Russell Smith in his Globe and Mail article confirms a reader’s dilemma when he says that “undefined spaces [like malls and sports arenas] blur the rules of hat-wearing.”
In fact, Mr. Smith (author of Men’s Style: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Dress) makes only one definitive statement regarding a situation in which a man must remove his hat by declaring that “no hats are worn in restaurants, no matter the size of the room“.
His own rule of when to remove his hat is vague but rather depends on the size of the public place he’s in. A small boutique, where you’ll likely wind up chatting with a clerk, is an example of a place where your hat should be removed upon entering. On the other hand, if you’re browsing in a large department store, you can keep your fedora or panama in place “while bending over light fixtures or carpet swatches.”
I agree with Mr. Smith’s take on modern-day doffing situations; however, I have a bit of a quandary he doesn’t seem to address even in his archives. When I do doff, I can’t help but look at and admire extensively my hat in hand, often pointing out the weave or trim details to an interested maitre d’ or confectionery shop owner. While these interludes are pure delight, I must say that I’ve missed quite a few meals and forgotten several purchases this way.
Thanks for reading,
Famished CEO Hartford York
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