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Have You Seen Any Real Cowboys Wearing Their Hats in Restaurants?


To try and keep this on the Texas board I would like to know where I could eat, and what kind of place would it be, where wearing a hat would be acceptable. I am balding and I want to dine where I can wear something on my head and not look like a sissy. Kidding.. , but Bikers do it, no?)

There's this thread goin' on : http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6642...
I am 63 and spent my first 50+ years in Texas. A lot of summertime was spent around farmers and cattle ranchers in Texas and Oklahoma.
Tho my memory is foggy, I seem to remember cafes where men did not always shed their hats. Certainly did not shed their gimme caps... What about their Stetsons, cheap straw work hat or other head gear? Any fancy places?

  1. Well, This doesn't answer your question, but when Bum Phillips was the head coach of the Houston Oilers he didn't wear his hat in the Astrodome, because he said that he was taught not to wear a hat indoors.(http://en.allexperts.com/e/b/bu/bum_p...
    )So if you're going by Bum's rule, unless you're going al fresco, nowhere would be the answer.

    1. Well, you don't take off the hat for lunch when you come from and are going back to work. You don't wear Winter or dress Stetsons to work. You don't wear gimmies to dinner, unless right after work and casual. If then, you don't take em off. Unless you're a tpourist, you don't wear a Stetson out at night - but in that case you take it off when seated for dinner. If you leave a Stetson type hat (Mexican summer Stetson type hats are more macho) on your head when off work, it should be sweat, water, and grime stained and broke to fit yer head. If you wear a Winter/dress Stetson, it should be with a cowboy cut suit at a wedding, Elks Club election, Vet's dance, or if you own the whole town.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Good reply Sam. My memory is of the sweat and grime darkened straw hat that virtually never came off, unless perhaps you were out of the sun or wanted to wipe your forehead to keep all the crap from running into your eyes.
        I wonder if Bush Jr. ever left his hat on? There's a cowboy!

        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          I live in Houston and I see someone wearing a cowboy hat about once a month, not in a restaurant, but anywhere.

          1. re: James Cristinian

            I don't think there's much pokin' of cows in Houston. The traffic is bad enough as it is.

            1. re: Scargod

              The first time I visited Houston was in the mid70s and I saw a horse tied to a parking meter.

              1. re: c oliver

                Probably a police officer, they're the only people I've seen riding a horse, unless the rodeo is in town, and I was born in thre 50's.

                1. re: c oliver

                  I lived in Flower Mound, a fast growing and affluent (for the most part), burb of Dallas. I occasionally saw riding horses tied up at the convenience store on FM 1171. But then we had riding trails around Grapevine Lake, too.
                  Just saying that a few miles more and you were in "Highland Park" like territory with big shopping centers. A few miles in the other direction and there were real cowboys.

                  1. re: Scargod

                    You know, there's a large Arabian breeding farm across my back fence (and most of my neighbor's back fences too), and probably at least a half dozen places with large paddocks filled with horses within a mile of me, yet I have yet to see ONE person on horseback! Never thought much about it before, but now that I have it does seem strange!

            2. re: Sam Fujisaka

              One of my former neighbors, Ben Fowler, was a small-time rancher; ran 40-50 head a year just to keep a farm/ranch property tax exemption. Ben's in his 70s and never cuter than in his dress boots, (always) pressed Wranglers, white, button down Oxford cloth shirt, blue blazer and cowboy hat (I think it was something fancier than Stetson but can't remember.) But the hat came OFF when he came indoors, not just in a restaurant. Same with his work hat.

            3. Used to see it all the time when I lived in El Paso. Cowboy hats and baseball caps. Not so much up here in the north. North Dallas area, that is. '-)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Caroline1

                Correctomundo! I comprehende. I believe I was seeing it up in Denton (farther north), area and Justin, Ponder, Decatur and Krum. Dallas and the burbs are mostly just for the poseurs, though some boys have settled in the city and might be slow to adapt.
                Remember, it hasn't been that many years since Ft Worth had sawdust on the floor of a famous Q place.
                FWIW, that was so you could spit, and so on, on the floor... I doubt they gave a whit whether you had your hat on in that place or not!

