hats

  • jeep334

    Posts: 409

    Sep 03, 2015 7:22 PM GMT
    This might seem trite but it's something that I honestly do not understand. What is the significance that men need to remove their hats upon entering most buildings? I keep hearing that it's an act of respect and that's the part I just don't get. How does the removal of a hat show respect?

    Yet, in the Jewish setting as even in Christianity with regard to Bishops, Cardinals and the Pope himself in the Catholic tradition, the kippah for the Jews and the zucchetto for the Pope, to be without the skullcap would be horribly wrong (in their tradition). That's what I have actually concluded: That's it's a tradition and not Biblical driven.

    Traditions come and go so what's the deal with the hat?

    I was once in the balcony of a church playing the organ while the parishioners filed down the aisle for communion. There was one young man, who was 18 or 19, in line that had a baseball cap. I leaned over to the choir director and whispered that the boy was was probably going straight to Hell. When he got to the priest, the priest leaned forward to speak privately with him. The young man leaned forward as well and they had what seemed like a 30 second conversation. They both straightened up and the young man removed his hat and received communion. The priest didn't scold him I learned later, rather he explained that they were at the Altar of God and therefore all acts of respect should be shown. As soon as the young man left the altar, he put the hat back on. In that situation, I believe the hat should be removed. The young man, surly by virtue of his catechism alone, or perhaps from his parents or grandparents who all attend mass every Sunday together, should have known better.

    But in every day life-situations, I just don't get it. Shouldn't we be a bit more concerned about feeding the hungry, clothing the poor and healing the sick than imposing our traditions upon each other? icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Sep 03, 2015 7:23 PM GMT
    why people wear hats in the first place? icon_confused.gif I understand in winter time or if you are in the sun, but when you enter a building there is no need for a hat
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    Sep 03, 2015 7:28 PM GMT
    Do a google search for "removing your hat" and you'll get lots of answers.

    It's also interesting to note that women don't have to remove their hats in church, and if I remember correctly, they're supposed to keep their heads covered in church. A lace scarf is sufficient, for example.

    At baseball games you also remove your hat during the national anthem.
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    Sep 03, 2015 7:33 PM GMT
    I was shamed a couple of years ago for wearing my hat inside at an art exhibit. A man walked up to me and whispered in my ear "proper gentlemen remove their hats upon entering a building." It really embarrassed me because I was a featured artist there. I knew about the custom but I just figured it wasn't observed anymore.

    Apparently it originated in the old days before they had central heat and AC. If you were to keep your coat and hat on, it was a signal that you were uncomfortable in the person's home. So cold or not, polite people removed their coats and hats and just froze to death for fear of insulting their host. I have also heard it was considered bad luck, like opening an umbrella indoors. I really think some customs have outlived their purpose and I believe this is one of them.
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    Sep 03, 2015 7:35 PM GMT
    bonaparts saidwhy people wear hats in the first place? icon_confused.gif I understand in winter time or if you are in the sun, but when you enter a building there is no need for a hat


    Some guys are embarrassed that they have thinning hair and are very self conscious about it. I have a friend whom I've never seen without his baseball cap. He went to the gym with me one day and when we went in the steam room he even wore it in there. Just a towel and a baseball cap. So he must really feel embarrassed about it.
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    Sep 03, 2015 7:47 PM GMT
    bonaparts saidwhy people wear hats in the first place? icon_confused.gif I understand in winter time or if you are in the sun, but when you enter a building there is no need for a hat


    This. In times past a man's hat was functional. In winter it helps keep you warm as you loose most body heat through your head. In summer it keeps the sun out of your eyes and keeps the sweat from rolling in your eyes. So when one was indoors one didn't need a hat so one removed it when indoors. Somewhere along the line it became considered I'll-mannered and disrespectful for a man to keep his hat on indoors. This is not the case for women because veils and hats are considered part of their outfit - a fashion assessory if you will.

    I was brought up with the notion that men removed hats when indoors and it was ill-mannered not to do so. Leaving your hat on indoors was a sign that your momma didn't bring up up right and god almighty help you if you came to the table with your hat on! That was surely a sign you were raised by wolves.

    It is a custom that is dying out such as the one that required a man to wear a jacket in the presence of a lady. There was a time when a gentlemen wouldn't dream of being in the presence of a lady in shirt sleeves.
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    Sep 03, 2015 7:58 PM GMT
    Radd saidI was shamed a couple of years ago for wearing my hat inside at an art exhibit. A man walked up to me and whispered in my ear "proper gentlemen remove their hats upon entering a building." It really embarrassed me because I was a featured artist there. I knew about the custom but I just figured it wasn't observed anymore.

    Apparently it originated in the old days before they had central heat and AC. If you were to keep your coat and hat on, it was a signal that you were uncomfortable in the person's home. So cold or not, polite people removed their coats and hats and just froze to death for fear of insulting their host. I have also heard it was considered bad luck, like opening an umbrella indoors. I really think some customs have outlived their purpose and I believe this is one of them.


    Yes, my family will tell you to "take your coat off and stay awhile." So there might be some validity to the argument that you're insulting them. It's as if you're saying that they aren't worth much of your time to sit and visit with them. People in the South are very fond of visitors and extending hospitality. To refuse it is insulting to them.
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    Sep 03, 2015 8:01 PM GMT
    Radd saidI was shamed a couple of years ago for wearing my hat inside at an art exhibit. A man walked up to me and whispered in my ear "proper gentlemen remove their hats upon entering a building." It really embarrassed me because I was a featured artist there. I knew about the custom but I just figured it wasn't observed anymore.


