The Fez Hat: Why Do People Wear It?

The fez, a style of hat distinguished by its distinctive tassel, rose to prominence during the Ottoman Empire. The fez is called tarboosh in Arabic. This hat often comes in one of two styles: a short cylinder crafted from kilim fabric or a truncated cone formed from red felt.

The fact that Fez hat was famous in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa demonstrates the multifaceted nature of fez’s history. Some people place its beginnings in ancient Greece, while others place it in the Balkans. During the Byzantine era, the Balkans encountered the fez as a part of Cypriot culture.

Interestingly, in 1826, the Ottomans embraced it as part of the military uniform to conform to Europe (which would later be seen as proof of modernity throughout the Near East) by having their soldiers wear fezzes with a cloth wrapped around them. As of 1829, when Sultan Mahmud II outlawed the turban, the fez was a required component of all Ottoman military uniforms. Fezzes appeared to be acceptable everywhere the Ottoman Empire was present. A fez’s low profile and lack of a brim made it simpler for Muslim men to pray with their foreheads touching the ground than it would have been with any other type of headwear.

Why Do People Choose to Put Them On?

With its lack of a brim, the Fez hat—initially worn by the Balkans during the Byzantine era and then adopted by Bosniaks, Slavs, and Serbs during the Ottoman era—made it simpler for Muslims to pray while prostrating themselves. When worn beneath a helmet, it was also an adequate replacement for the head protection provided by mail armour. Men traditionally wear fez caps with a material that resembles a wrapped turban and also functions as a basic frame for a turban. The fez is now commonly worn in North Africa, the Middle East, Libya, and Southern Asia and is associated with well-known fraternal organisations.

Some Bits of Information About Fez Caps

Cyprus’s Traditional Garments

The Fez hat has been worn by Cypriots since at least the 1880s, making it a significant component of the island nation’s cultural identity. Instead of a headscarf, women don a red fez, while males don black or red caps.

The Material Dissimilarity

Before 1811, men wore their fez with a material that resembled a wrapped turban at the base, but after that year, the fez became well-known as a reading cap with fur or the proper Greek clothing. There have been many variations on the fez, and the materials used to make them have evolved frequently.


Over time, the fez cap has become ingrained in Ottoman culture as one of the earliest symbols of modernity. It has become one of the most recognisable accessories for high-end men’s fashion in the United States and the United Kingdom, where it is viewed as exotic and romantic.

Military Use

Between the 1400s and the 1700s, a variant of the fez was worn as a protective cap under mail. For added protection, the wearer’s upper shoulder and neck would be encircled by a curtain of mail hanging from a circular metal plate or skull cap.

The Fez in the Middle East

In the Middle East and North Africa, the fez is now worn by service workers and tourism institutions, but in rural Libya, it is known as the “chechia” and is worn by the population. Fez hats are also worn by the workforce of Muslim-owned businesses worldwide.

Authour name- Grace