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Hold On to Your Hats

Susan poses wearing a black sun hat in a black evening gown.

They add a pop of style to any outfit. They can hide a bad hair day. They’re classic. They’re trendy. They’re the ultimate accessory.


Hats can take an outfit from simple to iconic in the blink of an eye—think Audrey Hepburn’s Chapeau du Matin hat in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” The hat, paired with a little black dress, made fashion history with its clean lines and over-the-top elegance.

But with great power comes great responsibility. Hats are an accessory that require some social awareness for both men and women. You might be wondering when it’s appropriate to wear a hat indoors, or what rules apply to which sex. Here are some quick and easy pointers to keep in mind when deciding to rock at hat.

Fashion Hat Etiquette for Women

When it comes to fashion hats—like Audrey’s Chapeau du Matin—etiquette dictates women can wear them indoors. This is likely to bring a sigh of relief to most women, as the idea of taking a statement piece on and off (hello, hat head) can be tiresome.

Susan smiles in a purple hat while holding her daughter.

However, women should remove their hats if they are at work or if they are blocking someone else’s view at an event.

Casual Hat Etiquette for Women and General Hat Etiquette for Men

When it comes to more casual headwear for women (think your baseball caps), or all hats for men, be prepared to remove the accessory more often.

  • In someone's home

  • At mealtimes, at the table

  • While being introduced

  • In a house of worship, unless a hat or head covering is required

  • Indoors at work, unless required for the job

  • In public buildings such as a school, library, courthouse, or town hall

  • In restaurants and coffee shops

  • At a movie or any indoor performance

  • When the national anthem is played

  • When the flag of the United States passes by, as in a parade

Casual hats are, however, permitted to be worn at sporting events, on public transportation or in the lobbies of public buildings.

My Picks

Now that we’ve gotten the hang of hat etiquette, it’s time to move onto the best part of hats—wearing them! I’ve picked a few of my favorite (affordable) styles that are easy to wear with a variety of outfits. Shop the looks below.

XO, Susan


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