Speaking of manners....

  1. I've been wearing a hat for quite a while now. It's just a regular, brown fedora.

    I've tried my best to stick by the standard of etiquette required of gentlemen who cover their heads. This has been most puzzling to my 13 year old cousin - he can't seem to fathom why I have my hat on one instant and off the next. The strange ritual of 'tipping' the hat. And why I have them on indoors sometimes and not indoors at others.

    So I went looking for a "resource" to guide him to. Here's a general guide I found:

    There are two degrees of politeness demonstrated by a gentleman wearing a hat:
    1.Lifting or tipping it, which you generally do for strangers.
    2.Taking it off, which you generally do for friends (or in some cases, as a sign of patriotism or reverence).
    Both are done as a sign of respect toward the other and dignity toward oneself.

    Tipping your hat is a conventional gesture, done by barely lifting it off your head with your right hand (or the left hand if the right hand is occupied): By the crown of a soft hat, or the brim of a stiff one. Your cigarette, pipe or cigar should always be taken out of your mouth before removing or tipping your hat. This is a subtle gesture that should not be confused with bowing.

    A man takes off his hat outdoors (and indoors):
    (1) when he is being introduced to someone, or when saying goodbye to a woman, elder, friend or ;
    (2) as a greeting when passing someone he knows, particularly a lady, on the street (In some cases, tipping or lifting a hat and bowing slightly may be used as a substitute for removing a hat, as a passing gesture);
    (3) while talking, particularly with a woman, an older man, or a clergyman;
    (4) while the National Anthem is being played, or the American Flag is passing;
    (5) at a funeral or in the presence of a passing funeral procession,
    (6) when speaking to another of a virtuous woman or a dearly departed loved one.

    A man tips or lifts his hat:
    (1) when walking with a friend who passes a woman only the friend knows;
    (2) any time a lady who is a stranger thanks you for some service or assistance;
    (3) any time you excuse yourself to a woman stranger, such as if you accidentally disturb or jostle her in a crowd, or when you ask for pardon when passing in a tight space or when forced to walk between two people that are conversing, particularly if one is a woman;
    (4) any time a stranger shows courtesy to a woman you are accompanying, such as when a man or woman picks up something she has dropped, or a man opens a door for her or gives her his seat;
    (5) when you ask a woman (or an elderly man) for directions.

    Indoors, a man should always remove his hat, (particularly in a home, church, court room or restaurant) except:
    (1) in public buildings or public places such as railroad stations or post offices;
    (2) in the main parlor area of a saloon or general store;
    (3) or while seated at the "lunch counter" of a diner or cafe;
    (4) in entrance halls and corridors of office buildings, or hotels;
    (5) in elevators of public or office buildings, unless a woman is present;
    (6) if carrying packages, parcels or bags and both hands are occupied upon entry.
    (7) If the man is an actor or performer and the hat is being worn as a part of a costume or performance.


    If in doubt, it is best for a gentleman to remove his hat indoors as soon as practical.

    It is considered a sign of contempt and/or disrespect to leave your hat on when it would be proper to remove it. It is surprising how many people do not remove their hats for the National Anthem or a passing funeral procession.. a shame really..

    By and large, women are generally exempt from all of the preceding rules, particularly if their hat is fastened (pinned or clipped) to their hair. If a woman is dressed in men's style clothing (jeans, slacks, etc..) and is wearing a man's style hat or cap, it would be considered good manners for them to remove their hat for the National Anthem or a passing funeral procession, but they are basically exempt from all of the other rules.
    Link

    Any other "hat wearers" out there?
    Yes, when the occassion demands (such as when I have to wear suits) - I also carry my wind up pocket watch.


    No, I'm not 70 years old
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   prmenrs
    I recently sat behind 2 men in a [Christian] church for a wedding. The father and another male relative--neither one removed his hat!

    Now that really got to me!!

    I'm not a frequent hat wearer any more. Used to be for church and changes-of-command. Now, only for sun protection if I'm going to be out for a while.
  4. by   dianah
    My kids would loudly protest that, to be fair, women should be subject to the same rules as men!!! (I'm sure that will change when they're a little older and have a girlfriend, lol!)

    I agree, if a man is to wear a hat he should abide by "the rules." But these days a lot of ppl ignore or are ignorant of "the rules." Too bad, really.

    Thanks Roy!
  5. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from prmenrs
    I recently sat behind 2 men in a [Christian] church for a wedding. The father and another male relative--neither one removed his hat!
    I hope they got stared at!

