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Hats and etiquette – when to take off your beanie

Posted by Benedict Chude on

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 Chizipoms 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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