Hat Etiquette

Hat Etiquette

08 janvier, 2023

When should you wear a hat, or take it off? Take your cultured, elegant Brixton hat to the next level with proper hat manners.


If you’ve been with us for a while, you probably have (and wear) multiple classic, stylish headpieces that add timelessness to your overall outfit personality.

However, the way you handle your hat, and the manners which you develop in hat wearing, affect the way others perceive you.

Elegant, sophisticated “hatiquette” can make all the difference in how well-put-together and cultured your appearance is to others around you and yourself.

History of Hat Etiquette

Since the early days of knights and ladies, manners regarding when and where to wear a hat, and when and where to take one off have existed.

In the olden days, a medieval knight who fails to remove his helmet or lift his visor in the presence of royalty, or to identify himself properly, could suffer serious or even fatal consequences.

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, men would take off their hats in church, when greeting a superior, when entering a home, and always, always when in the presence of a lady.

Ladies, on the other hand, were almost always exempt from such “hatiquette” customs, and were allowed to keep their hats on wherever and whenever they wished.

Although social norms and customs have changed somewhat since those early days of hat etiquette history, men and women today are often still expected to remove their hats as a sign of respect and deference.

Handling a Hat with Modern Elegance

Even though times have changed, the hows and whys of hat wearing still matter. The way you handle your hat shows how cultured and thoughtful you are.

Where and when you take off your hat can demonstrate how well you understand social situations, and how much deference and respect you have for your country and fellow citizens.

Take your hat off in a restaurant Women's Hat Etiquette

Here are two quick common sense tips to cover before we go into further details:

  • When you’ve removed your hat, ensure that only the outside of the hat is visible at all times. The inside lining of the hat should not be revealed. To do this, rest your hat against your chest when standing, or place it on your knee or lap when in a seated position.
  • In most circles, it’s considered rude to touch someone else’s hat without permission. Refrain from handling or touching another person’s headpiece prior to asking for approval.

Men’s Hat Etiquette

When should you take off your hat? When and where should you keep it on? And when should you just raise or tip it, and place it back on your head?

Here are some tips for proper men’s hat etiquette to consider when wearing and styling one of our classic headpieces.

Hats off

For most situations, it is best to wear your hat when in public places, and remove it once you enter a more private space.

By taking off your hat when entering certain places, you demonstrate deference for the place and people you are with. It’s an acknowledgment of basic gratitude and goodwill, which are the hallmarks of a true (and stylish) gentleman.

Take your hat off in a restaurant

Remove your hat when entering the following establishments:

  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Private spaces such as someone’s office or home
  • Theaters
  • Places of worship (unless a head covering is part of your religious practice)

Hats should be taken off when seated at tables and booths. However, modern hat etiquette at the bar is more flexible; if you so choose, you may keep it on.

outdoor activities

As a sign of respect, all hats should be taken off and held in front of your body as the national anthem is sung, as the flag is passed in front of you in a parade, and when the flag is lowered or raised.

During a funeral procession, your hat should be held discreetly in your hands.

Tipping your hat

As a traditional courtesy, gentlemen may tip their hats to ladies they pass on the street. This is especially true for cowboy hat etiquette. The hat is then replaced after the lady or ladies have passed, or after they have begun walking together.

Related to hat tipping, taking off your hat in the presence of a woman is a charming act of courtesy.

Women's Hat Etiquette

The principles that govern gentlemen’s hat etiquette indoors are also reflected in the tips below for women, with some variations.

One general rule of thumb to remember is there’s a difference between how you should wear baseball-style (uni-sex) caps and fashion hats.

When to keep your hat on

In most situations, it is acceptable to keep your fashion hat or other head accessories on whether indoors or outdoors. Fashion hats for ladies are often considered an accessory and an essential part of their outfit, and are comparable to a piece of jewelry.

Exclusions to this general rule are, of course, rain hats and thicker hats meant for warmth, in which case removal when indoors would be wise.

The guideline above does not apply to baseball-style caps, however.

As a proper sign of respect, remove uni-sex hats and caps whenever you enter someone’s home, take part in an indoor social gathering, at a religious service, or when the national anthem is played.

When to take it off

The workplace is one area where you would be expected to take off your hat, both fashion hats and baseball caps included.

Whenever your hat would obscure the view of anyone around you, such as when at the theater, take off your hat out of consideration. Don’t be that lady who annoys and inconveniences other people just to keep wearing her stylish hat!

Inspired by the Past and Made for the Present with Brixton

Keep in mind that the modern hat etiquette tips mentioned may not take into account different cultures, practices, religious beliefs, or medical conditions. For example, cancer patients are completely exempt from any and all hat manner requirements, and may keep their hats on at all times.

Now that you know how to properly wear—and not wear—a hat, explore Brixton's wearables that give expression and uniqueness to your own personal style.

Whether you need a stylish headpiece for attending a friend’s wedding or just looking for an all-around hat, Brixton offers elegant yet practical hats that match the highest levels of “hatiquette.”

Inspired by the past, and built to live in the present, these hats can bring your gentlemanly or ladylike hat etiquette to the next level.

08 janvier, 2023
Balises: Education
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