Russian hats with ear flaps are a part of the rich heritage of Russian history. Read our guide below for more facts and information on Russian Ushanka & Doyski hats…
Russian hats with ear flaps were known as “Ushanka”. This hat was the favored accessory for the chilly winters of Russia as it provided adequate protection and warmth irrespective of the cold. These hats were in great demand during World War II, as they kept the Russian soldiers warm and were much more economical than helmets.
History of Russian hats with ear flaps
Hats with earflaps made of fur were very commonly used in Russia, Scandinavia, Germany, Central Asia and Artic regions during the ancient times. They provided appropriate protection from the cold and covered not just the head but also the ears of the wearer. Later during the 20th century, the shape of the hat became more rounded at the crown and became immensely popular in Russia. This hat was introduced as a part of the military uniform during the Russian Civil War and was called the “kolchakovka”. Later during the era of the Soviet Union, the hat was not quite used by the military, but the Winter War of 1939 brought back the usage of the hat. Currently the hat is a part of the winter military uniform of Russia and many more countries.
Features of Russian hats with ear flaps
During the olden days, these hats were made of real fur. But later, when artificial fur was discovered, the trend changed. Today these hats are made of artificial fur that looks quite similar to mouton. This shift from natural fur to artificial fur has brought down the cost of the hats drastically and also improved its life span as natural fur tends to wear out sooner than the artificial fur. The ear flaps of the cap can be tied down to the crown or can be tied up to the chin for complete protection of the ears from the biting cold.
Stereotype associated with Russian hats with ear flaps
Although the actual usage of the hat is with the flaps down on the ears, in Russia it is strangely not considered masculine for a man to wear his hat with the flaps down. You would observe that even photographs of a typical dustman shows one flap of the cap down and one up.
The Doyski hat is the modern version of the ancient Ushanka. It is basically a fur hat that is worn not just in Russia but also in other countries with extreme cold. It comes with furred ear flaps that fall on the ears keeping the wearer warm and cozy at all times. Depending on the wearers preference, he can either leave the flaps on the ears or tie them up on the hat.