Cowboy Hat Protocols: Etiquette Rules to Live By or Break?

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In a terrific post that reminds us all to mind our manners, True West magazine wrote about cowboy hat etiquette – propriety and decorum that has been elevated to an art level by southern gentlemen, and not lost on many of today’s Texas men and women. Subtitled, “A survival guide for city folks who may not know the rules,” the post was published in October of last year, but its relevance will continue to hold water for some time to come.

In eight short but relatively easy-to-understand rules, the author handily outlines appropriate cowboy hat etiquette to a “T.” Rule number one is fairly straightforward: “Do not touch my hat.” Identifying that a cowboy hat isn’t a toy and how it’s not okay to randomly take one off of someone’s head, or snatch one up and put it on any old place you’re at, the author makes note of only one exception in this instance. As a fiancé or a grandchild, your boundaries are little broader. Rules two, three, and four deal with where to wear a cowboy hat and how/when to tip it. Respectively, they read: “Do not wear your cowboy hat in mama’s house…Tip your hat like you mean it…Wearing Hats Indoors is complicated.” The protocol for each is clearly defined as best as possible and in the most gentlemanly or ladylike fashion of the day.

Cowboy Hat Protocols: Etiquette Rules to Live By or Break?

Photo: Pixnio

And, almost every Texan can understand and appreciate rule number five, which reads: “The Dance Floor Dilemma.” This is, of course, in reference to how or when, or even if, you should wear your cowboy hat while dancing. Our dance halls, bars, and honky-tonks are often filled-to-overflowing with those that have donned their best hat for a night out on the town with their sweetie. Men and women alike will approve of the True West writer’s comments that, “In the old days, cowboys wore their hats to dances and never took them off, especially while struttin’ around the dance floor. But, so many fights broke out when hats got bumped during dances that there are still places—mostly in Texas—where there is a hard and fast rule that you must take your hat off while dancing.”

Cowboy Hat Protocols: Etiquette Rules to Live By or Break?
Photo: Maxpixel

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