Spring is upon us, Easter is coming soon, and baseball season is about to begin here in the U.S. It is the time of year many people wear all sorts of hats, until winter hats are again needed. Actually, this topic has been on my mind for months, waiting for just the right month to do it, and here it is!
Indoors: So… how can I say this nicely without yelling in all capital letters: No man or woman, young or old, should ever, ever, ever, ever wear a sports hat — especially a baseball cap—indoors. Not in restaurants, in someone’s home, at the dining table, at church, a funeral, in a classroom, in a museum, at a movie or performance theatre… on and on. There is absolutely no purpose to keeping your hat on… not even when you are having a bad hair day or need to cover up a bald spot on your head. It’s all about when it’s proper or not proper to wear a hat. It’s purely out of laziness and a false sense of looking cool and in fashion… not! There is equally nothing cool about wearing your baseball cap backwards… again especially indoors.
Except In Public Places: You may wear a hat indoors (yeh… even a baseball cap if you absolutely must) in public buildings, such as airports, public lobbies, and crowded public elevators. However, historically a gentleman will always remove his hat when a lady enters or is in the same elevator. We don’t see this much anymore. When in an apartment building, even though somewhat public, gentlemen will take off their hats while in the company of ladies… another dying art.
[SIDE BAR: A foreign visitor kept seeing Americans wearing their baseball caps indoors, and at times backwards. He determined this style indicated a direct correlation to the wearer’s apparent I.Q (intelligence quotient). Wearing a baseball cap indoors meant an I.Q. was reduced by 50%. Wearing the cap backwards meant an I.Q. was reduced by another 50%... so what’s left? These findings make total sense to me.]
During a Pledge or National Anthem: Another major peeve of mine is how men and women don’t take off their hats and caps during the playing of a national anthem. Regardless of which country’s anthem is played, hats must come off, period. Parents… please train your kids!
During a Prayer at a Ceremony or Event: Display your respect and take off your hat.
In Places of Worship: Some places of worship require head coverings for both men and women, such as Muslim mosques and Sikh temples. Do your research or ask someone before entering such places of worship. Women should always pack one large scarf and one long skirt when traveling internationally for such a need to cover your head. I sure needed them in both Mexico and Greece.
At a Church: Historically churches required women to wear hats or scarves. Now, it is not as required. However, some churches encourage women to wear hats, and in some places it has become quite a lovely display across the entire sanctuary. It is considered disrespectful for men to wear hats in a Christian church.
At a Jewish Synagogue or Temple: Men are required to cover their heads with a “yarmulke,” a small round skullcap, also called a “kippah,” meaning dome or cupola. There is great symbolism and deep meaning behind wearing a yarmulke. Observant men wear theirs during all waking hours, except when bathing and swimming. Doing so bears witness to their faith. It’s a constant reminder of their humility before God and strong belief in something greater than themselves.
How to Take off a Hat: When taking off your hat, hold it so only the outside of the hat shows, not the inside and lining. Hold it in your right hand across your chest and heart, or place it on your seat while standing tall and respectfully.
People in Uniform: People in the military, Boy Scouts, police and people in other uniformed organizations keep their hats on during “full dress.” Many other interesting regulations about hat wearing in the military exist, so hat etiquette is a required course in the military.
Women’s Fashion Hats: Traditionally, women wearing fashion hats are not required to take them off. That said, unless they are small and tight around the head, they too should be removed when at a dining table or in a theatre, sporting event, or other places where they may hamper someone’s view or be disruptive to others. Large hats are generally for the outdoors, not indoors. Think hat civility!
Question of the month: Have you ever been the subject of or a witness to someone being disrespectful or rude by wearing their hat inappropriately? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Enter your comments and questions below for me to reply.