Every few years there is a drive to bring hats back into mainstream fashion, so far, it hasn’t happened, but, there are still occasions where people do wear hats; and, of course, during winter hats are more widely seen, and the same rules of etiquette for winter type hats remain the same as more formal hats. Here is what you’ll want to know…
There are different rules of etiquette for hats when it comes to men and women. Women may leave their (formal) hats on in most situations, on the flip side, men are expected to remove their (formal) hats indoors with the exception of locations such as lobbies, elevators and other public spaces. As far as hats like ski caps and baseball caps, the rules change a bit. both men and women, and, you are expect to remove casual hats at dinner tables, indoors (in most situations), public spaces such as a theater, and, if the hat blocks someone’s view, it is proper to remove it.
Wearing the right hat for the occasion. By far, people wear hats to special occasions more in the United Kingdom than in the United States, and, the truth of the matter is the Brits have it right. Hats do dress up an outfit and knowing what type of hat to select can make or break your ensemble. Here is a style guide outline to help you out:
- Fancy dress hats should be worn to major horse racing events such as the Kentucky Derby or if you happen to find yourself in England, Royal Ascot. Baseball caps and other casual hats are very out of place in this type of setting, and, it holds true especially for women, and, should be avoided. In fact, at Royal Ascot there is real life fashion police who have the power to deny you admission should you not meet proper dress code standards.
- Weddings are another place where wearing a hat is perfectly acceptable. Again, it is far more common in the United Kingdom, but, some Americans also follow the practice. And, it is better to go subtle than over the top at a wedding, after all, the focus should be on the bride and not you.
- Baseball caps are acceptable at sporting events and for every day chores such as gardening or running to the supermarket. Regardless of cost, they are not acceptable in any type of formal dress situation.
Do’s and Don’ts for purchasing hats can get confusing fast. Here are some tips to help you get things right:
- Don’t take the first hat you see, instead, try several different styles to see what size and shape flatter your face and bone structure.
- Don’t try to match your hat exactly to the color or shade of the rest of your outfit. Matchy-matchy can come across as tacky-tacky and often border on bridesmaid. A bit of complimentary contrast works best in these situations.
- A $300 hat isn’t going to improve a $20 Wal-mart dress. Simply don’t do it.
- Do take your time when hat shopping, and, since good hats are well over $200 and only go upward make sure it is something you’ll be able to use more than once.
- If you cannot find a local millinery shop, Internet shopping may help but, it is very important to know your hat size. The most beautiful hat in the world becomes useless to you if it doesn’t fit you properly!