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Thread: All You Need to Know About Hat Etiquette

  1. #881
    New In Town
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    Apr 2012

    How to wear a Fedora

    Probably a silly question, but I'm rather new to hats to be honest.

    I came across a Fedora when I went shopping with the gf, thought I'd try something new.

    Is the hat meant to be tilted further down? or tilted sideways?

    A question about etiquette, do you take the fedora off when you walk into any building? I ducked into the local supermarket during my lunch break at work for a couple of minutes and was wondering if I should bother taking my hat off, especially since both hands were full?

    Last edited by xceL; 04-24-2012 at 10:38 PM.

  2. #882
    I'll Lock Up LoveMyHats2's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Hello, welcome to the lounge!

    To answer some of your questions: Wear your hat in a way that you feel it suits your own "look".

    As to when to remove your hat. I would think a store is acceptable to leaving it on, I do when I am in a retail store. Places to remove a hat= Church, Government Office, your place of employment and it's office as well. Any "formal" dinning settings, places you would eat that are formal. Houses, if you are going into someone else's home, you would remove the hat to show respect. You also remove the hat at any time you are being presented to anyone that you want to show respect towards. Hats come off in a theater, unless you have a private seating booth all to yourself, and even then you more than likely would remove it. A general rule I use, if you wish to show any display of respect for another person or place, take the hat off, and shake their hand when being introduced.

    I am sure others may add to this. I wear my hat when I am sure at times others may have already removed theirs, but that is just me.

  3. #883
    I'll Lock Up Shangas's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Smooth down hair.

    Place hat firmly on head.


    Okay seriously...

    How you wear it is totally up to you, so long as it doesn't look stupid.

    Traditional rules of hatiquette said that you removed your hat when entering a private building.

    So for example, you might wear it inside an office-building. But you'd take it off if you went into someone's office for an interview. Or you'd wear it into an apartment-block, but you'd take it off if you went into someone's flat, or into someone's private home.

    Of course, those rules have relaxed in the 21st century, but there are those who still wish to retain them for the sake of manners.

  4. #884
    Practically Family Woodfluter's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    Hi xcel, and welcome!
    Hope you'll like it here. Lots of friendly, helpful folks around.

    You look sharp in the photo you posted.
    BTW, is that the Gerber baby over your right shoulder?

    Really, hat etiquette is changeable and depends on local and temporal norms.
    I'd never take it off in a supermarket or equivalent. Too much bother.

    I often go the the Unitarian Universalist congregation of my wife.
    I don't bother to take my hat off in the outer areas, but do when entering the sanctuary.
    It just feels right.

    On the flip side of this, my wife is Jewish by birth and tradition. So when attending some solemn Jewish rites, it is considered disrespectful not to wear headgear of some sort. Egad!

    Adding to the confusion, hat customs have varied over time. In the latter 16th and early 17th centuries, many wore hats during divine service and there was intense debate over this.

    "The Quaker leader George Fox later recalled: "O! The blows, punchings, beatings and imprisonments that we underwent, for not putting off our hats to men! Some had their hats violently plucked off and thrown away, so that they quite lost them." Many male Quakers were indeed imprisoned for this crime; the main offence among Quaker women was their tendency to interrupt ministers in the pulpit, and hold forth to a generally unappreciative audience."

    The cynic in me says "you can't win". The realist says "there's many norms and they're always changing, and you are part of the change yourself". Somehow for me, caps and hats have slightly different norms these days...based on what I've seen others do. Maybe deserves at thread of its own?

    My personal views about cultural habits are:
    (1) Keep your antennae out and see what others feel are OK.
    (2) Courtesy consists in doing things that make others feel comfortable. But...
    (3) Don't sacrifice your convictions to make others feel comfortable.

    Hat-honor, for want of a better term, has ranged from an innocent courtesy (predominant in our times) to an acknowledgment of superiority. You'll have to work this out for yourself, as has each generation.
    Last edited by Woodfluter; 04-25-2012 at 02:17 AM.

  5. #885
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    Apr 2012
    Hi Woodflutter and Shangas,

    Thanks for the info Cheers.

  6. #886
    I'll Lock Up scottyrocks's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Not for nothing, xcel, but when I looked at your picture, I instantly saw you in a wider brimmed hat. I think your features cry out for it.
    'There is a fine line between art and fondling.'
    - J.H.P.

  7. #887
    Familiar Face Otateral's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    And how about in a supermarket or department store, when you begin to approach check-out. Proper rules are when approaching a lady, you should remove your hat. If the checkout person is female, would this also apply? Or, because these are such public places does it become acceptable to leave it on?

  8. #888
    I'll Lock Up mayserwegener's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Definitely leave it on.

  9. #889
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    Apr 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'm new here, this is my first post, but I thought I'd weigh in to this one with some of my personal thoughts on hat etiquette.

    I was in the military (Navy) and had it drilled into me time and again when to doff/don a hat and why. Since leaving the services, I've continued to employ hat etiquette where I can, because I believe it's just such a fantastically easy and automatic way to pay respect and show humility. Humility is the key for me: By removing your hat, you are acknowledging you are part of society, not above it. That you are not the center of the universe.

    I doff my hat pretty much as has been detailed in previous posts, when entering a private building, hotel, lift, etc. or when passed by a funeral service or the Australian national flag.

    I don't generally tip my hat for various reasons, chief amongst which is a feeling of certainty that the gesture would be 1) misunderstood as chauvinist — though I don't agree that it is — or 2) not even noticed/appreciated. I will, however, tip my hat when passing or greeting a Digger (Aussie slang for war veteran), purely in recognition of their service and sacrifice to make me a free man; I also tip my hat to the elderly, as I know they'll appreciate the gesture.

    Likewise, I always doff my hat when passing any form of memorial, plaque or other remembrance of veterans. A visit just this weekend past to the Australian War Memorial had me donning/doffing at a rapid enough rate to melt the sweatband.

    One thing I'm sure many would say is not strictly proper etiquette is that I always remove my hat when talking to small children, a main reason being I am 6'4" and with a big wide-brimmed fedora or one of my cowboy hats on, look quite intimidating to the little ones.

    I love my hats, and I love being known amongst my friends for being polite and courteous in the wearing of them. I also find older generations (I'm only 29) treat me with much more respect as a result of the respect shown them, and removing/tipping my hat at the proper times can start that ball rolling the moment you meet them.

    My ongoing mission: Convincing those old buggers us young whippersnappers aren't all bad apples…

  10. #890
    I'll Lock Up alanfgag's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Buffalo, NY
    Welcome, Bornabulldog. A thoughtful and gracious opening post, I look forward to hearing more and seeing photos of you in your hats.

    Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
    Margaret Mead

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