How to know your hat etiquette

Ever curious about what the “rules” are when it comes to wearing hats? Well, here are some interesting tidbits for you to read, adhere to, or mention at dinner parties to make for very interesting conversation!

General Hat Etiquette

It is usually considered proper for men to remove their hats in the presence of a woman.... it is charming mostly it is act of courtesy and respect.

It is also considered proper for a man to remove his hat while on an elevator if possible, especially if a lady is onboard.

Men normally remove their hats when entering a building or reaching their destinations, in a home, at a funeral, or when a funeral cortege passes by.

Women are exempt from the men’s rules and it’s hats off only whilst at home or at the cinema or theatre if the hat is blocking out the view of people behind.

Women should not wear hats with evening dresses. 

Removed hats are held in hand in such a way that shows only the outside and the lining is never visible.

Whilst men do not wear hats inside a church, a woman’s head should be covered, although this is not a strict rule and usually applies only to worshippers and not to visiting tourists.

It is considered appropriate for a gentleman to tip his hat to a lady in passing... he may replace it after passing. If he meets a lady to speak with, he should either tip it or remove it, but then replace it if they start to talk or walk.

It is very poor manners and could be considered quite insulting for a man to tip his hat to another man.

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Hat Etiquette at Weddings

Ladies should wear a hat to a traditional wedding.

Ladies should keep their hats on until the Mother of the Bride removes her hat, which is usually when the formalities of the wedding breakfast are over and done with and gentlemen are free to remove their jackets with coffee being served.

The mother of the groom should choose a wedding hat smaller than the mother of the bride. 

The wedding guests should always be aware to not wear a hat that drowns the head and shoulders for photographs.

As a rule of thumb, the size of the hat should decrease as the time of day progresses. The later the wedding, the smaller the hat. 


Help your fellow hat wearers and share more of your tips below. Thanks!