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Hats in restaurants

Edward

Bartender
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23,424
Location
London, UK
I don't much care to keep a hat on at the table, but that's easy dealt with. If I'm going anywhere I know there's a chance I won't be able to put the hat anywhere 'safe', I just wear a cap or a beret, easily tucked in a pocket if needsbe.
 

Deeeluxe Definitely

One of the Regulars
Messages
101
When I watch vintage films from the 30s-60s, I notice the hats the men wear and when they take them off. Men usually kept them on at bars and pubs and greasy food joints, bank and hotel lobbies, etc., but take them off at nicer restaurants while eating, inside homes, etc. In other words the whole no hats indoors was never the culture. It was more was the place considered public or private. But these days, most of those rules seem to be out the window as cultures change over time
Yes, seemingly without fail, they remove their hats before even crossing over the threshold. I couldn't imagine doing that, or just tossing my hat onto any available surface, as they also do.

But as you say, cultures change. While they certainly valued their hats in many cases, they weren't wearing irreplaceable antiques on their heads as many of us here are in 2022.

The rules of fashion - and the corresponding behaviors attached to the articles thereof - have relaxed a lot over the decades. I, for one, am happy not to be living in the era when it was a scandal to have hair that reached one's collar.
 
Messages
15,857
Location
Central California
Yes, seemingly without fail, they remove their hats before even crossing over the threshold. I couldn't imagine doing that, or just tossing my hat onto any available surface, as they also do.

But as you say, cultures change. While they certainly valued their hats in many cases, they weren't wearing irreplaceable antiques on their heads as many of us here are in 2022.

The rules of fashion - and the corresponding behaviors attached to the articles thereof - have relaxed a lot over the decades. I, for one, am happy not to be living in the era when it was a scandal to have hair that reached one's collar.


I think he was saying that in those old movies the characters did not remove their hats every time they crossed the threshold. The kept their hats on in public indoor areas.
 

Gary in NC

One of the Regulars
Messages
104
There are no "former" US Marines. There are only US Marines...

I agree with that 100%. I know a few, and one is married to my niece. All great people who are slow to anger and loads of fun to be around. But - If something ever happened that required their training to kick in - I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of what they're dishing out.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,424
Location
London, UK
Yes, seemingly without fail, they remove their hats before even crossing over the threshold. I couldn't imagine doing that, or just tossing my hat onto any available surface, as they also do.

But as you say, cultures change. While they certainly valued their hats in many cases, they weren't wearing irreplaceable antiques on their heads as many of us here are in 2022.

The rules of fashion - and the corresponding behaviors attached to the articles thereof - have relaxed a lot over the decades. I, for one, am happy not to be living in the era when it was a scandal to have hair that reached one's collar.

It's interesting watching folks in those old films for how they wear their clothes - to them, they are just clothes. Not objects of fascination, not much-valued collectables, just something they wear; normal, run of the mill. I'm not saying nobody back then took care of their clothes, or that nobody had stuff 'for best' that they wanted to take special care of, but back when a hat was a norm that was no different than a pair of old jeans today in a sense, I think it would have been more normal to be more casual about it all. Of course, when hats were a norm there was also better provision for them (hat hooks, hat checks) than you often see now, and if you put your hat down for a second in most venues it wasn't at the same risk of a gaggle of twenty somethings wanting to try it on for selfies and treat it like a fancy dress novelty.... I'm sure that helped people worry a bit less where they left it!
 

Who?

One of the Regulars
Messages
283
Location
Vernon, CT
…….. if you put your hat down for a second in most venues it wasn't at the same risk of a gaggle of twenty somethings wanting to try it on for selfies and treat it like a fancy dress novelty....
Just when you think you have heard it all.

I have a feeling that there are many places in this country where that would prove to be a serious bit of misjudgment. .
 
Last edited:

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,580
Location
vancouver, canada
It's interesting watching folks in those old films for how they wear their clothes - to them, they are just clothes. Not objects of fascination, not much-valued collectables, just something they wear; normal, run of the mill. I'm not saying nobody back then took care of their clothes, or that nobody had stuff 'for best' that they wanted to take special care of, but back when a hat was a norm that was no different than a pair of old jeans today in a sense, I think it would have been more normal to be more casual about it all. Of course, when hats were a norm there was also better provision for them (hat hooks, hat checks) than you often see now, and if you put your hat down for a second in most venues it wasn't at the same risk of a gaggle of twenty somethings wanting to try it on for selfies and treat it like a fancy dress novelty.... I'm sure that helped people worry a bit less where they left it!
My father who did not leave the house without a hat owned two hats. He owned one 'good' hat for work & dress. When it had reached the end of its use as a 'good' hat it was rotated downward to that of his garden hat. So he always had two hats.....one for dress the other for back yard chore duty.
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,424
Location
London, UK
My father who did not leave the house without a hat owned two hats. He owned one 'good' hat for work & dress. When it had reached the end of its use as a 'good' hat it was rotated downward to that of his garden hat. So he always had two hats.....one for dress the other for back yard chore duty.

I believe that was a fairly standard practice back then; few had the extensive wardrobes we're privilged to have today.

My dad has done pretty much the same thing for years, except with shoes. One daily pair of leather loafers, one pair that get worn to church on Sundays. When the daily pair gets roo qorn out, they become garage/ garden shoes, the Sunday pair, now broken in, become daily wearers, and a new Sunday pair is purchased.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
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8,580
Location
vancouver, canada
I believe that was a fairly standard practice back then; few had the extensive wardrobes we're privilged to have today.

