Why is it Rude to Wear a Hat While Eating?

If you’ve ever sat down to eat with others, without removing your hat first, you may have noticed that you received some strange or outright “rude” looks. 

That’s because sitting down to eat while wearing a hat is considered rude by almost all cultures with eating etiquette rules of any kind.

But, why is it rude to wear a hat while eating in nearly every known culture? Read on below and find out why!

Why is it Rude to Wear a Hat While Eating?

Wearing a hat isn’t rude strictly while eating, it’s rude to wear a hat inside, period. Unless you are in your own home, wearing a hat at the dinner table, or while eating in general, has been taboo ever since hats existed. 

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, wearing a hat while eating rates 9

The only reason wearing a hat inside while eating doesn’t rate 10 out of 10 on the rude meter is that some people are ignorant of proper etiquette. 

It is only in this case that you truly don’t know better, that wearing a hat while eating isn’t rude. That said, you will still be seen as rude for eating with your hat on, even if you aren’t aware. 

Why is it Rude?

Wearing a hat while eating has been considered rude ever since hats existed (or very shortly after their creation). 

Proper hat-wearing etiquette is one that dictates people remove their hats upon entering homes and buildings where eating may take place. 

In fact, proper hat etiquette says one should remove their hats upon entering just about any structure where other people are present (let alone doing so before setting down to eat).

Common Questions

Why is it rude to wear a hat if you’re eating?

Wearing is rude because, in most cultures, you should remove your hat when you enter a home, business, place of worship, or elsewhere where people gather. 

In other words, your hat should already be removed if you are eating indoors (because it should have been taken off with your coat, gloves, and any other outerwear or protective gear you happen to be wearing when you entered.

Is it rude to wear a hat during dinner?

It isn’t rude to wear a hat during dinner in your own home and your family is familiar with your habit and is accepting of it. 

Just about everywhere else you could share dinner with others, wearing a hat while eating is absolutely considered rude behavior. 

Don’t be surprised if a few of the people at the dinner table are stiff or rude to you as long as your hat remains on your head during the meal.

Is it rude to eat in restaurants with a hat on?

It isn’t rude to keep your hat on in a fast food restaurant, and even in some new-wave restaurants, it may be ok to keep your head covered. 

However, if you have a quick look around most traditional restaurants you’ll quickly find that most people (if not all of them) have their hats off. 

That’s because it is considered rude to keep your hat on while eating in almost all cultures, regardless of where you are.