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Her Hats Are Not Always Culturally Correct

 

Evelyn Hannon

In one of our past newsletters, Journeywoman posted an interesting question submitted by a member of our JW Network. It read:

“I'm an inveterate hat wearer; I wear one every day, to work, to the laundromat, when I travel. Is there ever a time or place around the world when it would not be appropriate to wear a hat?”
Antonia in Philadelphia, USA

Surprisingly, that posting created quite a buzz. We learned about different scenarios where it is not correct for a woman to wear a hat. We also read delightful anecdotes from women who absolutely love to wear hats. All this material has been compiled for everybody to enjoy but be forewarned -- we've made no attempt to challenge any of the opinions submitted. Are all the facts presented completely accurate? Culturally correct? We really don't know for sure. If anybody reads a glaring error please write to editor@journeywoman.com and we'll post new findings.

Still, if you do find yourself in a situation where you're not sure whether wearing a hat is correct, one of the emails we received offered the perfect advice. "When travelling...the easy solution is simply to ask with honesty and humility and most people will be only too happy to tell you what is appropriate."

Not at the cinema...
Women, remember to wear a wide hat in the sun, but please don't wear one in the theatre, the cinema, the circus. If you want to feel dressed make it a turban.
Anne, Zanzibar, Africa

Not at the yacht club...
This is a long standing tradition. It is totally inappropriate to wear a hat in the bar of a yacht club. You'll will be asked to remove it or leave. Funny thing is you can go in there looking absolutely disgusting after sailing, but that's fine. Go figure!
Sally, Australia

Not at the theatre...
Apart from the obvious one of women not wearing a hat to the English theatre (larger ones block the view of the person sitting behind you), there are some congregational churches that regard hats with little enthusiasm. If in doubt, ask beforehand. It does depend very much on the nature of the individual churches.
Chris, Hampshire, England

Not at the Vatican...
I know from past experience that when you visit the Vatican, men and women shouldn't be wearing their hats inside St. Peter's Basilica. I hope this information is of some help to you.
Mary, USA

Not at the Vatican...
When I was visiting Europe a few years ago, I made sure I took a hat with me. I wore it in the sun of course, but I also had it handy, because I understood that some of the older churches still required women to have their heads covered. At the very least, it would be showing respect not insult to wear one. I come from a Catholic family, and my mother tells me stories about when she was young and they forgot their hat, they would cover their heads with a hankie! So imagine my surprise when on my trip to Italy, I entered the Vatican with my hat on and this Italian person, who had something to do with the church, rushes over to me indicating that I should take my hat off. I still don't know to this day, why it was an insult. It wasn't a baseball cap, it was a ladies straw hat with a band and a flower. Why in the seat of Catholicism is it bad to wear a hat?
Ms. Leigh, Canada

Cute hat, kid...

Due to a sinus problem, wearing a hat keeps the forehead warm and me in a better mood. Walking on a London street, a voice behind said "Love your hat, darlin." I turned to see a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk smiling at me. I returned the smile and a big "thank you." My son and I continued on with warmth in our hearts. A couple years later, wearing the same hat (a favorite crocheted with brim that keeps the sun off and stays on in wind) in Las Vegas, a group of young men passed, one saying "Cute hat, kid". I am 78. I refuse to go any place that has a "No hat" sign.
Carol (a traveling 'kid'), Oceanside, USA

 

Chinese Men and green hats...

In China, never give a married man a green baseball cap. In this part of the world, wearing a green hat suggests that your wife or girlfriend has been unfaithful. Either this man will become alarmed, shed a few tears or become very angry. I think you'll agree that none of these options are particularly pleasant ones.
Evelyn, Toronto, Canada

 

All about hats 2 / 3

 

 

 

 

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