The Etiquette of Hat-Wearing

“When am I ever going to wear a hat?”, another frequently asked question. As far as I am concerned: every day!

A hat is not just for weddings and funerals. Of course, a special occasion calls for a hat. But any boring old Tuesday also calls for a hat. A summer hat to keep you coolheaded, a rain hat to keep you dry or a winter hat to keep you warm.

Dresscode

Whether or not you wear a hat at a special occasion, depends on the dress code. Actually, the dress code tells the gentleman what to wear, a lady is expected to know what goes with his outfit.

  • Tenue de ville: a hat for the ladies is not a must, but it is allowed.
  • Morning dress: ladies are expected to wear a hat.
  • Black tie: a cocktail hat or fascinator with a cocktail dress (knee length), no hat but possibly a fascinator with a evening gown (full-length)
  • White tie: a fascinator with a ball-gown.

On or off?

A gentleman will remove his hat indoors, a lady may keep hers on anywhere and anytime (even in church, during a wedding, baptism or funeral). However, a rain hat or warm winter hat must, of course, be removed.

Big or small?

A lady does not wear a wide-brimmed hat after 5 p.m. (the brim originally served as sun protection). Especially during the evening, a fascinator is more appropriate. When the event mainly consists of ‘sitting and listening’ (Prinsjesdag, funeral et cetera), it is considered impolite to wear a hat so big that people behind you cannot see.

Tilted or straight?

A hat that ‘tilts’, always tilts to the right. This stems from the days you would be escorted by a man on your left. A fascinator or small cocktail hat may also be worn tilting left. If your wear your hat straight, make sure your eyebrows remain visible.

Expert advice

The most important thing is to enjoy wearing your hat, otherwise it will end up at the back of your closet. And you will enjoy it, if you are wearing the perfect design in the perfect size. So: seek expert advice. Too large a hat and you may look like a clown. A hat that is too small will start to wobble, not a success either. You want to buy a hat, but do not know what is right for you? Contact Berry Rutjes Jr. Hatdesign. I will make an appointment with you for a visit to the salon, where you can try on all kinds of hats.