Hat Etiquette Dos and Don'ts

  • , by Alex Torres
  • 4 min reading time

Although many older traditions have fallen aside for newer, more liberated ones, hat etiquette is still a thing - not as much of a thing as it was in past centuries, but still a consideration. While grand gestures are not expected in today's society - such as a man removing his hat in the presence of a woman - those who are aware of etiquette appreciate a hat worn respectfully. The following are hat etiquette dos and don'ts - some that make perfect sense and others that might seem odd.

Removing Hats Indoors for Men

Removing your hat indoors or out

Plenty of places exist where men wearing hats indoors are commonplace, such as at an events center or shopping mall - but where should you take your hat off? Here are the general guidelines for removing hats indoors for men, according to advice from Emily Post.com. Men should remove their hats:

* At home
* During a meal
* In church
* In indoor work environments
* In schools, courthouses, or libraries
* In restaurants or coffee houses
* At indoor movies and performances

Removing Hats Indoors for Women

Believe it or not, the same rules don't always apply for men's vs. ladies' hat etiquette. Women don't have as much hat-wearing freedom as they did centuries ago when they could wear a hat anywhere without taking it off, but they still have a bit more freedom than men when it comes to certain types of hats.

Here are the general rules for removing fashion hats indoors for women:

* Indoor working environments
* If the hat blocks someone else's view

Here are the general rules for removing all other types of women's unisex headwear indoors:

* In someone's home
* At mealtimes
* During introductions
* In church
* Indoors at work
* In public buildings such as courthouses, schools, and libraries
* In restaurants or coffeehouses
* At movies or indoor performances

Keeping Hats on for Men and Women

Taking off baseball cap

Sometimes it's acceptable to leave your hat on your head, and the same rules mostly apply for both men and women. Here are the occasions when it's fine for anyone - man or woman - to keep any other type of hat on, according to Emily Post.com:

* Outdoors
* Sporting events
* When traveling via public transportation
* When riding on an elevator
* In public buildings such as airports, hotel lobbies, or post offices

The only exception is if the woman is wearing a fashion hat such as a fascinator. Fascinators or other types of special-occasion hats can be worn in a home, at church, during a movie or play, at a wedding or party, and during patriotic ceremonies.

Proper Hat Etiquette During Patriotic Gatherings

For both men and women, the same rules of hat etiquette apply during patriotic gatherings. Whether the gathering occurs indoors or outside doesn't matter, it's simply a matter of respect. When the national anthem is played, the pledge of allegiance is recited or the United States flag is displayed in a parade or other patriotic ceremony, hats should be removed.

Tipping Your Hat

Hats off

No one expects men to remove their hats when they encounter a woman in passing, but should a man tip his hat? It all depends on your preference. Proper etiquette, which isn't practiced as widely as it once was, dictates that a hat tip should be made as a greeting or a thank you. Two ways exist to tip a hat:

* Grab the hat at the brim and lift it off your head slightly toward the person
* Grab your hat at the crown and tilt it slightly toward the person

Hat Removal During Introductions or Conversations

When meeting someone for the first time - indoors or out - it is polite to remove your hat. It's also in good form to remove your hat when you encounter someone who is your superior. The only time this wouldn't be necessary is if the weather is extremely cold. After introductions, a conversation might take place. If it lasts more than a minute or so, you can put your hat back on your head. If you begin walking and talking, you can also put your hat back on your head.

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