Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Etiquette and Women's Hats

When Women Should Remove Their Hats 

It may obscure her own view! "If there is any doubt about a hat obscuring someone's view at the theater, the movies, or a meeting, a woman should remove it promptly."

In the country, when hats are worn at all by women, they may be removed with coats if desired. It is usual at house Christenings, weddings, and funerals to treat the house, for the occasion, as if it were a house of worship and for women to keep their hats on. This, however, is not technically necessary, either for guests or for the woman of the household. 

At garden parties or garden weddings it is purely a matter of preference whether a woman, who has been shown to a cloak room first, decides to remove her hat or leave it on as an important part of her costume. 

In town at formal receptions, teas, luncheons, and meetings women guests usually keep hats on if they have worn them. However, except perhaps at the home of an elderly and very conservative woman, on such an occasion the lack of a hat would not be in any way remarked these days. 

In fact, even at formal luncheons the modern hostess often suggests that guests leave their hats with their coats, if they wish. Certainly if most of the women at such an affair are hatless, one or two women who cling to the older convention in the matter will seem inelastic, to say the least. 

Hats worn with dinner suits or dinner dresses are intended to remain in place throughout the evening and are usually tiny enough not to obstruct the view of those behind one in the theater. If there is any doubt about a hat obscuring someone's view at the theater, the movies, or a meeting, a woman should remove it promptly. If she's asked to remove it by someone having difficulty seeing beyond her, she should do it immediately with murmured apologies. – From Amy Vanderbilt's 1952 "Complete Book of Etiquette"


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia