Hat Etiquette

by Claire Valenty on May 30, 2010

in Dress Etiquette

dress hat etiquette

Not sure when you should remove your hat?  Who should you tip your hat to?  How does hat etiquette for men and women differ?  Check out our article on hat etiquette for these answers!

Hats can be fabulous fashion accessories, ala the Sex and the City girls; they can proclaim the special place a certain sports team has in your heart; they can cover up your bald spot; they can protect you from the weather; they can be part of a uniform; and they can get you in a lot of trouble socially if you are not aware of proper hat etiquette.  Back in the 40s, when everyone had a hat on their head and a cigarette in their fingers, hat etiquette was known and followed.  But, although our awareness of the harmful effects of cigarettes has increased, our awareness of hat etiquette has decreased as hats aren’t worn as much these days.   If you are going to wear a hat, make sure you are doing it right!  Now, not to be sexist, but, these rules are for men only.  Most women’s hats are fastened on with plenty of pins, ribbons, bows, etc. and taking them on and off is quite a project!  As a result, through history, once a woman’s hat is on, it stays on (however, if you’re going to a theater or show and your hat is blocking someone’s view, take it off)!

1)      Any time a national anthem is being song, remove your hat out of respect (even if it’s not your national anthem).

2)      Any time you go inside, take your hat off. Yes, you might be a little self conscious of your bald spot, but looking like a tool by not following this etiquette is worse than a shiny dome.  If you are in a restaurant, do not place your hat on the table after you remove it.

3)      Tip your hat to women only. Tipping your hat to a man is telling them they are womanly.  PS – You only have to tip your hat if you feel comfortable doing so and you have the charm to pull it off without looking like a try hard.  If you aren’t sure whether you can pull it off, then, I’m telling you that you can’t.  Those of you that do have the grace to make this look good, you are far too busy drinking sweet tea on your porch in the glorious south to even be reading this article.

Photo: dreamstime/Steven Pepple

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Denise Tessum January 5, 2012 at 3:49 am

It has come up recently about respect during the National Anthem, during the Anthem, men are expected to remove their hats …. does this apply to women? I am an older woman and in my younger days women wore hats to church, and in public, it WAS a sign of respect to wear a hat …. I know times have changed, has this changed as well? Is a woman expected to remove her hat during the National Anthem?

pam burrows June 8, 2012 at 6:40 pm

i am invited to a 6 pm outdoor wedding at a pavillion on a lake.
the reception will then transfer to a country club…the invitation is not very dressy…is a straw hat appropriate for a woman?

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