Even though a cowboy hat is a beautiful headgear that embodies boldness and hard labor, it conveys so much more. While this hat is a prominent accessory for western clothing, there is more to it than simply roaming about wearing one. The first and possibly most crucial rule is never to tamper with someone’s western hat. You can never share a cowboy hat since it is too personal and quite often expensive. In some parts of the country, it is even considered offensive to touch a man’s hat without his permission. Therefore, the wisest thing to do is to leave it untouched.
Basic norms one should be aware of
- When entering a building, you should remove your hat.
- If you are attending a formal occasion, you must let your hat rest on your head. And if it is an informal one, you may remove it if you want.
- When you sit down to eat, the best thing you can do is find an appropriate spot to place your hat while you enjoy your meal. If you can’t locate a suitable location for it, it’s best to rest it on your head.
- And if you’ve chosen to eat at a counter, the hat may remain on.
- When you’re out on the range, it’s a good idea to have your hat on at all times. Otherwise, it may become soiled and lose its beauty.
Various hat materials and the purposes for which they are best suited
Originally, felt hats were intended for winter use (to protect against dampness and cold) and straw hats for summer (to protect against sun and heat). That makes fair sense. However, the truth is that the weather defines the type of hat you should wear. If the weather is excessively hot, a straw hat is preferable to a black one. If the night is cool, the straw may be too cold for your head. Perhaps a felt is a better alternative. On the other hand, if the event is formal, it is assumed that you will not wear a straw. Allow your good sense to make a judgment.
Removing and wearing a cowboy hat
There appear to be two schools of thought regarding proper western hat handling etiquette. One sect thinks that while putting on or taking off the hat, the brim should be held closer to the crown, both in the front and back. Another school of thought suggests that the crown, and not the brim, should always be gently held. Nevertheless, have you ever considered how such thoughts even came into existence? The truth is that any handling that causes the crown or the brim to flex or bend will ultimately ruin the form of your hat. The more flexes or bends, the more quickly it loses its capacity to hold its shape. Most people are spotted wearing their various cowboy hat styles by their crowns and adjusting them on their heads just with their brims.
When to remove the hat
Certain instances necessitate the removal of your headgear.
- When the national anthem is performed or sung
- Throughout the oath of allegiance
- Upon entering a church
- During the flag-passing ceremony
- During prayer
- At an indoor wedding
- At a funeral
Carry the hat in your left hand and rest your right on your heart. Also, you can clasp it in your right hand and place the other hand over your heart. Both of these are appropriate.
The following scenarios necessitate the removal of the hat too.
- When you are introduced to a woman (Hold it with your left hand to use your right hand to perform a handshake.)
- When you encounter someone who is senior to you or is a pastor, clergy, or priest.
- While attending a private home gathering (unless you find the others wearing their hats too)
- If you initiate a conversation with another person (not just to say a “hi” or a “hello”)
Several additional points to remember
- Remove the hat using the crown.
- Adjust it by grasping the crown.
- Avoid keeping your cowboy hat with the brim down. Set it on its crown with the brim facing upward.
- Unless you are dining at a fast-food restaurant, remove your hat when dining in any formal restaurant.
- Select the appropriate hat for the season.
- Choose the correct hat size. A hat that is too large or too little will appear odd on your head and may cause discomfort.
- A general rule is to avoid tampering with anyone’s cowboy hat.
So, you see, a cowboy hat is not just an accessory that you can pair with western wear to bring round the macho look. This iconic hat carries its culture and tradition with it, which you must respect. Keep everything in mind before you decide to wear a cowboy hat outside. Otherwise, you risk appearing foolish to others.