    I know some artists who never remove their hats - all tend to be sort of berets. Picasso wannabes?
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    Sep 03, 2015 8:05 PM GMT
    " A man walked up to me and whispered in my ear
    "proper gentlemen remove their hats upon entering a building."


    DISGUSTING! This man had no idea why you wore a hat on that occasion and it was certainly none of his business.

    A good friend might well point out to you that no one else is wearing a hat...but this stranger was no proper gentleman himself.
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    Sep 03, 2015 8:22 PM GMT
    Radd saidI was shamed a couple of years ago for wearing my hat inside at an art exhibit. A man walked up to me and whispered in my ear "proper gentlemen remove their hats upon entering a building." It really embarrassed me because I was a featured artist there. I knew about the custom but I just figured it wasn't observed anymore.

    ...I have also heard it was considered bad luck, like opening an umbrella indoors...


    I would have responded: A proper gentleman doesn't correct or attempt to shame a complete stranger, especially concerning something so trivial.

    And it's definitely bad luck for the person whose eye you put out by openinng your umbrella in closed quarters. That's probably how that superstition came about. Sort of like its bad luck to walk under a ladder especially if your the guy who has a hammer dropped on his head.
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    Sep 03, 2015 8:26 PM GMT
    Im not a 'proper' gentleman, however I was at a wedding recently and in the chapel there were men in ball caps. icon_eek.gif Ball caps 24/7 isn't a good look. Especially those who wear ratty old ones. My rule generally is, if you are in some form of decent clothes, ditch the ball cap. I also see a lot of young men wearing horrible fedora's and 'porkpie' hats. They look stupid. Most times the brim is way too small for them… If you have thinning hair, embrace it! As with everything, there is a time and place…. icon_smile.gif
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Sep 03, 2015 9:00 PM GMT
    I like ball caps. Nice ones with some design or fun logos. But being a good southern boy, I take it off indoors. I don't mind decorum and protocol as long as it isn't a pain to comply. Like no elbows on the table-- that one I ignore. In general I think many of these practices are used to signify a community, a tacit agreement that we must live side by side so unspoken signs of courtesy help maintain harmony.
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    Sep 04, 2015 4:47 AM GMT
    UndercoverMan said
    Radd saidI was shamed a couple of years ago for wearing my hat inside at an art exhibit. A man walked up to me and whispered in my ear "proper gentlemen remove their hats upon entering a building." It really embarrassed me because I was a featured artist there. I knew about the custom but I just figured it wasn't observed anymore.

    ...I have also heard it was considered bad luck, like opening an umbrella indoors...


    I would have responded: A proper gentleman doesn't correct or attempt to shame a complete stranger, especially concerning something so trivial.

    And it's definitely bad luck for the person whose eye you put out by openinng your umbrella in closed quarters. That's probably how that superstition came about. Sort of like its bad luck to walk under a ladder especially if your the guy who has a hammer dropped on his head.



    Exactly. In fact, that's exactly what I said to my boyfriend after the fact. The truth is, the person who said this to me is someone I look up to very much, and I was actually trying to impress him that night by dressing up as best I could. So I was really humiliated that he said that to me.
  • jeepguySD

    Posts: 651

    Sep 05, 2015 12:09 AM GMT
    Part of the concept is that one should be covered at all times. When indoors, one is covered by the roof so does not need the hat. When outdoors the hat is necessary to cover one's self. This was the case for men. Women were always exempted, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps as UndercoverMan pointed out, in their case it is more a fashion thing.

    In the early 20th Century, and before, it was considered gentlemanly for a man to remove and then re-don his hat when greeting a lady. One would remove one's hat to show respect for the flag, or at a funeral too. I suspect these traditions are somehow derived from medieval codes of chivalry, but I don't really know.

    Incidentally, it is still part of Navy and Marine Corps culture that a man is always covered when in uniform. Hence, a "cover" is always part of the uniform and always worn outdoors with only a few exceptions, such as on the flight line when the cover might be sucked into an engine intake and damage the aircraft. Covers are generally not worn indoors, but there are specific exceptions to that rule too.

    As others have mentioned in their cases, I too was raised to have manners, and this included not wearing a hat indoors. This was further engrained in me in the Navy. I always remove my hat when I step indoors, whether in uniform or not. Seeing other guys wearing a hat indoors does not really bother me, except in a restaurant -- to my eye that just looks ill-bred, though I would never hold that against someone (my ex, whom I still love very much, was from Nebraska and never removed his ballcap, except to shower and go to bed).
  • aax_aax_aax

    Posts: 80

    Sep 06, 2015 4:43 PM GMT
    Purpose of hat was (or is, whatever) to protect you from cold or from the sun. Outside. Inside it's not needed, same as raincoat or umbrella (it ain't religious related custom). Leaving any of those on makes you look like you're not comfortable inside and want to leave immediately.
    I too think it's disrespectful to leave your hat on (whether it's school, theater, gallery or ones' home). Those who leave hat on because of insecurity about their hair should somehow try to live with that. If someone thinks he has an ugly face, he still can't walk around with bag on!