The Basic Rules of Cowboy Hat Etiquette:
Whenever you enter a building, the hat should be removed.
If it is an informal occasion, you may replace the hat, however for formal occasions it should stay off.
When sitting down for a meal, the hat should come off, unless there is nowhere to safely lay the hat.
When sitting down at a counter for a meal, the hat can remain on.
Out on the range, however, you should keep your hat on while you eat. If you take your hat off, another cowboy might step on it or spill food into the rim.
There are two schools of thought on the proper method for handling hats. One dictates that when putting on or taking off one’s hat, you should grip the brim near the crown in the front and back. The other school maintains that one should never handle the brim but rather should lightly grasp the hat by its crown and place it on top of one’s head.
The Proper Way to Remove One’s Cowboy Hat:
During the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, the Passing of the Flag, in Church, during a Prayer, an indoor Wedding, a Funeral (indoors) or at the “passing” of a casket in a funeral procession. In such moments, take your hat in your left hand, with your right hand over your heart.
When you are introduced to a woman. Remove your hat, taking it by the crown with your left hand, so that you may shake her hand with your right. This should also apply to anyone who is your Elder or a “Man of the Cloth”.
When you begin a conversation with anyone, however this is unnecessary if just saying “howdy” as you pass them.
It is generally considered proper to remove one’s hat whilst in a private home. This is unless others are wearing their hats. It is then considered to be at the blessing of your host or hostess.
Your hat should always be removed while dining in a restaurant, unless you’re in a fast food restaurant.
Important Points to Remember:
Never show the inside of of your hat. The hat band and the inside of the crown should never be in public view.
Wear the right cowboy hat for the right season.
Buy the right cowboy hat size.
Never mess with another cowboy’s hat. A cowboy’s hat is very personal property, so leave ‘em be unless you want trouble!