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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've borrowed this from another website, but find it quite interesting:


It's a matter of history..
The "tipping" or removal of a hat is said to have originated from the same place as the military salute. Knights would lift the visor (face guard) on their helm, showing their face as a sign of respect and their empty hand as an indication they meant no harm. This tradition evolved into the modern military salute. Similarly, the removal of a helm (helmet) or other headgear indoors and as a sign of respect or reverence is said to have originated before the Dark Ages. This tradition was carried on throughout the centuries by men of arms (soldiers) and nobility, as well as their staff, servants and slaves. After the Dark Ages, manners and etiquette grew to become an essential part of everyday life and the conventions of hat etiquette became ingrained in civilized culture.


It's a matter of culture..
Up until the late 1940's and early 1950's, hats were worn by gentlemen, particularly outdoors. It was considered "bad manners" for a gentleman or a lady to be seen outdoors without proper headgear. President Kennedy was the first U.S. President to be seen outdoors without a hat and from the 1960's on, the use of hats declined considerably. According to the Essential Handbook of Victorian Etiquette there are many accepted traditions concerning proper rituals that should be adhered to by gentlemen while wearing a hat. In the 1800's, hat etiquette was strictly followed and thus became second nature to gentlemen in Victorian times. Being that the frequent (or nearly constant) wearing of hats is a tradition of a by-gone era, it is important that those choosing to reenact that era be particularly aware of the proper rules of conduct that should be demonstrated by the wearer.


The Rules..
There are two degrees of politeness demonstrated by a gentleman wearing a hat:
1.Lifting or tipping it, which you generally do for strangers.
2.Taking it off, which you generally do for friends (or in some cases, as a sign of patriotism or reverence).
Both are done as a sign of respect toward the other and dignity toward oneself.

Tipping your hat is a conventional gesture, done by barely lifting it off your head with your right hand (or the left hand if the right hand is occupied): By the crown of a soft hat, or the brim of a stiff one. Your cigarette, pipe or cigar should always be taken out of your mouth before removing or tipping your hat. This is a subtle gesture that should not be confused with bowing.

A man takes off his hat outdoors (and indoors):
(1) when he is being introduced to someone, or when saying goodbye to a woman, elder, friend or ;
(2) as a greeting when passing someone he knows, particularly a lady, on the street (In some cases, tipping or lifting a hat and bowing slightly may be used as a substitute for removing a hat, as a passing gesture);
(3) while talking, particularly with a woman, an older man, or a clergyman;
(4) while the National Anthem is being played, or the American Flag is passing;
(5) at a funeral or in the presence of a passing funeral procession,
(6) when speaking to another of a virtuous woman or a dearly departed loved one.

A man tips or lifts his hat:
(1) when walking with a friend who passes a woman only the friend knows;
(2) any time a lady who is a stranger thanks you for some service or assistance;
(3) any time you excuse yourself to a woman stranger, such as if you accidentally disturb or jostle her in a crowd, or when you ask for pardon when passing in a tight space or when forced to walk between two people that are conversing, particularly if one is a woman;
(4) any time a stranger shows courtesy to a woman you are accompanying, such as when a man or woman picks up something she has dropped, or a man opens a door for her or gives her his seat;
(5) when you ask a woman (or an elderly man) for directions.

Indoors, a man should always remove his hat, (particularly in a home, church, court room or restaurant) except:
(1) in public buildings or public places such as railroad stations or post offices;
(2) in the main parlor area of a saloon or general store;
(3) or while seated at the "lunch counter" of a diner or cafe;
(4) in entrance halls and corridors of office buildings, or hotels;
(5) in elevators of public or office buildings, unless a woman is present;
(6) if carrying packages, parcels or bags and both hands are occupied upon entry.
(7) If the man is an actor or performer and the hat is being worn as a part of a costume or performance.


If in doubt, it is best for a gentleman to remove his hat indoors as soon as practical.
It is considered a sign of contempt and/or disrespect to leave your hat on when it would be proper to remove it. It is surprising how many people do not remove their hats for the National Anthem or a passing funeral procession.. a shame really..

By and large, women are generally exempt from all of the preceeding rules, particulalrly if their hat is fastened (pinned or clipped) to their hair. If a woman is dressed in men's style clothing (jeans, slacks, etc..) and is wearing a man's style hat or cap, it would be considered good manners for them to remove their hat for the National Anthem or a passing funeral procession, but they are basically exempt from all of the other rules.

 

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Oilers football coach [size=-1]Bum Phillips, would not wear his cowboy hat inside the Astrodome because he said his mama taught him to never wear his hat indoors. :smoke:
[/size]
 

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I was taught never to wear a hat in any room in which a flag was displayed, or at a table, or a church.
(I never had to mind that last one as I was raised agnostic.)
I always burns my ass when I go somewhere (and it always seems to be the baseball cap wearers) where it's considered uncouth, crass, or vulgar to wear a hat and some jackass has one on.

Its one of those "didn't yer momma teach ya?" type of things...
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Custer said:
I was told once that cowboy hats were the exception.
It could be among the country singers and some of the people wearing cowboy hats now. But, I think it was different among the guys that wore them 100 years ago.
 

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An old lady was standing at the railing of
>the cruise ship holding her hat on tight so
>that it would not blow off in the wind.
>
>
>A gentleman approached her and said:
>"Pardon me, madam. I do not intend to be
>forward, but did you know that your dress
>is blowing up in this high wind?"
>
>
>"Yes, I know," said the lady,
>"I need both hands to hold onto this hat."
>"But, madam, you must know that your privates
>are exposed!" said the gentleman in earnest.
>
>
>The woman looked down, then back up at the man
>and replied, "Sir, anything you see down there is
>85 years old. I just bought this hat yesterday!"
 

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Good read. Thanks.

I've always worn hats, caps, berets. Even before I had a bald spot.

Only courtesy I've abided by was to take it off when the National Anthem was being played, and to take it off indoors as soon as it was reasonable to do so. That latter being rather negotiable, but, for instance, upon entering an office building I won't take my hat off and carry it to wherever I'm going, but once I've entered wherever I'm going I'll take it off. Rules cited here seem to be more specific, but generally seem to say the same thing.

Hadn't known about taking it off when a funeral procession passes by.

And haven't ever tipped my hat to anyone, nor have I ever taken my hat off outdoors as a sign of respect to someone.

Now I know the errors of my ways. I actually intend to memorize and practice these rules. Thanks!

Dunno if it's still true, 'cause I left the Faith long ago, but it used to be that women were not only exempt from the rule to remove one's hat in church but, quite the converse, at least in Catholic churches women were expected to wear a hat or scarf in church. Is that still true in Catholic churches? Is it true in the churches of other faiths? (The parallel to Muslim women wearing headscarves is pretty interesting - wonder if the practices have a shared origin.)


PS Any man who doesn't take his hat off in my One True Love's house quickly finds that he is doing so at his own risk.
 
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