Hats and etiquette – when to take off your beanie

Cowboys always removed their hats when entering a home or in the presence of a lady. Tipping the head and touching the brim of a hat was a polite way to say hello, goodbye or excuse me.

But what about nowadays?

While it used to be that men and women wore hats as a regular piece of everyday clothing, hats nowadays seem to be reserved for special occasions or when it’s cold, for sun protection, and on bad hair days.

Hats as fashion accessories are making somewhat of a comeback, though. So it’s a good idea to keep in mind rules of etiquette when it comes to hat wearing.

Why not add some fun for your little ones by teaching them the basics of hat etiquette when you present them with their new Beanie Designs hat!

Hats should be removed in these situations, especially if the hat wearer is a boy:

  • When at school
  • When eating or in restaurants
  • When entering someone’s home
  • At places of worship (unless the religion requires a head covering)
  • When speaking to someone in a respectful position (elders, teachers, parents, etc.)
  • When the national anthem is played
  • If a funeral procession passes
  • When being introduced to someone

When deciding whether or not to remove your hat, you need to consider the reasoning behind the “rules”. Normally, removing your hat is a sign of respect, demonstrating humility and good manners. It also facilitates communication, as a hat sometimes hides part of the face or casts a different demeanor on the wearer. By removing your hat, you are displaying a more true “you” that’s not dressed up or hidden.

Do the hat-removing rules extend to girls, too?

It’s normally acceptable for a lady or girl to keep her hat on. It’s thought that the different rules for men and women evolved because women’s hats were traditionally much more elaborate and often fastened on with hairpins.

What about a girl wearing an earflap hat, stocking hat, or a sun hat, though?

My thought is that a sun hat or bucket hat more resembles the traditional women’s hats of the past because of the feminine brim, so they are more likely to feel acceptable.

But the earflap hat and stocking hat are more clearly worn as protection for the head, so it would seem courteous to remove them indoors.

One clearer instance when a girl should remove her hat is if it’s a baseball cap.

Your thoughts?

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Comments (5)

  1. Leigh

    hm…interesting to think about! If a girl is wearing a baseball hat should she take it off during the national anthem? I think yes.
    What if the man’s hat is more of a fashion statement type hat, can does he still have to take it off in a restaurant? I don’t think I would be offended if he were still wearing it. Seems like so much depends on the hat and the exact situation.

  2. Leslie Guenther

    It may just be the way I was raised but all the rules apply to a woman also. Unless eating outside in the sun your hat should be off at the table. When going into a store hat should come off. Just the rules I learned as a child. My grandmother until the day she died wore big hats and she always went by the rules. No matter how much her hat was pinned in. Now there are different hats for woman. Some are more hair ornaments than hats. They are allowed to stay on 24/7. Sorry I do not wear hats so I do not remember everything but I really find it rude when someone wears a hat during a meal. Almost as rude as talking on a cell phone during a meal.

  3. Natalie Thomas

    I served in the Army for 6 years. Hats are only allowed to be worn outside. When playing of the national anthem hats are not removed by service members, but I think that civilians no matter male/female should be respectful of our country. Also at church, I find it disrespectful for someone not to take their hat off. But I find myself wearing a hat indoors when I a, running errands and had no time for make-up or bad hair days :/. I don’t think I am being disrespectful… just lazy! Haha.

  4. Jessica Beard

    I agree with the previous posts. I believe women should remove their hats in the same instances as men as a form of respect. Now if the woman’s hat is pinned down that is a different story. I would say she needs to remove it if she is wearing an ear flap hat, a winter hat, or a baseball cap.

  5. Joey

    i dont know really but is it a bad thing to wear a beanie to work ,like in an office especially when its cold ,it is considered bad manners to keep it on when its cold ??

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