Magic users, especially in medieval fantasy, will almost always wear robes of one sort or another. The particular type of robe varies, and even those mages who eschew the robe tend to wear cloaks, capes, or (for more modern characters) trenchcoats. At least in part, this seems to be because the loose, billowy clothes look that much more impressive during a magic-induced Chunky Updraft or Dramatic Wind. Even the Stripperiffic costumes worn by nymphet sorceresses tend to have a few loose scraps of cloth fluttering about.
On the other hand, nobody who wears a pointy hat can be anything but a magician of some kind. No matter what, the pointy hat is a guarantee of magical power, or at least aspirations thereto. (The primary exception is if you're in the Deep South. They may have an "Imperial Wizard" leading them, but that's a way different group there.) Depending on the setting, exceptions may be made if you are a princess locked in a tower (this version usually has a ribbon of sheer fabric coming off of the top and is technically called a Steeple Hennin), some manner of gnome (this version is usually red, and gnomes are generally magical) or of course, the classic Dunce Cap, but in such a case, a magic-user can be identified by the fact that their pointy hat has a brim, while the hats of princesses, gnomes and dunces do not. If it's your head that's pointed, you're reading the wrong trope; see Coneheads.
Wizarding School students tend to be wear a blend of this and whatever is considered that country's traditional school uniform; expect the more powerful teachers to do it straight.
The lesson you should be taking from all of this, of course, is that if you see someone wearing a pointy hat, then they will also be wearing a robe. This trope is a subtrope of Nice Hat and Badass Long Robe, naturally. If the hat itself ends up being magical than it may be a Hat of Power. Very often this trope is accompanied by a Magic Staff. Sub-trope of Stock Costume Traits. See also Wizard Classic for a character type who is especially prone to wearing this outfit.
It's often believed that the trope comes from the Norse god Odin's traveling outfit.
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Honami Takase Ambler, the Celtic magic-using witch of Rental Magica, wears a black cloak and pointy hat over her school uniform as her business outfit. When she had to change from her casual clothes to her business one, she changed into her school uniform first before putting on the cloak and hat.
In the Flashback episode to her time in a Wizarding School, the other students also wore cloaks, but she was the only student wearing a pointy hat.
Yuki Nagato's class in Suzumiya Haruhi dressed her up as a fortune-telling witch for the School Festival by means of a cloak and pointy hat over her school uniform. Haruhi hijacked the costume (and the wearer) for her own student movie.
As a highly advanced, probability altering alien, her predictions are all 100% accurate (much to the chagrin of some students).
Tsubame, from Urusei Yatsura, always wears a traditional "magician's cape", though without the pointy hat. Given his other favored attire is a tuxedo, and his comments about having gone to "the West" to study his magic, it's clear he's supposed to be a parody of/reference to the stage magician, instead of the actual Hermetic Magic-using Squishy Wizard associated with Western magic users.
Ginger Bread from Katekyo Hitman Reborn! fits this trope, though he's only pretending to use sorcery; in fact, the source of his power are spiders imbued with Sun Flames.
Oibore from Rurouni Kenshin is not a mage, but his outfit (natty robes, a pointy bamboo hat, and a scraggly hobo beard) add weight to his role as The Obi-Wan.
Doctor Strange wore a flashy red cloak while Sorcerer Supreme and a brown trenchcoat after surrendering the office. No hat; but the cloak's collar had two distinct pointy extensions on it.
The comic strip Wizards at War which featured in the BritishAnthology ComicThe Beano used this trope on its main two recurring characters who were wizards and always fighting.
There aren't many pointy hats on display in the DC Books of Magic miniseries, but at one point young Tim Hunter meets a gathering of trench-coated DC magic heroes which he describes as "looking like a perverts convention."
Vaughan Bode's underground comix Cheech Wizard is a crude, dissolute fake whose wizard hat covers him down to his navel - he never takes it off, claiming if anyone saw who he was, they'd go mad.
Averted in With Strings Attached, where every person in Baravada, wizards and otherwise, wears the same kind of outfit: silky shirt and trousers. Except Bayanis, who does wear robes, but she's crazy.
For some reason, the astronomers in early silent film A Trip To The Moon are dressed in full wizard gear for a meeting.
In the film adaptation of Hogfather (see Literature below), the wizards are never seen without their pointy hats - except if bathing, when they have pointy plastic showercaps.
