Proper Etiquette For Wearing Hats Indoors


Why is it rude to wear a hat inside?

The original purpose of wearing a hat was to keep your head warm, protect your hairline from the sun, and keep dust out of the eyes.

Men removed them when they went inside to prevent any dust that was collected on them from getting on furniture and the floor of a house.


The Practice Of Hat Tipping

The tradition of tipping one’s hat has its roots in bowing to show respect. A practice that was common across various cultures for centuries. When hats became the dominant fashion for men and bowing was still common practice, the hat would have to be removed when a man bent from the waist so that it didn’t hit the floor. Bowing would gradually become less extreme over the course of the 19th century, culminating in the simple hat tip by the 20th century. These days in the 21st century, even that practice can seem a little outdated.

If you’re a regular hat wearer and feel totally comfortable in headwear, you can give a hat tip to people regardless of gender these days too but if you feel that the behavior would seem affected coming from you, you can go ahead and skip the tip.

Straw Hats in 1958
Straw Hats in 1958

What to Do After Removing Your Cap or Hat?

Image Source – Pexels
Image Source – Pexels
  • When you’re keeping your cap in hand, keep it by your side, with the interior side facing you. Hold it by the brim.
  • Do not fiddle or play with it.
  • If you think you might forget your cap when you remove it somewhere, keep it near the door or in any visible place to you.
  • It’s good to hook them on the rack, shelf. Or else, keep it on your lap with its interior crown facing downwards.

Why Should We Follow the Hat Etiquette?

Still, many personality development mentors, body language trainers, etiquette experts stress the importance of hat etiquette without analytical reasoning.

According to Emily post etiquette, there are separate etiquette rules for both men and women, and there are few exceptions for women when they are wearing fashion caps. Cancer patients are exceptional; they can wear caps whenever they want to.


Hats (fancy or otherwise) are allowed…

  • Outdoors
  • At athletic events (indoors or out)
  • On public transportation (buses, trains, and subways)
  • In public buildings (post offices, airports, and hotel or office lobbies)
  • On elevators

If wearing a fashion hat, take it off…

  • If it blocks another person’s view of a wedding, funeral, or baptism

Hats are not allowed…

  • In another person’s house
  • While eating
  • At work (unless at a construction site)
  • In schools, libraries, courthouses, or town halls
  • In restaurants and coffee shops
  • In movie theaters or at indoor events (concerts, wrestling matches, and circuses)
  • In churches, unless it is required
  • When the National Anthem is playing
  • When the flag of the United States passes by, as in a parade

Even those in the military should follow these rules as well. Soldiers have a specific hat or cover they wear while in uniform, whether on active duty or not. After all, you never see those in uniform ordering food or eating at McDonald’s with their hats on.

Hat Etiquette Rules Stress Removing Hats Indoors

While hat etiquette may be less apparent nowadays, removing your hat indoors is the number one rule of hat etiquette. Some people may not follow the other hat etiquette rules as closely, but this rule is still very apparent. 

People will typically remove their hats when they enter someone’s home, meet someone new, attend an event, or take part in the national anthem.

Your Hat Could Obstruct Someone’s View

Another reason why someone may take their hat off is to avoid blocking someone’s view. For instance, women sometimes will wear fancy hats to a wedding. Many of these hats have distinct shapes and can be rather tall. Out of respect, during events, hat wearers will take off their hats to prevent blocking someone’s view. 

Related Stories From YourTango:

30 Pieces Of Sex Etiquette Every Woman Should Know Before 30 6 Virtual Meeting Etiquette Tips For Successful Zoom Calls 10 Online Dating Tips From The Master Of Old-School Etiquette