Although you might be wearing hats for fashion, you must follow the proper etiquette when wearing them for formal occasions. Although men and women wear hats often interchangeably like the Fedoras, Top hats, and Panama hats, the hat etiquette mainly governs men. Hats can be a part of everyday attire or worn for adding the finishing touches to any stylish outfits for special occasions. But regardless of the occasion, you must follow the proper hat etiquette, more so if you are a man.
Removing the hat in the presence of women is an act of charming courtesy, and even if you happen to in an elevator shared by some women, the rule remains the same. However, if a man sees a lady passing by, he should tip his hat as a gesture of acknowledging the presence of the woman and soon repositioning it as the lady walks past.
What seems good etiquette during interactions between men and women may prove contrary if enacted between two men. If a man were to tip hat to another man, it amounts to poor manners and is considered an insult. Not wearing a hat inside the church applies to both men and women, and men should remove their hats even when entering a building or on arriving at the destination.
The hat etiquette is much relaxed for women. It does not entail any restrictions like men except that it is never appropriate to wear womens western hats or fedora while enjoying a show in a theater to avoid obstructing the view of the audience seated behind. Removing the hat during the national anthem is a must for both men and women.
Hats for public places
From what has been explained so far, one thing becomes evident that hats are essentially for wearing in public places and thoroughfares like corridors and lobbies. When inside any building or covered space, you must remove the hat and hold it in your hand. However, it is common to see people moving around with their hats on in public buildings that do not amount to bad manners. But when encountering women, even in public places, men must abide by the etiquette discussed above.
Elevators as dwellings
According to the understanding about hat etiquettes, the elevator in any building is considered a part of that building. Men entering the elevator might already have some women passengers remove the hat while in the elevator. Soon on moving out from the elevator and stepping out in the corridor, men can again put on their hats by following the etiquette of wearing them in public places. Keep in mind the distinction of public places to follow hat etiquettes without erring.
Wearing the hat during the National Anthem
Women should especially note the point about wearing hats during playing the National Anthem because whether to remove the hat depends on the nature of the hat and the place. Women can keep wearing the hat while the National Anthem is played in some indoor setting. However, if they wear some unisex hats like the baseball cap or bucket hat, the same rules become applicable. It means that women too must remove the hat.
More flexibility towards women
Hat etiquettes are more flexible for women, and they can wear hats both indoors and outdoors, unlike men who must remove their hats when staying indoors. The reason for the flexibility is that hats are considered a part of the women’s outfits and not an add-on that can be dispensed with. Women’s hats are not just general accessories, as it happens with men who can keep changing hats to match the outfit. For women, hats are specific to their dress and cannot be used with some other dresses. However, if the hat worn by women is more for functionality than style, like wearing a hat for warmth during the cold seasons, then removing it when stepping inside buildings is the norm.
Communicating with gestures
The hat etiquettes are all about communicating with gestures, and each kind of hat removal technique conveys a message to the people you interact with. It is typical to doff hats to express greetings, as you might have seen some men doing it to the ladies around them. Again when a gentleman prepares to move out from the indoor, he would don the hat to signal that it is time to leave. While doffing the hat means completely removing the hat, tipping your hat means lifting the hat slightly when greeting a lady. Doffing is appropriate for mass communication, but tipping is a more intimate gesture that replaces spoken words when a man interacts with women and wishes to convey the softer emotions with some gentle gesture of respect.
Following hat, etiquettes are essential to demonstrate your cultural traits that respect the social system. Therefore, how to handle hats by respecting social norms is part of our life lessons.