The Rabbi (who is also an astrologer, alchemist and magician) in the silent movie The Golem wears a pointy hat and a robe, making him look like a textbook wizard.
Somewhat inverted in Tamora Pierce's Immortals Quartet. Numair, the most powerful wizard mage of his generation, is one of the seven people in the world who have earned the right to wear the black robe. He avoids doing so at every possibility - he finds it hot and itchy.
Rincewind has covered most of the Disc, usually at speed, and is prepared to leave almost anything behind to make a quick getaway, but the idea of being Rincewind without a pointy hat just breaks his brain. He needs it.
Also somewhat subverted in Night Watch, when Archchancellor Ridcully's bath moves itself outside while he's bathing. He calls for his hat, but doesn't think of the robe yet:
Stibbons: "You're, er, not sufficiently dressed, sir."
Ridcully: "What? I've got my hat on, haven't I?"
Ridcully:"Hat = wizard, wizard = hat. Everything else is just frippery."
Ridcully: I would like to congratulate you on being properly dressed. You are wearing your pointy hat, which is the sine qua non of a wizard in public. Stibbons: Yes, sir. Ridcully: They say a wizard without his hat is naked. Stibbons: Yes, sir. Ridcully: Yet you are wearing your hat, yet are, in a very real sense, naked.
According to Granny Weatherwax, most of witchcraft is "headology" (i.e. folk-psychology). This only works if everyone knows you're a witch, hence the black cloak and pointy hat. This results in Granny having to actually try to intimidate someone when she goes to a location where people can't recognize a witch on sight.
Also worth noting: in theory, anyone can wear a pointy hat. But in practice, imagine what happens to such charlatans when they meet a person with the RIGHT to wear one.
In Hogfather, a Wizard's idea of going incognito (so people don't recognize that he is a wizard) is to wear a darker, less fancy pointy hat.
And of course, the Dean, who gets ... very gung-ho about whatever new idea has caught the wizards' fancy this time, has occasionally been spotted with pointy hair.
It's been noted in the Discworld series that pointy hats are pretty much hardwired into being a wizard, along with (at the very least,) deep seated distrust and dislike of other wizards, and a desire to build a tower.
The films put Harry and company in a modern school uniform topped with an academic gown, possibly to avoid evoking Narm among the less fantasy-inclined members of the audience. All of the adults wear fairly normal looking Edwardian/Victorian inspired couture. The first film do feature all of the students wearing a brimless pointed hat for the feasts, mostly so the director can do an everyone-throws-their-hat-in-the-air-in-joy scene.
Conversely, in the Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy, pointed hats and robes are fancy/formal dress. The student wear variations on their school colors of black and grey even in their off hours. Including their PJs.
Lord of the Rings has this. Gandalf is a particularly well-known example, and may have revitalized the concept into the modern era.
The Dresden Files informs us that the reason for the robes is that wizards' lairs get cold in the winter, and Wizards short out electronics in heating units. They're also the required formal wear at White Council meetings, although those have specific meanings and a uniform aspect to them. It's also likely they've had that policy for a thousand years, given how long wizards live. Harry Dresden himself subverts this by trading in a robe and wizard hat for a Badass Longcoat. He doesn't actually wear a hat. The cover artist seems to want to spite the author's intent.
Harry also subverts it by wearing a baby blue bathrobe to a Council meeting, because he's a smartass and flat broke.
Possible further justification - Harry's Badass Longcoat is enchanted with magic-, fire-, and bullet-resistant enchantments, which are supposedly difficult to get right, and he mostly wears it for protection - why magic-up several sets of shirts and pants when you can just throw a robe over it for throat-to-shoes protection that rarely needs drycleaning. Of course, when a particularly hot summer hits Chicago, he ends up debating whether the protection is worth the heat.
Belgarath the Sorcerer of David Eddings' Belgariad notably avoids such things whenever possible, choosing instead to wear comfortable clothes that allow him to blend in. However, in those rare instances where he had to make a public appearance as 'The Almighty, Immortal Sorcerer, Belgarath!', he dons a white robe and staff to make sure everybody knows he's a wizard. (Keep in mind, the only people who've ever managed to get him to actually do that, is his busybody daughter, Polgara - and the combined might of roughly a dozen reigning monarchs.)
The sorcerers and sorceresses in the world of the Witcher usually wear casual, if elegant, garbs (though the latter often opt for awfully whorely dresses), but robes-and-pointy hats suits do exist. They are traditional dress kept for special occasions, emphasizing their unity as magic users.
