Wearing a cowboy hat can change your entire persona. So, the day you invest in your one, is a day to remember. Unfortunately, unless you know the finer points of hat wearing, you might offend others or unintentionally damage your headpiece. Here are three points of hat etiquette you should understand and why.
1. Hands to Yourself
While it is fine to have admiration for a fellow cowboy’s headpiece, most hat-wearers agree that you should not touch another person's hat. It is also evident that is it downright rude to ask to try it on.
Although hygienic reasons are why some people shy away from hat sharing, others refuse for one reason: they dislike being seen without one. Bad hair days and lack of hair attribute to why many people wear hats. So, it isn't appropriate to ask someone to remove their hat simply for your enjoyment. Stick to talking about hats instead of touching that fine felt. Feel free to ask where they got their hats and how they like them, but never touch unless you’re invited to do so.
2. Respect Fine Hats
A few things rile up hat-wearers, but nothing more than seeing another person destroy a nice hat. Because of this, you should understand the maintenance hats require before you make that purchase. Although there are many types and varieties of hats, men hats fall into two basic categories: felt and wool.
Felt hats, commonly worn in the fall and winter, need to be cleaned and manicured with a gentle hat brush to remove dirt, rogue hairs and dust. Let's say that the hat becomes stained. If so, it may need to be cleaned with a special felt hat cleaner designed to not damage the fibers of the fabric. Felt hats should also be handled by the crown due to the thin brims that are easy to damage.
Straw hats, typically worn in the spring and summer, require less care than felt versions. However, since moisture can disrupt their natural shape, straw hats should be kept dry. Unlike felt hats, straw hats should be handled by the stiff brim.
3. There Is a Time and Place for Hats
After you purchase the right hat for you, it is important to know when and where you should wear it. Traditional wisdom stated that you should remove your hat anytime you go indoors; however, modern etiquette has a more lenient stance on this rule.
As a general rule of thumb, hats should be removed anytime you enter a church, during the national anthem, or when you enter someone's home; all of which show signs of respect. However, these guidelines don't apply to women and may not matter in social or casual settings.
With a large selection of hats, you could never go wrong. Just remember to admire with your eyes and not your hands, take care of your hat like it’s fine china, and take your hat off when necessary.