My dad has done pretty much the same thing for years, except with shoes. One daily pair of leather loafers, one pair that get worn to church on Sundays. When the daily pair gets roo qorn out, they become garage/ garden shoes, the Sunday pair, now broken in, become daily wearers, and a new Sunday pair is purchased.
It is easy to lose sight of the abundance we enjoy today. My father, a child of the depression, wore shoes that fit him once every three years. The first year too big, the second year they fit, the third year too small with cardboard inside to cover the holes in the sole. But I would bet he was glad to have shoes of any description.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,580
Location
vancouver, canada
OK, follow up post: I did take my wife to a nice restaurant yesterday.

Sitting in the open air, under an umbrella, sipping local champagne it just seemed right to take my Panama off and place on the empty chair. (we sat at a table for 4). My Panama is a good one, customized by Mike at NW Hats. Minutes after I placed it on the chair a waiter serving the adjacent table tipped over his tray of drinks onto the floor and onto the edge of my hat chair. The patron saint of hats smiled down upon me (I am assuming there is a patron saint for hats.....and if not there should be one) and all the liquid (water and coke) missed the hat. The floor and the chair edge took the brunt and my prized Panama took none. So now I am rethinking this entire 'taking off the hat thing'......thinking that the chances of getting a drink spilled on my hat whilst it still on my head is lessened greatly.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,580
Location
vancouver, canada
That was an omen.

The message of that omen was “Keep your hat where it belongs when outside, on your bleeping head.”

You we’re dealt with leniently this time, which was a freebie.
Technically we were not outside but inside the restaurant that had a bank of window that opened up to the outside with umbrellas to block the direct sun. One of those tweener situations where the etiquette is not cut and dried.....situational, like so much of life.
 

Who?

One of the Regulars
Messages
283
Location
Vernon, CT
OK, follow up post: I did take my wife to a nice restaurant yesterday.

Sitting in the open air, under an umbrella, sipping local champagne it just seemed right to take my Panama off and place on the empty chair. (we sat at a table for 4). My Panama is a good one, customized by Mike at NW Hats. Minutes after I placed it on the chair a waiter serving the adjacent table tipped over his tray of drinks onto the floor and onto the edge of my hat chair. The patron saint of hats smiled down upon me (I am assuming there is a patron saint for hats.....and if not there should be one) and all the liquid (water and coke) missed the hat. The floor and the chair edge took the brunt and my prized Panama took none. So now I am rethinking this entire 'taking off the hat thing'......thinking that the chances of getting a drink spilled on my hat whilst it still on my head is lessened greatly.

Technically we were not outside but inside the restaurant that had a bank of window that opened up to the outside with umbrellas to block the direct sun. One of those tweener situations where the etiquette is not cut and dried.....situational, like so much of life.
Oops, sorry.

I guess I misunderstood “sitting in the open”. You’re right, a bit of a dilemma.
 
Messages
15,857
Location
Central California
OK, follow up post: I did take my wife to a nice restaurant yesterday.

Sitting in the open air, under an umbrella, sipping local champagne it just seemed right to take my Panama off and place on the empty chair. (we sat at a table for 4). My Panama is a good one, customized by Mike at NW Hats. Minutes after I placed it on the chair a waiter serving the adjacent table tipped over his tray of drinks onto the floor and onto the edge of my hat chair. The patron saint of hats smiled down upon me (I am assuming there is a patron saint for hats.....and if not there should be one) and all the liquid (water and coke) missed the hat. The floor and the chair edge took the brunt and my prized Panama took none. So now I am rethinking this entire 'taking off the hat thing'......thinking that the chances of getting a drink spilled on my hat whilst it still on my head is lessened greatly.


The same dangers exist inside as they do out. I’m fine with keeping my hat on indoors if there isn’t a safe and secure place provided to store it.

When I eat out at a nice(r) place I’m usually parked close to the restaurant and for the 40 seconds from the parking lot to the restaurant I’ll risk the sun exposure and leave the hat in the car. I prefer to dine out later anyway and it’s always dark in the winter and dusk in the summer. The winters here are mild too so what works for me might not work for others.
 
Messages
17,698
Location
Funkytown, USA
OK, follow up post: I did take my wife to a nice restaurant yesterday.
Sitting in the open air, under an umbrella, sipping local champagne it just seemed right to take my Panama off and place on the empty chair. (we sat at a table for 4). My Panama is a good one, customized by Mike at NW Hats. Minutes after I placed it on the chair a waiter serving the adjacent table tipped over his tray of drinks onto the floor and onto the edge of my hat chair. The patron saint of hats smiled down upon me (I am assuming there is a patron saint for hats.....and if not there should be one) and all the liquid (water and coke) missed the hat. The floor and the chair edge took the brunt and my prized Panama took none. So now I am rethinking this entire 'taking off the hat thing'......thinking that the chances of getting a drink spilled on my hat whilst it still on my head is lessened greatly.

A little over a year ago I had a similar experience to yours. I had laid my hat on the seat next to me, and she proceeded to spill her wine (red, of course), which dripped onto my chair and saturated part of my Dalton. When I got home I gave it a good treatment with distilled water and steam, but in the process saturated my sweatband. When I got up the next morning, the hat was fine and stain-free, but the sweat was toast, so I rebuilt the hat.

If I'm under an umbrella outside I'll often take my hat off just because it feels "right." Sometimes I sit it on the seat next to me or sometimes even on the table if it's big enough. Oftentimes it's just my wife and I at a brewpub picnic table so there is plenty of room.
 

Gary in NC

One of the Regulars
Messages
104
I absolutely understand the feeling that it’s not right in a given situation because I’ve felt it often, but the older I get the less often I feel a need to stick to that old tradition. I’m admittedly not a traditionalist - just having recently discovered my love of those brimmed hats a few years ago.
 

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