During winter, my extremities are always cold. This isn’t really an issue, except for my head. At home, I wear a hoodie or sometimes a wool babushka. But what should I do at work or other indoor public places? What is the etiquette of hats indoors? – Patricia, Manchester Township, N.J.
The question of wearing a hat indoors used to be very simple. Men removed their fedora or trilby upon entering a building, while women could keep their hat on as part of their outfit. As the rules have become less clear, the general consensus is no hats at the dinner table, but hats are acceptable everywhere else. The choice of hat depends on personal freedom vs. the social contract. A wide-brimmed hat or a homburg may get in the way at a dinner party, and any headgear that shades or hides the eyes is not ideal in a social situation. Balancing your own needs and desires with those of others is important. Despite the etiquette, it is true that an exposed head can feel very cold. So, the question remains, what should be done?
A beanie is a safe choice for testing the waters, as it is the least intrusive and least fussy type of hat. Another solution is the knit ear-warmer, which avoids the question of indoor hat-wearing entirely. It solves both the warmth and etiquette issues and often looks like a fortune teller’s scarf, giving a sort of mysterious air and offering a potential conversation starter. The ear-warmer is a great option for those running out of stocking stuffer ideas. Questions are edited and condensed.