Through The Riftwar Cycle, magicians either forego hats entirely or stick to something scholarly or in courtly fashion, and on the rare occasion a magician wears a practical broad-brimmed hat, only Kulgan's, at the very beginning of the series, is pointy. Still, the almost-universal preference for robes is a dead giveaway for their profession.
Subverted in The Princess 99, in that the wizards, er Crafters want to get rid of "old stereotypes" and "streamline their appearance", as put by Professeur Wilde. Most of them wear slightly altered suits or hats, with the more traditional Crafters wearing hats and robes.
Played with in The Bartimaeus Trilogy, where it is only the lesser magicians who dress as stereotypical wizards as a way to compensate for their lesser standing. The truly powerful mages tend dress like accountants.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fifth season - At the grand opening of his magic store, Giles is wearing a wizard's hat and robe. Buffy stares at him. A long time. He quietly, sheepishly removes it (but does wear it in a later Halloween episode).
Baby Chris wore a cute little wizard with robe for Halloween in Charmed.
In Power Rangers Mystic Force, the Rangers have robes, each with a different design based on their element and color. As for the hat, the Megazord has one. Or rather, the top of its head is designed like one.
In the third episode of Merlin, the title character — who has mostly averted this trope by wearing typical clothes — sarcastically argues that he should wear a pointy hat to convince Arthur that he's a wizard.
Merlin: He thinks he is so sharp. Even when I told him I was a wizard, he still couldn't see it.
Gaius: Sometimes it's pretty hard to spot.
Merlin: Maybe I should go around wearing a pointy hat?
Howland Owl from Pogo wore a wizard hat all the time, despite not being a wizard of any kind. As for why, perhaps Albert put it best: "He's got a point, but his hat hides it."
Played straight and averted equally often in Warhammer 40000, where Eldar farseers, human sanctioned psykers, and some Chaos sorcerers wear futuristic robes and hats, while other sorcerers, farseers, and all Astartes librarians wear the same battle armor as their non-psychic comrades.
Similarily played with in Warhammer. Wizard clothes run the gamut from traditional cloak and pointy hat to shamanistic feathers and headdressess to naked. Chaos sorcerers, on the other hand can, and often do, wear full plate armor.
Common in early editions of Dungeons & Dragons, though from 3rd Edition onward they've shied away from pointy hats in favor of a more Dungeon Punk look. Not even Elminster wears a pointy hat anymore!
In 3rd edition, wearing any armor worth its name entails a fixed percentage of spell failure, wasting both the spell and the time used to cast it. Not that wizards need armor, considering that they can out-tank the heaviest armor wearer using defensive spells.
Except heavy armor wearers who just buy the same spells as persistent effects on their gear?
The most recent edition of the game (4th, in 2008) has done away with all spell failure, but wizards are still limited to "cloth armor" at first. Afterwards, they can train to wear heavier armor (instead of training for something possibly more useful) and can go up to full plate and heavy shield over the levels if desired (and if they have the strength). Even then, most stop at leather armor.
Robes are encouraged, but the pointy hat is not. You can adorn your head with magical crowns, goggles, masks, helms, and skull caps, but there is a single magical hat (A hat of disguise, more suited for a trickster than a wizard) in any of the source books out so far.
Still, the artwork in the 4th edition books seems to be splitting evenly between flowing robes and exotic pants-and-shirt outfits that are only arguably more practical for combat. But the robes look awesome.
There is the famous +1 Mythiral Twilight Chain Shirt armor in 3.5. The armor lacks both arcane spell failure and armor check penalty, as the penalties for not being trained in armor are based on the armor check penalty, there are no penalties for wearing the armor beyond the 5 pounds it weighs.
Although like most things in DnD optimizers can make good use of a pointy hat although its purpose is far from normal. You take am adamantine cone big enough for your wizard to stand in comfortably, then you use the shrink item spell on it to make it much smaller and cloth like and then wear it as a hat. Whenever your character enters an antimagic field the cone will expand and drop onto the wizard, cutting off line of sight and letting the wizard teleport away to safety.
Speaking of Elminster, the elves (who taught him) and the wizards of Dales (where he lives) prefer sane adventuring clothes. But "leading by example" works better if one's a fellow mortal in the mage garb rather than warrior-thief-priestess-divine agent, so...
Spelljammer boxed set reminds that the tactical considerations tend to overrule in more aggressive settings:
Typical orders for any crew, whether at sea or in space, are "Shoot at anyone who looks like a wizard". Of course, this often means that the man who looks like a wizard really isn't.
