Is It Okay to Wear a Hat Indoors?

The short answer: no.

However, like anything style-related, when it comes to hat etiquette, there is always a more nuanced way to explain things. After all, though there are rules of style, they should always be treated as guidelines.

For that explanation, we’re turning to our resident hat expert, Alex Mroz, of the Goorin Bros. hat shop. Here’s his advice:

As a general rule, men should remove their hat when indoors.

“Men should think of their hat as outerwear, because essentially that is what it is. Meaning, when you arrive inside a restaurant, cafe, bar, church, etc., you should take it off – if not immediately upon entrance, then certainly when you arrive to your table, seat, booth or pew. You wouldn’t wear your coat to the dinner table, right? And you shouldn’t wear your hat.

Click here to take our Hats 101 course!

As for most public places, such as office lobbies and elevators, it is okay to leave it on, though upon entering someone’s office, I would take it off.

Train stations are fair game for leaving it on, as are airports. I have left mine on while sitting at the bar for a quick pint (though this was due to lack of space for hanging), but would never do so if I had a seat at a table.

Don’t miss our in-depth profile of Alex!

Just remember, as a general rule, men should remove their hat when indoors. When in doubt, take it off.”

Chime in: What are your thoughts on wearing hats indoors?

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Need some more advice? Check out the Men’s Style Advice section! What’s that, you say? Your question’s not there? Send it in and we’ll get back to you!


Chime In

  • Mason

    What I wonder it that if you go to a restaurant but there is no place to put your hat, then what are you supposed to do? I would think it would be rude to set my hat on the table or to leave it on, but if I were to set down, say on the ground, it would seem awkward.

    • Cory

      I usually do one of two things: I either opt to leave it on, or I place it in my lap.

  • Proper Suiting

    Wearing a hat indoors? It depends. If you are in a sports bar or some such very informal place, wearing a team cap doesn’t seem to be abnormal. Even diners or breakfast establishments are places where wearing a hat indoors can be pretty commonplace. Would I do it in a place that seemed even somewhat formal? No.

  • hal12158

    A hat is indeed outerwear, and it’s MUCH easier to wear one with an overcoat or trenchcoat. Then, on entering the building, the outerwear including the hat is laid aside.

    • Third_Party_Now

      You keep your head warm by stuffing it up into your colon.


    Certain religions may require the head to remain covered even indoors, but faith is not fashion. Hats off to you for this interesting post.

  • T2

    There is an IT contractor in our office this week striding around with a gray ponytail and wearing a dumb hat. Seriously. Both of those things are unacceptable. He looks like a total tool and probably thinks he’s “trendy.”