Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gentlemen, Please Remove Your Hats...

There was a time when all men wore hats, they knew how to wear them and they knew when to wear them. They also knew when to remove them. There was a certain hat etiquette that everyone followed. Generally, a man did not wear a hat indoors, and there were no exceptions, except in lobbies or hallways of office buildings. A man could keep his hat on in the elevator, except if a lady were present. A man never -- ever -- wore a hat in a movie, restaurant or concert theatre. Ever.  Under any circumstances.  Besides, hats were the reason that restaurants, theatres and concert halls had hat checks.  Men were supposed to check their hats at the door.  "May I take your hat, please?"

Sinatra knew how to wear hats. He knew he wasn't particularly attractive in the conventional sense.  He was sort of scrawny and he was not what anyone would call a matinée idol. But he had a certain je ne sais quoi because of his style.  The cigarette, the jaunty hat, the loosened tie -- it all added to his sex appeal.  Add to that a ballad about loss and longing "in the wee small hours of the morning", and he became irresistible.  Sinatra knew when to wear his hat, and he knew when to remove it.  That's style, baby.  That's sex appeal.

Will someone please explain baseball hats to me? Aside from automatically lowering a man's IQ points and making him look less attractive, a baseball hat also makes him look as if he hasn't had a shower for a few days. And when was the last time the hat was washed? *Shudder* Yesterday I went to two beautiful Christmas concerts, one for Marigold and one for Phinnaeus. In both instances, the audience was filled with men wearing baseball hats. Indoors. At a concert. The fellow in front of me was at least six feet two inches tall, with a baseball cap perched atop his head. His whole head filled the frame of the stage, and the baseball cap just ... well ... capped it off. All hope was lost of my ever being able to see Marigold's performance. When the young lady who was emceeing the concert said, "Please turn off your cell phones, your camera flash functions, etc...", I added -- rather audibly, through clenched teeth -- "And please remove your baseball caps...". I think my daughter was slightly embarrassed by my brashness, but in any case, the man in front of me slowly and deliberately reached up, took off his hat and placed it on the chair next to him. Phew. Now I could see Marigold.

How do men get so attached to their baseball hats?  Is there a moment when they first put one on and say, "From this point forward, this will forever be a part of my anatomy..." ? It's sort of like when you see a men chewing on a matchstick or a toothpick in the corner of his mouth.  Did he just one day decide to do it, and that was it?  Baseball cap - check; toothpick in mouth, check...

*Gross*

Men, if you're going to wear hats, at least learn some hat etiquette.  Please remove them when you are indoors.  Thank you.

28 comments:

DJan said...

I barely remember men ever wearing hats, indoors or out. But baseball caps on both men AND women seem to have become part of the landscape for many decades now. And of course, backwards is de rigueur.

Charlene said...

Baseball hats are used as tools to hide bad hair for women and balding heads for men. They are something that has degenerated into nasty things.

jojo said...

it's just another sign of a class-less society...*sigh*

Cloudia said...

Aloha from Waikiki!
Sorry I haven't been around for a while, but if you read my post on Tuesday I'm sure you understand. Wishing you all the best!

Comfort Spiral

><}}(°>

Leslie: said...

...and especially at the dinner table!

Alicia said...

I was going to say that most men wear them to hide their balding heads but Charlene beat me to it. But she mentioned a particular pet peeve with me...women wearing baseball caps while shopping or at a restaurant for breakfast because they didn't want to be bothered to fix their hair before going out. That has always bothered me.

Alicia said...

Oh...and I'm glad you had the guts to speak up and say something to make the man in front of you understand that it was bad manners to continue wearing his cap in the concert.

Firefly said...

My grandfather used to wear hats. I still have one of them on my hat rack at home. Me on the other hand isn't a hat person. I may wear a cap if I know the sun is going to be harsh, but I have to leather hats which I would much rather wear.

the walking man said...

people beginning to or already starving the world over, two major wars and how many regional conflicts, the crushing world wide of the middle class, death and destruction from every cheap street thug, overcrowded prisons, massive foreclosures throughout the western world, poor education systems and a plethora of other problems to be worked on and now I am supposed to worry about whether my hat (a knit skull cap at the moment) offends someone. *sigh*

Bruce Coltin said...

