Hats aren't the essential article of clothing they once were but are still worn by both sexes for fashion and for function. Knowing when to remove a hat is as important as wearing the right hat for the occasion.
If you were a medieval knight who failed to remove his helmet or lift his visor and identify himself the consequences could be fatal. Throughout history hats identified social standing and removing a hat was a gesture of respect.
In the "old days," men took off their hats in Christian churches, when they entered someone's home, when greeting a boss, and always in the presence of a lady. Ladies were entirely exempt from "hat rules," wearing them whenever and where ever they wished.
While some of these customs are now historical footnotes, even in today's casual culture, men and women still remove their hats as a sign of respect. Cancer patients are exempt from hat rules. They may keep their hats or caps on at all times if they wish.
Here's when it’s fine to wear your hat and when it’s not:
Read more about dress codes and etiquette for attire.