A proper hat can elevate a man’s wardrobe from good to great. It’s a statement piece that has, unfortunately, fallen out of favor with most men. I’m not talking baseball caps or toques. I mean fedoras, porkpies, flat caps or bowlers. Old school hats that don’t include designer logos, silver lame tigers, or sports teams. Even the most magnificent hat, though, can do nothing for a man that doesn’t know when to wear it, or more importantly when not to wear it.
I’ve never understood why it is important for men to remove their hat when you go indoors. A web search seems to point to the fact that most people don’t know the real reason either. Explanations range from the symbolism of permanence (that you’re fine being at this place and don’t need to leave), to showing that you’re not hiding weaponry. Personally, I feel the former explanation is possibly the most likely. Donning a hat shows that you’re going some where, taking off your hat shows that you are settled, and will not be leaving.
It’s one of those odd personal preferences, but I can deal with slouched pants better than seeing a man wear their hat indoors. Wearing your hat during the anthem at a ball game? Forget about it. I’m done with you. But men that tip their hat when they address you, or gracefully remove their hat as they step inside, those are the men that know how to be gentlemen.
If you enjoy wearing hats, know some simple etiquette about them:
- Take your hat off when entering any office building, home or church.
- Do not wear a hat while eating.
- Remove your hat during flag displays, or when the National Anthem is playing.
I grew up very close to my grandparents. My grandfather never left the house without his hat. It didn’t matter if he was going to the store, or just to take out the trash. A hat, to him, was just as important piece of clothing as a pair of pants or shoes. I don’t wear a hat as often as he did, but when I do wear one, I’m very conscious of where I should wear it, or when it should be removed. He taught me a lot, not only in words, but in imitation of his actions.