Hats, or headwear in general, are go-to accessory pieces for both men and women. They are not only fashionable but they are worn for their protective function. It isn’t so unusual to meet someone in the sidewalk donned with a baseball cap or another wearing a fashionable hat to a red carpet party.
Nowadays, anyone can wear a hat without a care for someone batting an eye. However, throughout history, a hat requires the person wearing it to act appropriately. In the past, men usually remove their hats in Christian churches. They also do so when they enter somebody’s home or when they are in the presence of a lady. Ladies are free to don a hat anywhere and anytime they feel like it. While some of these practices for hat etiquette seem obsolete in the present times, people are still practicing some of them as a sign of respect to others.
Choosing the right hat for a certain occasion and knowing when to remove it are just two of the unspoken rules that are still practiced today. Let’s explore more of these societal rules that go with wearing a hat.
1. In the past, people are allowed to wear hats outside whenever they wanted. However, the acceptability of wearing a hat indoors depends on the situation.
2. Generally, men can leave their hats on when they are outdoors, in an athletic event such as golf or tennis, public buildings such as airports, elevators, or on public transportation. They have to remove their hats when entering a building, eating a meal, especially in restaurants, churches, schools, and libraries.
3. Women, on the other hand, are free to wear their hats indoors and outdoors whenever they wanted. Fashion hats usually allowed to be worn in a dinner party or luncheon, at weddings and religious events, and in movies or indoor performances. They only have to remove their hat indoors when what they are wearing are baseball caps, and when it provides inconvenience or visual obstruction to other people such as in cinemas or theaters.
4. Wearing hats with ornaments such as brooches or pins also entails some unspoken rules. Women should wear the ornament on the right side of their hat. The opposite applies to men: decorations belong to the left side of their hats.
5. Tipping the cap by grabbing the brim and tugging it down slightly is still considered a polite way of greeting someone. This act is an expression of someone’s respect, gratitude, or salutation to the other person. Typically, only men tip their hats but nowadays, the act between either sex is still considered proper.
The list above is just examples of the proper hat etiquette that we still practice in today’s casual culture. Although some of these are unspoken and consequences for disobeying these rules are seldom, respect for others is the main point for having these rules. Removing your hat in churches and schools and in movie theaters in order to provide everyone with a good view of the film shows high regards and respect for others.