The official "Complete Arcane" Wot C expansion adds a class called "Warmage" which is kind of a cross between fighter and sorcerer. This class can wear light armor and light shields with no spell-failure penalty and can train to wear medium armor as a feat at later levels. Add in a Mithril Chain Shirt and a high Dex, and you have a sorcerer with almost as good AC as the Paladin tank in heavy plate with a tower shield.
For the sake of accuracy, it would be difficult for Mage The Ascension to reference The Invisibles in its source material, since the game was written at least a year before the comic was - and the design/thematic elements of the game that led to a lack of robes and hats was in place right from the very first edition. That being said, it's interesting to note that both Mage and The Invisibles were later cited as sources the Wachowski Brothers were inspired by (or stole directly from) when writing The Matrix.
Shadowrun subverts this trope. Mages can wear body armor—just like anyone else—and fire a gun—just like anyone else. Provided that their stats are high enough to allow the armor (mmm, encumbrance) and skilled at firearms (mmm, defaulting).
Black Mages from the Final Fantasy series dress in blue robes and yellow wizard hats. Red Mages use a variation, a red tabard and a magnificentred chevalier with a white feather. White Mages wear a white robe or poncho with blood-red triangles around the edges, which may or may not include a hood, occasionally with a set of Cat Ears on the hood as in the case of Krile of Final Fantasy V. Less commonly, the Time Mage class wear conical red hats with a star on them and loose-fitting robes and Summoners wear a phallic-headband-and-robe getup.
By proxy, so do Red Mage and Black Mage of 8-Bit Theater, the former often mocked for his hat with a feather, and the latter for his robe he gets after a class advancement that makes him look like some sort of jester.
White Mage: "Pardon me, clown?"
Black Mage: "Oh, this guy is not talking to me."
White Mage: "You there, in the doofy hat and parachute pants."
Related: Nobuo Uematsu's band, named after the eponymous Black Mages, utilize this type of garb for their stage costumes in some of their performances, most notably in the Darkness & Starlight DVD and the music video for Neo-Exdeath.
Nethack provides mechanical justification: Robes decrease spell failure chance for everyone, and a wizard who wears a cornuthaum gets intelligence and charisma bonuses. Anybody else will get a penalty, since non-wizards look silly with the hat on.
City of Heroes features the Cabal, an all-female group of witches, who wear black capes and pointy hats. If the player manages to prove themselves against the Cabal's leader, they unlock Witch Hats at the tailor for their own use.
The human members of the Circle of Thorns also dress in robes. Some of them wear hats (not pointy, but still unmistakably magey).
In Warcraft 2, this was averted by the Human Mage unit, who wore a Badass Longcoat.
A number of people have suggested that the Badass Longcoat and Fedora combo is the modern Robe And Wizard Hat.
Oddly enough, right now the tanking paladin ensemble involves... a plate-armor skirt.
Another video references the plight of Paladin healers being forced to wear similar outfits in raids to be effective healers. "I only wore it once... and I was sexy".
Guild Wars is one MMORPG that manages to avoid this trope. The armor for spellcaster professions are usually coats and trousers, with occasional skirts or Badass Longcoats. There aren't any hats, but each profession does have distinctive headwear - theater masks for mesmers, scalp tattoos for monks, head wrappings for ritualists, etc.
Asheron's Call also avoids this trope, as almost any character can wear almost any armor or clothing, and spellcasting is not penalized by equipment. However, for the first few years of the game, there was a loud group of players who complained that their mage characters were forced to wear armor because robes didn't provide enough protection and that they couldn't dress like typical mages.
In Arcanum Of Steamworks And Magick Obscura, spellcasting tires you out, meaning mages tend to wear light clothing, such as robes, but nothing stops you from wearing enchanted armor (mechanical armor, like every other technological item, is bad for you though) if you strong enough to carry it without penalty (decently possible for chain mail, fairly hard for plate mail).
Elta, protagonist of Magician Lord, has the requisite robe and pointy hat until he turns into one of six different forms.
Justified in The Elder Scrolls, where robes can hold much more powerful enchantments than regular apparel.
In Oblivion at least, there are spell efficiency penalties for wearing armor. For those role-playing as casters (or any spell-heavy type of class) this reduces desirable outfits to robe & hood or regular civilian style clothes. Usually enchanted.