    Quote from dianah
    My kids would loudly protest that, to be fair, women should be subject to the same rules as men!!! (I'm sure that will change when they're a little older and have a girlfriend, lol!)
    I know it will!

    I'm all for the 'equality of the sexes' but I still insist on opening doors, giving up seats in a bus/train or doffing my hat towards a lady among other things...

    Quote from dianah
    I agree, if a man is to wear a hat he should abide by "the rules." But these days a lot of ppl ignore or are ignorant of "the rules." Too bad, really.
    Yes, I agree. I won't go on some silly spiel about "the good old days" - I'm not as selective as that. I just wish people were a little more discerning. For example: I just can't understand HOW anyone can wear a cap/hat/hood while sitting and eating food!

    Quote from dianah
    Thanks Roy!
    "Always a pleasure. Never a chore"
  6. by   Grace Oz
    Thanks for posting this, Roy. I knew some of the rules regarding a man wearing a hat, but this article has enlightened me further. I'd love to have a return to the days of good manners! But of course, when one dares to suggest people use good manners, one is deemed "old fashioned!"
    I think a fedora on a man looks classy!
    Last edit by Grace Oz on Aug 15, '06
  7. by   Grace Oz
    Speaking of hats ...............
    Did I tell you about the hat DH bought in Disneyland during our trip "up/over?"
    He needed a hat so bought one with a good sized brim to help shade his face. It was made from a straw like material and had a black band around it with "Disneyland" emblasoned thereon. He later ditched the band with the logo on it! lol
    Anyway.... he wore that hat all over America and when not wearing it, carried it. It travelled with us as carry on in all the 10 planes we flew in! The hat became an integral part of our baggage. It flew to Hawaii and onto Australia.
    We arrived home here, (Southern Australia), only to discover the hat missing!!
    It'd been left behind in customs at Sydney airport!!!!! :icon_roll
    We could do nothing but laugh!!
  8. by   dianah
    Quote from Grace Oz
    I think a fedora on a man looks classy!
    Yes, very "dapper!"

    I'm like prmenrs, I wear one mainly for sun protection (and usually I wear only a visor): function, not fashion. I've never gotten used to wearing one for dress or daily wear. I don't want to block anyone's view, I guess, lol!
  9. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from Grace Oz
    Thanks for posting this, Roy. I knew some of the rules regarding a man wearing a hat, but this article has enlightened me further. I'd love to have a return to the days of good manners! But of course, when one dares to suggest people use good manners, one is deemed "old fashioned!"
    I think a fedora on a man looks classy!
    Thank you Gracie and D!


    Amongst most of my "peers" - wearing a "hat" isn't usually considered 'classy' - it's more along the lines of "freaky/weird/old <insert expletive>" :icon_roll


    I like manners though. There was an old quote that used tires (or tyres, depending on your nationality ! ) to justify courtesy and politeness.

    It went along the lines of "Politeness and courtesy are like air in tires. They're free to use and they smooth the bumps along the road".

    Grace ~ An Aussie? Misplace a hat?!! Unthinkable!
    Just kidding!


    I must add -- I'm not ALL that "proper" about wearing my hat. As in, I don't say/think "Well, if I'm going to be wearing a hat, I should wear such and such clothes". Many a time, I DO wear my hat with casual clothes - but the rules are still followed
    Last edit by Roy Fokker on Aug 15, '06
  10. by   prmenrs
    Dianah-if I wear a visor, the top of my head gets sunburned! It really hurts, too, and you can't put sunscreen up there. Hence the hat. I guess I'm beyond the stage where looking like a total dork doesn't really bother me!
  11. by   dianah
    Quote from prmenrs
    I guess I'm beyond the stage where looking like a total dork doesn't really bother me!

    I'm at the age where I can SO relate!!
  12. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    but I still insist on opening doors, giving up seats in a bus/train or doffing my hat towards a lady among other things...

    ok mr. hat-doffer. what else do you doff towards a lady?
    (am i reading this wrong?)

    my grandpa always wore a fedora, and tipped it to passerbys who said hello.
    when he died, it was one of the few things i wanted.
    i still have his woolrich flannel shirt that he enjoyed wearing, and his fedora.
    it's a lost art, manners that is.

    leslie
  13. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from earle58

    ok mr. hat-doffer. what else do you doff towards a lady?


    LESLIE!
  14. by   catlady
    I always remembered how the late coach Bear Bryant, famous for his jaunty hat, would take it off if the Crimson Tide was playing in a domed stadium...his momma always taught him to take his hat off indoors.

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