Do you think it might be their way of feeling that they are professional baseball players?

It's the little boy inside them thing.

By the way, my wife agrees with you completely. She has been complaining about this for years.

June said...

Pardon me, Jo, while I use your comments section to indulge in a little crosstalk.

To the walking man,: It's just a little civility. Who knows? If people learned to be simply polite and considerate, one-to-one, maybe all the evils over which you agonize would be less.

lovelyprism said...

The hats, dresses and lovely overcoats are the things I am always most fascinated by in old movies. Those people knew how to dress! You know I love Frank Sinatra! I understand the music part, I never did understand the physical appeal, maybe it's the hat!

budh.aaah said...

Till a few years ago u cud have been saying this for me, me and my cap were inseparable. Now -I hardly ever venture out and when I do the cap is the last thing on me mind.

Kathryn said...

Well, other folks have already said what i have to say.

I think baseball hats have become ubiquitous in our culture. And i think for a lot of men, it is a way to cover baldness. Now that shaved heads are accepted, baldness doesn't have quite the same impact, but in general it hasn't been a symbol of beauty. If they guy is wearing a hat near 100% of the time, you often don't know that he is bald.

My hubby is a shaved-head guy. He doesn't wear hats indoors most of the time. But in the winter (we don't heat the house much) he has to wear a warm cap indoors to keep from freezing! Of course, in the summertime, if he doesn't wear a hat outdoors he will burn his pate.

I think there are many signs of grace from previous times that we no longer have. Wearing hats at the proper time is one. Ladies in lovely dresses and hats. Hankies and cloth napkins.

But we have a lot more freedom of expression and to choose where to go than they did then. Of course, sometimes that gets confusing, not to have societal norms to set the limits, but it is preferable for most of us to set our own destinies.

It seems that we can't combine those things (the freedom from a lot of social stricture) without losing the other (knowing proper etiquette).

Jo said...

Djan, I think baseball caps on women look beyond horrendous. Why would any woman do that to herself??? Oh, well...

Charlene, but why baseball hats? They are so ugly! Bald is beautiful! *heh*

JoJo, you are SO RIGHT...!

Cloudia, I just read your post. I'm so glad you didn't sink. Holy doodle!

Leslie, yes! In a restaurant...!

Alicia, I think any woman who wears a baseball hat should be arrested by the fashion police! *heh*

Jonker, my grandfather used to wear a hat too, but never indoors. :-)

Mark, well, perhaps if folks showed a little more common courtesy to each other, conflicts may not happen so much. For want of a nail a shoe was lost ...

Bruce, your wife sounds like a very wise woman, indeed...!

June, I could not agree with you more...! Thank you!

Charlene, baseball hats and running shoes are the fashion of today. How will we look to future generations? *sigh*

Jyotsna, you are such a beautiful woman, I cannot believe you ever wore a baseball hat...! :-)

Kathryn, yes, a couple of decades ago everything got loose and sloppy, didn't it? At the time everyone thought it was for the better ... but it wasn't...!

the walking man said...

June...civility is a learned action. I am old school enough to open car doors for people and hand them their seat belt. I open store doors and help others as I can but to be honest my hat never even crosses my mind.

When I wear a fedora I do take it off inside but the ball cap *shrug* it is just there and not on the radar. The winter hat I wear now adds maybe 1.4 inch to my head and has no bill and again it is not even on the radar of my consciousness.

In the scene described by Jo how was her view improved by the guy removing his ball cap? He sounded like a giant and his head sounded to be about the size of a basketball. All I am saying is I know what civility is, I use common courtesy on a regular basis without thinking about it but the hat thing *shrug* just is to me someones pet peeve and for that I have little time, little mind to be concerned with it.

No one, especially if they are under 40, hardly even knows etiquette anymore.

If a friend walks in with a stranger and they approach you to say hello depending on their age they without fail do not introduce the stranger, that is a pet peeve of mine and one I call them on.

But I am a poet maybe I have a different mindset. I fight for freedom and if Jo wants me to fight for her freedom to be upset about men who wear hats in elevators and other *inappropriate* places I will add it to the list.

