packed snow.”

So there you go!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Earthgirl I think this is the link you meant. Ushanka
That is so cool. Head protection Huh… then why don’t they have a pad stuck on the back? Or may some do. This photo here shows one with protection all around the head.

Earthgirl's avatar

@LuckyGuy Yep, that’s the link alright. I had some internet connection problems in the middle of posting. I love learning new things about clothing history. I am not only interested in fashion but in all sorts of clothing, especially folk costume.
Why would it need more fur in the back? The entire hat is lined with fur!
That model you link to is in dire need of protection from the elements,lol.That particular hat is not called a Ushanka though. It’s called a Ushankme.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Ushankme :-)
In this area her hat is called a Ushagme.

Earthgirl's avatar

Damn, that is what I meant! I ruined my own joke. I have to work on my slang lexicon. :-/

Strauss's avatar

I always thought it was a regional variation of the Deerstalker, only with a front flap that’s not as stiff..

LuckyGuy's avatar

I just saw those hats for sale in a Sportsman’s Guide catalog and wondered again. I’m so glad @Yetanotheruser revived this.
Does anyone ever put that front flap down to protect their face? Maybe it would work if you are going to take a nap out in the woods.

rojo's avatar

@LuckyGuy good question! Seems like you should have pre-cut eye holes in the front flap so you can lower it down.

Ps your link warmed my, um, heart.

Strauss's avatar

@rojo do your mean the cockles of your heart?

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