Social Etiquette: Hats, Dating, and a British Faux-pas

Dearest Readers,

Here at the Millinery House, while we have been putting together some stunning hats for Ascot, we have been discussing the topic of social etiquette. From hat-wearing to dating, we thought we would share our thoughts.

So, first up is dating. The days of Cilla Black's Blind Date are well behind us, and now we employ Take Me Out and Match.com for our dating needs. From reality TV and online dating being subjects considered taboo just a few years ago, they have become a perfectly normal aspect of life. Whereas a decade ago, meeting someone off the internet was the beginning of a crime story on the news, we are now happy to meet a 'Nervous Ned' for drinks, or a 'Brave Dave' for coffee. A complete reversal of social etiquette. So, it led us to ask, how is it that some aspects of social etiquette have changed so much while others have remained the same?

When it comes to hat-wearing the etiquette is quite clear, you follow the rules at Ascot, you never wear a hat bigger than the Mother of the Bride's and if you are brave you wear something like Princess Beatrice's royal wedding piece. Of course, hat etiquette has changed over the years too. Less than 100 years ago, ladies would not even leave the house without a hat on for fear of breaking social norms. It was polite, men would tip their hats to ladies they knew, and hats would be taken off indoors. Top Hats were worn with tails, and crown and brims were common place. However, more recently, hats have become a fashion statement, practical items for rain or sunshine, or an accessory reserved for special occasions.

At the same time, many forms of social etiquette haven't changed at all. Here in Great Britain, we still shake hands on meeting someone, we never ask a lady's age (unless you are feeling particularly bold),we apologise for bumping into someone, or to whoever bumped into us (unless you are a Londoner, in which case you probably scowl), and we insist on efficient and fair queuing systems. So why do we no longer wear hats every time we leave the house? We ask, because as much as we enjoy our online dating, we would have liked the social norm of wearing a hat full-time to have remained. Of course, you may call us old-fashioned, but we just love our hats.

Anyway, that pretty much sums up our musings this week. Bring back the 24/7 hat wearing!

Much love!

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