Interestingly, the only non-armor wrist items for in Oblivion are the Wrist Irons you start the game with. All other items count as armor and lower the spell efficiency. They are the only pair in the original game, though more can be found with the Shivering Isles expansion.
It's averted by the many pre-set spellcasting builds that include some form of armor training, then inverted by the many acrobatic/thiefly/monkly classes, for whom the high-enchant and low encumbrance of a robe and hat ensemble is more valuable.
Melody, the bath house keeper from Rune Factory wears one, even though she doesn't know any magic.
There are magical Robes aplenty in Dungeons & Dragons related games due to the fact wizards and he like can suffer from Arcane spell failure if the wear armour, which is an indirect cause of Squishy Wizard. Characters who draw there powers from holy sources can run around in full suits of armour with no problems, probably because they can rely on divine assistance.
Sort of a Deconstructed Trope to many players and Game Masters, most agree that anyone telegraphing that they are squishy by wearing this garb is guaranteed to be the first target of any intelligent creature in combat.
And then Baldur's Gate rolled along and subverts it and provides Player Characters with no pointy hats to put on. But then still cameo's Elminster with one! Party mages have to settle for imposing looking hoods instead.
In The Sims 2, magic users wear a robe and pointy hat, and the colors magically change upon their alignment. Good ones wear white robes with gold trim, and evil ones wear black robes.Neutral ones wear brown and grey robes.
In The Sims Medieval, the majority of outfits available to Wizards are robes, and there's a pointy hat that only Wizards can wear.
Though the other wizards show up randomly, and have a variety of different looks, Mithra in Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria, the first one you pick up, the one that shows up in a cutscene and is the only non-random Einherjar you find, fits the Robe and Wizard Hat description to a T.
Lillet Blan, despite being a "newbie" in Grim Grimoire sure dresses the part.
In the game ''Space Station 13', A gamemode that comes up where one of the crew of the ship has been selected to be a space wizard, they use a radio and teleport to an area to get spells, and come back to the ship. When they come back in order for them to use their spells (Many at least)none other than a Robe and Wizard Hat and a Beard.
Marisa Kirisame of Touhou fame wears a pointy wizard hat, though her robes are rather unstandard.
The other (stated) magicians, Alice Margatroid and Patchouli knowledge, both have robes (Alice's are colorful but loosely standard, while Patchy's are more like pajamas - justified by her tendency towards being ill far too much), but Alice has only a hair band, and Patchy's hat only has a point on it because she has a cresent moon shape attached to it.
And then there is Marisa's former master Mima, who wears a pointed blue cap with a sun on it and blue robes.
There is one more magician in the series - Byakuren Hijiri. However, she averts this - being one of hte few characters in the entire series to not have any head decoration whatsoever. (take note that animal ears are being counted as hair decorations here)
Merlon's family and all Shamans from the Paper Mario series and Super Mario RPG respectively also share this trait, although they use hoods instead of hats.
Might And Magic mostly averts it for the game characters (as even the most Squishy Wizard get to wear leather armor, there is absolutely no penalty for wearing a helmet or other supposedly heavy headgear, and there are, in fact, no equippable robes to be found), but plays it straight for many mage NPCs and enemies. VI's description for the one sort of pointy hat in the game handwaves its popularity amongst mages as a result of the 'conical shape attracting creatures of the spirit world', making the hat easier to enchant. Even so, it is not the best cloth-headgear to enchant.
One of the special Items-of-the-month in Kingdom of Loathing is the Jewel-eyed wizard hat, probably the best hat for Mysticality classes (like with the chefstaves, power is not as important as the mysticality-related bonuses it gives).
Disgaea actually references the trope namer in the description of the Wizard Robe.
Pretty much everyone wears some variation of a robe and pointy hat in the Spellcasting 101/201/301 series. In fact, depending on the game mode, that's ALL the protagonist wears, which is used for comedic effect on a lot of occasions.
Magicka depicts all wizards in hooded robes, and some may opt to wear a wizard hat instead. It also makes a Shout Out to the Trope Namer in the name of the achievement for picking up all the spellbooks.
The uniform in Magical Diary, although only the teachers get hats, and the capes are slightly different for males and females.
In the Avernum games, wearing armor makes it impossible to cast higher level mage spells (unless the character has the Natural Mage trait) so they usually end up wearing robes.
Worn by the title character in Soulcaster and Soulcaster II.
