Hats Off to You

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My father was well-known in our community for wearing a hat while out and about.  In the pasture, he would don a Stetson, but around town he chose to wear a fedora.  It was so much a part of his image, that he asked that when he passed away, his fedora be placed in the casket with him.   He was old-school about his headwear and attire.  So, I must dedicate this post to a hat-wearing man that I miss dearly.

Let’s discuss hats. Specifically, when and where to leave them on or take them off.  Mike recently reminded me to take my hat off while we were eating out.  I reminded him, that as a female, my summer fedora was okay to stay atop my head.   It seemed that a review of hat etiquette might be in order.

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The rules on this subject have been updated a bit.  Back in my mom’s youth, women could wear hats anytime and anywhere. Hats were part of their attire, so they could be worn during dinner, in a home, etc.

Men of that era, would apply the rule of respect.  Anywhere or anytime they were showing respect, their hats would be removed.  Examples of such include entering a building, a home, during meals, greeting or meeting someone, during a movie or theatre production.

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Now days, people wear less dress hats and more baseball caps.  So, the rules for this type of unisex headwear is, well, unisex.  Baseball caps should be removed at the same times as men should remove dress hats.  They should be taken off at meals, upon entering a restaurant, home or church, etc.

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Now there are some exceptions to the rules:

  1.  All hats should be removed if interfering with the view of the folks behind you.
  2. If someone has a medical condition/treatment (like cancer) that affects their hair, then hats may remain on their head at all times.
  3. If a baseball cap is part of the work uniform, then it may be worn indoors, while at work.

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The main points to remember regarding headwear are:

  1.  Women may wear dress hats anywhere or anytime they choose, as long as the hat is not obscuring a view of someone behind them.
  2. Men should remove hats out of respect for an event, a place, or upon meeting or greeting people.
  3. Sports hats, such as baseball caps, follow they same rules as in #2, regardless of which gender is wearing the item.
  4. Typically, hats are too casual for evening wear.  Maybe a rhinestone (or diamond!) hair clip might be a better fit for the occasion.
  5. When wearing a hat for warmth during the winter months, it is fine to leave it on while outside.  However, the same rules apply upon entering a building.

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So, enjoy wearing your hat at all the right times.  And here is a hearty “hat’s off” to my dad!  Even that expression is a sign of respect.

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