Russell said...

Just seeing this post and have not read the comments - so this may have already been mentioned.

What I really do not understand are young men who wear a HUGE baseball hat sideways on their head. The bill of the hat is sticking out over an ear - not over their nose.

I know it is a style. Just like pants that are falling down.

Regarding the guy in front of you yesterday, that was just stupid of him to wear a hat in that setting.

Being older and not caring any more about being polite around stupid people, I would have told him to remove his hat to another place - and I would prefer if he kept it on his head in the process.

Jo said...

Mark, I think you have missed the whole point of my post. I should have said that it applies to women as well -- anyone who wears a hat indoors -- blocking other people's views in a concert hall, movie theatre, etc. I believe in freedom too -- the freedom to pay $12.00 to see a movie, and to actually be able to see it, rather than just the person's hat in front of me. Sometimes common courtesy is just plain, good old-fashioned common sense. :-)

Russell, Being older and not caring any more about being polite around stupid people, I would have told him to remove his hat to another place - and I would prefer if he kept it on his head in the process. Yay, Russell...! That was my inclination too, but I was afraid I would embarrass my daughter even more, and I didn't want to do that. :-)

CarlaHR said...

Yes indeed, why do people insist on wearing those ugly hats indoors? When my grandsons were little their baseball cap was part of their anatomy and it was a major battle to get them to take it off when we went out to a "fancy" restaurant. I am pleased to report that they have outgrown their hat fetishes. I hate wearing any type of hat and cannot understand how anyone can enjoy a meal wearing one - oh and don't get me started on "hoodies". jojo I'm with you on the class-less aspect of today's society.

CarlaHR said...
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kenju said...

I hate baseball hats on both men and women, and I think they should be limited to the baseball field.

I also hate bandannas used to hide receding hairlines....LOL

heartinsanfrancisco said...

The baseball caps are certainly ubiquitous and unappealing, even more so when worn backwards.

My father, of Sinatra's era, wore hats well. He was a three-piece suit lawyer, his clothes were hand tailored to his exacting specifications, and his hats were also custom made. Humphrey Bogart knew how to wear a hat well, too.

I think the lack of manners regarding chapeaux today is just more evidence of a general lack in every aspect of society. And it's truly a shame. Bill caps do not belong at concerts - period. I believe that class is a thing of the past.

Katy said...

I haven't had time to read blogs lately so I'm just now seeing this post.

I have agree that men shouldn't wear hats indoors, especially at a concert. Maybe its because I live below the Mason Dixion line, but I always heard the hat rule as "Men can't wear hats indoors, but a women should never remove her hat in public."

Of course we are talking about "Sunday hats" here. If a woman where to take off her hat she would have hat hair, and that isn't something anyone wants to see.

As to the woman in baseball hates thing, I think that looks scream, "I DIDN'T SHOWER THIS MORNING." Gross...

Whitney Lee said...

In general, I agree with you. From the other side, however, I will say that hats can be a safety blanket of sorts. A few years ago I lost over half of my hair. If I sat just right and there was no wind I could avoid notice, otherwise it was pretty obvious. Because of this, my cute little corduroy hats became a major part of my wardrobe. I now have more sympathy for men who don't want to part with their hats.

And how do you feel about cowboy hats? I didn't see that one mentioned.

A.M. said...

haha ha lol I wish I was there lol thank goodness he took it off b/c some boys (men) get upset about their property. Anyways, I agree with jojo and its the same generation that doesn't give up their seats to the elderly or a pregnant women. I'm glad things work out.

RoseRed said...

I agree, but worse yet was my daughter's winter concert. They did a flag ceremony and those of us in my family were the only ones standing as the flag was brought into the room and posted. The announcer didn't ask everyone to rise until AFTER the flag was already posted. What has happened to basic etiquette?

Mia said...

In an I Love Lucy episode Ethel says that she has to go home to change since she's never worn blue jeans on the subway. Styles change.

Andrew de ramos said...

What does a hat have to with anything. It's all about character and how a person carries him or herself, not an article of clothing. So is the problem really the hat or your foolish lack of control on the situation? Think about it. Why does it bother you much? Times have changed and this is truly