My take on wearing hats indoors
In Grandpa’s day, a gentleman removed his hat when greeting a woman friend on the street. This was usually done with the left hand in case she offered her hand for a shake. If they should happen to walk together, or if the weather was bad, he would feel free to put his hat back on. In this prevailing age of adjustable baseball caps, the practice of any such manner hardly exits. But when those manners do exist they appear very very charming.
If only our grandfathers were here to teach us the proper wearing of hats. Under what circumstances does a man remove his hat?
My dad would always take off his hat when he went indoors. He always removed his hat for the national anthem (my country, right or wrong,) and for the passing of a flag or a funeral procession, and he lifted it when passing a church.
Today men are wearing their hats indoors, on airplanes, at work, at school and even while dining.
A good friend, Chloe, suggested that I write an article on the etiquette of hats.
Oh busboy. Should the article address baseball caps, fedoras, knit caps, ski caps, bandanas? Should it address hats just on men, or on women too.
Well, it is my understanding that a hat is a hat is a hat. It is an object worn on the head and it is my opinion the proper etiquette today applies to all hats.
Growing up, I was taught that a gentleman takes off his hat whenever he is in a building. I will speak mostly to men as the rules are somewhat different for women. But being that this is not the Victorian era and women no longer wear fancy bonnets, sportscap-clad women should pay mind.
Although casual rules might be followed by some today, I am an advocate for following a more civilized directive. Besides, the general etiquette rule is quite simple: Hats are to be worn outside and removed when inside. In a public building or mall, a man may keep his hat on in the corridors. Whenever one enters a room or a shop, he should remove his hat.
Winter hats basically should follow the same rule: Out/on: in/off and especially if a coat is removed, the hat should not remain.
And it is especially wise to moves one’s hat (and shoes) when being frisked at the airport.
A gentleman with his sports cap seemingly velcroid to his noggin might ask “Why?” to this rule. To that I would answer: For the same reason you do not interrupt someone when speaking, you wait for others to go before you, you write a thank you note. Its polite. No one is going to shoot you, but if you want to act like a gentleman: remove the hat.
Probably the removal of hats historically became polite because it is difficult to talk to someone when their eyes are shaded by the tip of a hat or a hat brim. Perhaps keeping on one’s hat might imply that one is not committed to staying or visiting but would prefer to leave. “Here’s your hat. What’s your hurry.”
There are, of course, a few exceptions to this refinement. One can wear a hat inside or at the table if one’s religion or medical treatment or job necessitates it or if the room is freezing cold.
Basically, this is my Anita thoughts on the matter. No man or woman, young or old, should ever, ever, wear a sports hat in restaurants, in your home, in a friend’s home, at the dining table, at church, at a funeral, in a classroom, in a museum, at a movie or performance theater….
Most importantly there is absolutely no purpose to keeping your hat on when eating dinner at Grandma’s table not even when you are having a bad hair day or need to cover up a bald spot on your head.
If you keep that hat on it is out of laziness, belligerence or a false sense of looking cool. It is not wise and could cause you your inheritance,
In an early episode of “The Sopranos,” Tony takes offence at a fellow diner’s wearing a baseball cap in an upscale restaurant. The restaurant owner is powerless, so Tony walks over to the table and “persuades” the reluctant young man to remove his cap.
Need I say more.