Hats aren’t the essential article of clothing they once were but are still worn by both sexes for fashion and for function. Knowing when to remove a hat is as important as wearing the right hat for the occasion. But should you leave your hat on inside?
The short answer: no.
However, like anything style-related, when it comes to hat etiquette, there is always a more nuanced way to explain things. After all, though there are rules of style they should always be treated as guidelines.
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Men should think of their hat as outerwear, because essentially that is what it is. Meaning, when you arrive inside a restaurant, cafe, bar, church, etc., you should take it off – if not immediately upon entrance, then certainly when you arrive to your table, seat etc. You wouldn’t wear your coat to the dinner table, right? So you shouldn’t wear your hat.
As for most public places, such as office lobbies and elevators, it is okay to leave it on, though upon entering someone’s office, we would suggest taking it off. Train stations are fair game for leaving it on, as are airports.
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Back in the day, men were taught to remove their hats as soon as they crossed the threshold of a house or public building, and ladies were to remove theirs if they obstructed someone’s view. It seemed like a good policy back then, and in some cases it still is. Whether or not you think it is an outdated rule, it’s nice to show respect for people who still follow it.
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The world has become more casual over time, and even though hats aren’t necessarily a problem, it’s never wrong to remove them when going indoors. Most people have accepted indoor hat-wearing, but there might be some old-fashioned people who are appalled. Whether you’re at a lively sports game or a traditional church service, know the good, old-fashioned hat guidelines, and if you’re not sure what to do, fall back on tradition.