The Flâneur

Miscellany > Gentlemens Outfitters

A Most Stylish Tile!

Hildebrand Staggers reintroduces an Old Friend

The official histories tell how this peculiarly stylish headgear was developed from a headdress indigenous to Morocco as western dress became popular in the latter days of the Ottoman Empire. No true Moslem can shade his eyes from the sun and must press his forehead to the ground for prayer, so western top hats were out of the question.

In Constantinople this new cap was referred to as a 'fez', a 'fezzi' or even 'phecy', whereas in Egypt it was known as the tarboosh.

Alas it has fallen from favour in these countries by a process of revolutions deposing kings and secularisation, when in an effort to appear 'new' and 'modern', threw the Fez out with the old ways in a way reminiscent of babies and bathwater, an all-too-familiar mistake, especially nowadays!

Whatever its development, derivation and appellation, the fez is a splendid cap for the modern gentleman, particularly when smoking, be he an explorer, adventurer or absinthe-addled loafer who spends his days on a chaise longue pondering poetry, as the below Daguerreotypes amply illustrate.

The tile, fez or tarbusch is all very well and a thoroughly noble accoutrement, but what can match the Sikh turban? See - a paean of praise to spectacular cranial furniture.

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