Pom poms on winter hats, Vikings and sailors have more in common than you might think

Many winter hats have pom poms attached to the top of them – but why?

It is believed that embellishment was not always for fashionistas but to emphasize rank in various departments throughout history.

The mythological god Freyr was depicted with a head covering adorned with a pompom – as seen on a statuette found in Södermanland, Sweden – in 1904, while some believe the additional detail has been worn since the era viking.

Elsewhere in Europe, clergymen wore caps called birettas in Rome that had pom poms in different colors to indicate what work they were doing.

During this time, soldiers of the Scottish Highland regiments and Napoleon’s infantry wore woolen pom poms on their uniforms.

According to Contour, some experts believe the pom poms have helped provide defense against the elements.

Sailors also wore pom-pom hats at sea, which were supposed to provide additional protection for their heads in restricted areas.

Pom poms became more common during the Depression.

This is probably because they offered an affordable way to brighten up basic outfits without spending a lot of money.

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