The popularity and function of headwear in society has changed significantly over time, and consequently, so has hat etiquette. Please refer to the guidelines below to better understand proper hat-wearing behavior.
Men Can Leave Hats On When
- They are outside
- At an athletic event, indoors or out
- In public buildings like post offices, airports, or hotels
- On public transportation
- In elevators
Men Should Take Off Hats When
- They are sitting down to eat a meal
- In a house of worship unless required by religion
- Public buildings like schools, town halls, and libraries
- When the National Anthem is playing
- In restaurants and cafes
There is discrepancy over things like taking hats off in restaurants. Should people follow the same rules in a fast food restaurant that they would at a five-star establishment? Probably not. This is an example of a situation where it’s difficult to draw boundaries, so you’ll just have to use your best judgment.
For men, the rules are the same whether wearing a fedora, western, or ivy cap. There is no distinction between hat styles when trying to figure out etiquette. Women, on the other hand, have a little more freedom to wear as they please. If they are donning fashionable hats, it is typically acceptable to wear them indoors if not in a work environment. They should also never block anybody’s view. When women wear unisex hats (like baseball caps, for example), they should basically follow the same guidelines listed above for men.