Hat Etiquette

The cowboy hat is an item of apparel that can be worn in any corner of the world, and receive immediate recognition as part of North American cowboy culture. At Burns we love our hats!  They embody our personalities and are a symbol of who we are as individuals.

If you are looking to be a hat connoisseur you have to be educated in hat etiquette.  Check out our list of tips below and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an expert.


  • The National Anthem is played.
  • The Flag is passing.
  • In the presence of a funeral procession or at a burial.
  • In the presence of a woman.
  • In an elevator, especially if a woman is on board.
  • In a restaurant, unless there is nowhere to hang it or have it checked.
  • Asking a woman for directions.
  • In entrance halls, corridors of office buildings, or hotels.
  • Speaking to a woman you know.
  • You are being introduced or saying good-bye.


  • Greeting or passing a woman stranger.
  • A stranger shows courtesy to a woman you are with.
  • You excuse yourself to a female stranger, as in a crowded line, or when you bump into her.
  • A female stranger thanks you for some service.
  • You are walking with a friend and you pass a woman he knows.


  • Tip your hat by barely lifting it off your head by the crown of a soft hat or the brim of a stiff hat.
  • Never put your hat on your bed. The old wives tale says if you do, you must spit on the hat and throw it out the door to rid all the bad luck.
  • When you remove your hat, hold it in your hand so that it only shows the outside, and the lining isn’t visible.
  • It’s considered inappropriate for men to wear a hat in a church; however, it is considered appropriate for woman.
  • It may be considered insulting for a man to tip his hat to another man.
  • A woman may leave her hat on in a theater unless those behind her can’t see, or must move their heads to see.
  • Many people who wear hats put “good luck charms” inside the sweatband. Some things could be a $2 bill, an Ace, concert tickets, motel room keys, pictures, or anything they consider lucky.  When it comes to “luck” anything is possible under your hat!

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