My recent Fashion Friday post about wearing hats while eating caused quite a stir. In case you missed it you can click here to catch UP.
The following day, when I arrived at the Waffle House, my posse were all sitting at the counter sans chapeau.
I got the point, they read my blog. What more could I ask?
One of the comments on that post, from my life-long friend, Nola, asked that I research the whys and wherefores of hat etiquette. Or, as I call it ‘hatequette”.
So, being the accommodating soul that I am, I dug in.
Hats or other head coverings of all kinds are as old as the hills. A great percentage of body heat is lost through the head. I’ll just say a great percentage, because reports vary. Some say 90% and some are as low as 20%. And frankly, I don’t know if the loss is 90% of body heat total, or 90% of the body heat one loses, which may be a smaller percent, since it’s 90% of an unknown number.
But, I did find that taking ones hat off inside is at the very least as old as the Bible’s New Testament, which is about 2,000 years old.
1 Corinthians 11:4-7 tells us that “…every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head, but every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head covered dishonoureth her head…For a man indeed ought not to cover hi head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God…”
Now, this is talking about prayer, not about eating, But, many people do pray before they eat, and in St. Paul’s time, the writer of the book, most people would have prayed before they ate.
Over time, general convention in Christian circles called for the removal of a man’s hat when entering a building, eating, or addressing a person of higher station.
For many years, tipping one’s hat was a show of respect when passing a lady. It was usually done with a flourish, and was really a way of flirting.
Warping through the years, we find that modern etiquette demands that a man remove his hat when in someone’s home, indoors at work, at meal times, in restaurants and coffee shops, at a movie or an indoor performance, when the National Anthem is played, or when the flag passes by in a parade.
Women, on the other hand, must remove their hats when blocking someone’s view.
Now you know.