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Hats On or Off?

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

Is it proper to keep your hat on in a casual restaurant?


Hats Off to You

Dear Hats Off,

Assuming that you are asking about casual hats such as baseball caps, then the following applies: Although commonly seen in casual restaurants, it's really not proper etiquette to keep a hat on when eating. Some etiquette experts may advise taking off a hat when eating outdoors, too. However, wearing any type hat is becoming more acceptable in fast food restaurants.

Since we're on the subject of hats, here are more tips:

Casual hats should be taken off in a church, museums, theater, or someone else's home.

As a sign of respect, hats should be taken off in a cemetery and during the playing of the National Anthem.

When in doubt, take it off. Please note that the above recommendations do not apply to ladies wearing fashionable nice hats. However, if the fashionable hat is very large, then it would be considerate to remove it in the theater in order for the better viewing by those behind her.