Monday, February 6, 2012

I'm a Fez Fan, Yes I Am!

You know the collectors rule of three don't you?  How when you acquire three of something it is officially a collection?  Well I just started up a new official collection this weekend after a trip to a new thrift store in Santa Paula where I found a few unlikely & affordable kitschy items amongst the overpriced storage locker buy-outs that made up the majority of their merchandise.  Out of the purchases, I found some things for existing collections and the magical 3rd item for my new obsession: Fez Hats!

Fez party time!

Fez #1 - Classic

I like to add gaudy pins to them!

This is a shorty version of the classic red fez.  It is made of thick red felt and has the longest most tassely tassel you have ever seen.  I fell in love with it immediately!  I met the lady who originally owned it and she said that she would collect hats from her world travels as souvenirs.  She gave me a heckova deal on it because I was so taken with it!

Fez #2 - The Lady Fez

It came with this snazzy hat box

This pin reminds me of the drunk dream sequence from Disney's Dumbo with the pink dancing elephants
This is less of a fraternal fez and more of a fashion statement.  This hat is definitely a "Lady Fez" and is made from black  textured raffia.  It is much taller than the other two fezzes and I think that is because the wearer's elaborate up-do would most likely be skillfully stowed beneath the protective shell of this hat.   If it weren't for the tassel, this would look like any other ladies 1960's hat.  Instead it is a sleek and sophisticated take on what has become known as the party animal's choice in hats.  Leave it to the ladies to class it up a bit.  I would love to get all dolled up and sport this bad boy.  I'm waiting on just the right occasion!     

Fez#3 - White Knights

It reads: Caballeros De Dimas-Alang - Karurukang Dak Kalihiman Simoun No 4

Nice big rhinestone tassel band
The latest in my collection is this rare white fez for the Caballeros De Dimas-Alang, which after some good old Googling turned out to be a fraternal organization created by second generation American Filipinos.  The club was founded because the white social scene was off limits to them at the time.  The Caballeros were named after a Philippine national hero whose pen name was Dimas-Alang.  In the 1930's there were 100 chapters throughout the United States.  In addition to their undoubtedly secret fraternal activities, they would sponsor beauty pageant contests and dances in their for the community.  Huzzah!

Here is a group shot of some Caballeros de Dimas-Alang.  Note the white Fezzes!  What a snazzy bunch of fellas!

Pic courtesy of University Libraries of Washington

Like most vintage lovers, I have an undeniable fondness for fez hats.  By the way, what is the plural for them fezzes? Fezi? Fezs?  I'll just stick with fezzes.  Anyway, is there anything more kitschy and iconic than these silly overblown pillbox hats with long tassles?  Doesn't the idea of a fez immediately conjure up visions of Shriners riding around in their little cars or a party animal in a smoking jacket tossin' back martinis?  How about a be-fezzed monkey smoking a cigarette?  I have long had the love for fezzes.  Check out some evidence from the ol' I.H.E. evidence locker to back up my obsession whydontcha:

Exhibit A: I actually wear them

I'm sure you noticed my mug shot up there on the left.  Yessir, that is "The blog author relaxing at home" pose.  Submitted again here for closer inspection.  Looks like I'm a bit perturbed that my corncob pipe smoking was interrupted for this photo.  Of course we all know this picture is 100% authentic! (wink wink)  This fez was worn out to a party the very night I obtained it and recieved rave reviews. Well to be truthful, it remained on my head from the instant I found it at a thrift shop and stayed there until coincidentally there was a party that night. It has the longest tassle I've ever seen on a fez, coming in at about 18"! I added the big gold feather pin to this otherwise unembellished fez.
Jeeves, fetch me my slippers.
Hipstamatic proof of ye ole' fez at the party.  Thanks Alicia!

Exhibit B: I build entire costumes around them
Lets go back a bit further to another photo that has appeared on this blog before.  Anyone remember my Halloween Hootenanny post of homemade costumes? In this one I am essentially a really kitschy party animal.  I called this costume Drunk Monkey.  I made this costume from a bag of fake fur and a million hot glue sticks.  Not yet owning a real fez, I transformed a felt covered Tupperware container into a fez! 

I made the little "drunk monkey wearing a fez" patch on the fez out of felt.  Fez on a fez!
In case you were wondering, yes I did fulfill the drunk part of the costume and yes it was very hot in that suit!

Exhibit C: They appear in my art
Art and doodles with animals in fezzes.  I guess this is where the idea for Drunk Monkey originated.  Here is Mr. Monkey (on his day off) working the dames over at the bar. This drawing ended up being a print ad for a boutique I used to work at called Blue Moon.  It was so loved by the owner, that she also commissioned a large painting of it to display in the window. 
I drew this all freehand pen & ink and then imported to Photoshop for color.
Here is the acrylic painting version.  Don't you want to just live in this window?  I love the reds and the blue together.  So pretty!
Here is a fun little doodle that always makes me smile, it's called GoGo Gator and has been turned into stickers.  I enjoy sticking him up around town.  There is one at our local DMV I hope he  makes the folks at the DMV smile, they can use it!

He started as just a doodle and ended up being a star!

Then of course some of you lucky bloggers have one of my handmade Fezmingos at home!

The Fez obsession is definitely not a passing fad for me!  I will be keeping my eyes open for them in the future and can't wait to watch my collection grow.  Are any of you lifetime members of the Fez Fanclub? Do you have your own collections?  I'd love to see them!


  1. I love this post! You know, you just never see fezzes (spell check didn't correct it so I guess it's so) around here. I only have one and it was a gift from Florida pals. That blog photo with the pipe is one of the best blog profile shots EVER. And my god, I love that elephant pin.

  2. As always love it! I prodly display my Fexmingo in the Turquoise room of the Casablanca. I'm also just MAD about the Aligator in the car wearing the fex. I beleive you sent me some stickers witht hat image for "As Time Goes By" and I've never used em becuase I like them to much!

  3. Omg those flamingos are fantastic hahaha...and love the hats! the fetch-me-my-slippers had me crackin up!

  4. Phoneyfresh gave me one of your gator stickers! and I put it on my computer, LOVE it!
    I remember seeing the Shriners in the parades when I was little driving those tiny cars. They were the best! They don't do that anymore, do they?
    Great pictures! :D

  5. Absolutely love fezzzzes or however they are spelled plurally! I have looked for them forever, and some guys wanted them at my shop -but never found one. I display my fezmingo, as well, on a special shelf in the living room! The fez with the snake pin reminds me of Mama's Family, when her son wanted to join the Royal Order of the Snakes! Your artwork is fab!

  6. Hey there! You may not realize it yet, but there are few other fez collectors out there. Check out my collection at my website -


I Heart Comments too!