Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Should there be a 21st-century hat code?

Oh, the lovely old days, when people used to dress like this and everyone knew the important hat etiquette. According to columnist Miss Manners (quoted in an article about Hat etiquette), the reason for the rule of women being allowed to wear their hats everywhere was the following:
Men's hats are easily removed, but women's hats with ribbons, bows, flowers and other decorations can be quite a production to remove, especially if they're anchored with hat pins.
According to my collegues, the same old etiquette still applies, ie. boys are not to wear any type of headgear in class or school canteen, whereas girls are exempt from this rule. Apart from prohibiting overcoats in class, this is the only dress code my school stipulates.

So, at my school this sign reads: "BOYS, no hats/caps."

In other words this boy must remove his hat at school, but the girls can keep theirs on. I really can't see why it would be any more difficult for the girls to remove theirs - hardly any ribbons or flowers here! I don't think this really makes any sense in these days of partly unisex fashion.

In actual fact, I don't even notice who is wearing a hat or a baseball cap and who isn't. I am more interested in what goes on inside the head underneath the headgear. My suggestion is to either accept that headgear is an essential part of teen fashion today, move on and abolish the archaic rules, or apply the hats off rule to everybody equally. But for saying this, I am considered a dissident trouble-maker, while colleagues continue wasting time talking about the horrible caps meeting after meeting.

Photo: Sissy and Bubba by Patrick Q on Flickr


Hanna said...

I laughed out loud reading this. :-) The same thing seems to apply also in higher education institutions, at least at TAMK. Some teachers seem to be amazingly concerned about students wearing caps in class, and some have even raised this question in department meetings. This must be one of the clearest indicators of generation gap in our schools. I just can't understand why wearing something in your head should be such an important issue. :-)

sinikka said...

Hi Hanna
Thank you for your comment, Hanna :) Isn't it interesting, and ridiculous at the same time, what educators waste their valuable time on! As if Finland and all its values would perish with changing fashions.

Anonymous said...

The only objection I'd have to students wearing hats in class would be if the hat obstructed my view of their face. But that would apply to girls and boys. Throughout history people have clung to rules about dress and decorum without questioning the reasons behind these. For example, being married to a Russian Orthodox priest, I shock and disappoint people by not wearing a scarf. Women are supposed to cover their heads in church. The reason given is that it's a sign of humility. Also, that the hair has been (was) a very attractive part of the woman and distracting for men who are trying to pray. My argument is that it was common dress in Christ's day, a custom. Yes, it was distracting because it was probably the only part of the body which was exposed!Meanwhile, we have humble women covering their heads but exposing other, in my opinion, more noticeable parts of their body. I can't believe that so many women still think it's so important to cover their heads in church - all of them seem to be doing it in Russia as well! I just can't see the point.

sinikka said...

Hi Tania

Sorry, I only discovered this comment - weeks afterwards. You make a very interesting point. I never knew that it was an orthodox custom to require that women cover their heads in church. Religious rules concerning attire are a very sensitive issue, a taboo to talk about, let alone question, for many people. You are very brave to object to the old rules but I can imagine how difficult it must be.