Donald Duck tends to wear one when he's at Disney Castle, and not out adventuring with Sora in the Kingdom Hearts series.
Also, there is the extremely cute-but deadly Majik Lapin in KH3D, complete with it's own top and cape. Not only just a powerful magician rabbit, it can also cast spells with each of it's ears!
Deconstructed with Mystalvision the sorcerer in the old computer RPG Dragon Wars. Despite Mystalvision being a fairly major villain, his outfit only serves to make him look silly, and the game outright states that he "very much wants to look like a wizard, but has no idea what wizards actually look like."
The titular character in Simon the Sorcerer games looks the part... except he's not an actual sorcerer but a snarky kid from our world, who keeps getting dragged into the magical one to fight Sordid. His pointy hat may be magical, considering he keeps his entire inventory in there.
Although otherwise not very common in Everquest II, some of the legendary outfits for wizards come with a similar hat. The icon for wizards is a pointy hat as well.
Played very straight with the wizards in Runescape
In Dungeon Crawl, heavier armor imposes penalties on spellcasting. This can be mitigated by raising the Armor skill, but even at max level anything heavier than ring mail will incur penalties. The usual armor for most magi is a robe, but armor made from the hide of a steam dragon or mottled dragon is similarly lightweight and provides better protection.
Though the party wizard doesn't wear a hat, Elan of The Order of the Stick puts one on when he's considering multiclassing to wizard. And while they don't wear hats, pretty much any wizard, sorcerer, or druid in the series wears robes, including Xykon, Vaarsuvius, and Roy's Dad. A couple side characters DO wear hats as well, such as the Oracle, and the Azure City teleporting wizard.
Sal from Emergency Exit occasionally, especially for magic users' conventions, wears a Stripperiffic version with one button holding the robe together, and nothing but a fishnet top and a loosely tied skirt beneath.
Worn by all the teachers in Wizard School - including a striped referee robe and hat for the umpire of the magical sport Transmogritus.
Wizards, sorcerors and their like in Adylheim tend to follow this trope, mainly because it's a cultural expectation though and the wizards's staff, robes and occasionally hat are considered to be part of the uniform.
The Spells-R-Us (SRU) Wizard wears this outfit, although he's commonly called the Old Man in a bathrobe.
Both averted and played straight in the same video, "Magiconomy".
Twilight Sparkle wears a similar ensemble as a Nightmare Night costume complete with a fake beard.note Apparently an academic, if not biological, predecessor of hers who is essentially the Sigmund Freud of pony magic (insofar as that comparison works on any level at all).
Leonard from Ugly Americans wears a business suit and wizard hat. Even when he dons a suit of plate armor to join Lt. Grimes in hunting vampires, he removes his helmet before the fight, declaring, "I fight better in felt!"
The classical grimoires, the books which purport to teach ritual magic, often include detailed instructions for making and consecrating the special ceremonial garb required by the ritual. This includes (and is usually not limited to) robes and (frequently pointy) hats. Many of these texts date back to the late middle ages.
The Zoroastrian Magi of Persia are thought to have originated the pointed-hat look and symbol-covered robes, while the broad-brimmed hat and long white beard may be derived from Odin. The words "magic" and "mage" are derived from magi, so there might be something there.
A number of ancient Saka people from in central and east Asia were found by archaeologists buried in incredibly tall pointy hats — which leads one to wonder just how far back this trope goes. The Saka were related to the above mentioned Zoroastrians, as they were both Iranian-language speakers. The Saka however did not wear robes, or at least wore trousers underneath them. Indeed one of the tribes of the Saka were called "Saka tigraxauda," or "Saka with pointed hats," by the Persians. ◊
Academia generates a lot of fuss about ceremonial garb. There are no pointy hats, but there are hats you're only allowed to wear if you have a Ph D, and the shape and color of graduates' hoods has a long and very specific history that varies depending on the institution. And, of course, they're accompanied by robes.
During times of plague in the medieval era, doctors "treating" plague victims really, seriously did wear big robes and hats, presumably to keep skin-to-skin contact to a minimum. They also wore creepy-looking masks with pointy faces stuffed with aromatics to cut down on the smell; many had little glass lenses to see out of. They even used staffs to point at people and direct them, since their voices were muffled. The combined effect was like something out of Silent Hill — especially when they were surrounded by all the rotting corpses.
The English style of headgear in the 17th century ran to high-crowned (pointy) hats, which became the stereotypical "witch's hat" in Halloween iconography.