Wearing Hats Indoors: Ever Okay?

The latest installment of Reply-All sees the editors of Gilt MAN pontificating on modern headgear etiquette.

Photo: Luke MacGregor/Reuters/CorbisOn Dec 13, 2010, at 10:52 AM, Jared Flint wrote:
Topic: Wearing hats indoors, ever okay?

On Dec 13, 2010, at 10:57 AM, Jared Flint wrote:
My first thoughts? Absolutely not. On second thought, only on rare occasions. I had dinner with some friends over the weekend, one of whom showed up with a snow cap that should only be accompanied with a lift ticket. I politely told him to take his hat off. He did for a second to reveal a mop of hair only Michael Richards or Jim Jarmusch could appreciate. Definitely a dilemma. He kept it on, I could live with it.

On Dec 13, 2010, at 1:31 PM, Andy Comer wrote:
Jake Davis was rocking a tweed Supreme cap onstage at the Apple Store event last Friday—such an integral element of his overall look that it took me nearly twenty minutes to register it as a moment of indoors-hat-wearing. In other words, he looked very much in charge; downright directorial, in fact. And there was Joshua Kissi of Street Etiquette in the front row, looking awfully sharp in a dark navy beret (an item of headwear I’m very much digging these days…but more on that later). So much as I’m loathe to admit it (like my colleague Mr. Flint, my gut responds negatively to the idea), there’s living, breathing evidence of it as an effective rebel-style move. To me, though, it begs the question… are there types of hats that should be disqualified entirely?

On Dec 13, 2010, at 1:51 PM, Jared Flint wrote:
I must quickly admit that I’ve recently been guilty of this offense. I’m not one to wear baseball caps that often/ever/anymore. But, I do sometimes let my California upbringing shine through and thrown on a Dodger New Era… usually when it’s a Saturday and the most formal item on my agenda is getting coffee. The last time this happened, late afternoon turned into early evening which turned into late evening. All without a wardrobe change. I headed out to an establishment that I won’t name (Kenmare) that has a subterranean bar with lighting bordering on permanent midnight. I kept my hat on. Any place that you have to physically assert yourself just to get a drink doesn’t deserve to see my chapeau-less melon. All this changed when I saw my girlfriend sitting at a corner table with an assortment of other Brits. I headed over, sat down, and proceeded to take in the death stares. They obviously weren’t Orel Hershiser fans. Hat off.

And on Andy’s point regarding types of hats. I’ll just say that if you’re wearing a fedora, trilby, or newsboy cap you’re obviously channeling (and perhaps glamorizing) an era of sartorial civility, not Justin Timberlake. And while during this era women couldn’t vote, they did have doors opened for them, hats doffed to them, and drinks bought for them. So, if you throw one on, take it off, hold the door open, and buy her a drink.

On Dec 13, 2010, at 2:33 PM, Tyler Thoreson wrote:
Headgear policy aside, let’s all take a moment to acknowledge that no one is more judgmental than a table full of expat Brits.

Now, as for hats.

Andy is onto something when he talks about Jake looking downright directorial in his Supreme lid. There was nothing dainty, or unintentional, or remotely respectful of the rules, about that choice in headgear, which is why it worked for him. If you are going to wear a ballcap indoors, it should be a statement ballcap, perhaps even with pinned-up earflaps (as I’m pretty sure Jake’s did), and also a Supreme logo emblazened across the front. If you’re going to break the rules, it better look intentional.

Having said that, I had a quick post-work drink with our new style director, Josh Peskowitz, last night, and upon sitting down he removed his fedora and placed it respectfully on the seat next to him. Which was clearly the right move. If you are going to wear a traditional style like a fedora, it’s a good idea to follow the traditional rules of fedora-wearing. Which is: not inside. Unless you’re in a ska band. (But then, if you’re in a ska band in 2010, perhaps style isn’t your primary concern.)

Josh, since I’ve brought you into this debate, I might as well pass you the mic. What’s your take on all this?

On Dec 13, 2010, 3:03 PM, Josh Peskowitz wrote:
While I’ve been guilty of wearing a hat inside on multiple (and/or hundreds) of occasions, and everyone knows I have a weakness for knit skull caps this time of year, I say the general rule is no—with some substantial qualifiers.

1. You are on stage. Jake’s Harris tweed, lumberjack-flapped, Supreme-emblazoned ballcap was perfectly acceptable—admirable even—because he was on stage being celebrated for his accomplishments. Under those circumstances you can wear whatever you damn well please.

2. It’s the baseball cap of a team you actually route for, and it’s daylight. Daylight turning to midnight happens to the best of us, and therefore gets a pass.

3. The hat is physically restraining your hair. Unless you are a Rastafarian or Sikh, this means you should be re-thinking your hair style right now.

4. You are Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen.

5. Or Brendon Babenzien.

Any hat that is of a traditional variety should be taken off upon entering a bar, apartment, or whatever. It gets a bit more subjective when you are talking about “fashion” or “statement” hats, but then again, approval of those is pretty subjective.

On Dec 13, 2010, 4:59 PM, Jared Flint wrote:
Two great points. A table full of Brits is the modern equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition and acceptance lies on the head of the beholder. I’ll throw Elvis Costello in that category for good measure.

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  2. Sam says:

    josh of course you can wear your hat indoors. you are a major offender! boots up in here you better work. love samantha spector

  3. Michael says:

    In today’s age of casual as hell and business casual with jeans, a hat worn in a bar is the least of our worries. Unless truly in a business, formal, or downright sanctified arena… ie professional meeting, dinner, funeral, etc – be my guest and leave your hat on.
    (Honestly, NYC is too small to take up bar space with your brim).

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  6. Dan says:

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

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