              2. Like the wearing of blue jeans, I doubt there are many restaurants where wearing a hat would be any problem at all with maybe the exception of places like the French Room, Mansion, etc. and I wouldn't even be too quick to rule them out.

                1. Jfood has never seen any real cowboy wearing a cowboy hat in any restaurtant in New Canaan, CT.

                  He does seen Mr. Lauren dressed in some really weird duds on Sundays though.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: jfood

                    Don't ya think it's time for Mr. Lauren to start aging gracefully and ditch some of those duds?

                    1. re: c oliver

                      what you see on TV ain't nothing. he one time drove his gull wing car, got out and he was dressed from head to toe in leather and sequins along the seams. Looked like a m jacksaon wannabe. fortunately his wife was dressed perfectly as she always does, and age appropriate.

                      1. re: jfood

                        And I'm going to assume this WASN'T Halloween? She does always look lovely and age appropriate.

                  2. "I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy, come sit down beside me ..."

                    1. "Straw" composite Stetson style hat with wide brim (shaped up a bit on the sides and a bit down front and back) and back to front top crease.

                    2. Justin Ropers in plain brown leather, heels cut for Western saddle riding

                    3. Wrangler jeans

                    4. Long sleeve shirt, pressed, buttoned up

                    5. Raincoat cup up to the ass to clear the saddle.

                    6. Belt with buckle you won, even if at 4H years ago for riding a goat

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      I tried riding a calf once as a kid. No way!

                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                        "Real" cowboys wear Wranglers, as you note, because the inseam is a single stitch and therefore more comfortable than Levi's which are double-stiched. (The wife of a Levi Strauss retiree is full of such minutiae.)

                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          And re #6, I mentioned in another thread, the award can't be for "salesman of the month." Bull riding shows you're stupid and cutting horses that you're rich.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            And bronc riding shows that you can take serious pain. All of the rodeo riders I've known have been physical wrecks, and all had the good manners to remove their hats when indoors. (Other than one who also was dumb enough to grope me at the dinner table and got a butter knife stabbed through his hand for his pains.) He was a real boor, though.

                            1. re: pikawicca

                              Bronc riders - IMO!!! - are slightly less stupid than bull riders. Bulls weigh more :) So he earned his stab for TWO things - the groping, of course, being the more serious. If it walks like a boor, talks like a boor, and wears a hat indoors.... :)

                          2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                            Sounds like George Strait to me, Sam. He's one of a kind...Gentleman George is.

                          3. A few months ago I was at a 3-day event with at least 50 ranchers from Texas, Oklahoma, the Dakotas, Montana, etc. I saw enough enormous belt buckles to stock multiple rodeos, but at no time did any of the gentlemen (or their wives) wear a hat to dinner.

                            And at least one of the women bred and competed with cutting horses (LOL).

                            19 Replies
                            1. re: rockycat

                              Well, rockycat, that's about as definitive as one is likely to get, isn't it? 'Course, the operative word in your post may be "gentlemen." :)

                              I know a man who used to compete at a minor level with his cutting horses. His wife complained that her mare had gone to the King Ranch but she never had :)

                                1. re: rockycat

                                  just curious, why the "LOL"?

                                  I used to hang out w/ people who showed reining horses at a pretty high level, and as I recall, the men with manners took their hats off indoors, and the ones without, didn't.

                                  1. re: danna

                                    LOL. referromg c oliver's comment about "cutting horses if you're rich." These ranchers were quite, quite well-off.

                                    1. re: rockycat

                                      Definitely not a cheap hobby.

                                    2. re: danna

                                      SO you ARE saying you saw some doing it? What percentage? Were these all western hats/cowboy hats? Other than wearing the hats, how would you rate their other manners?

                                      1. re: Scargod

                                        yes, i recall seeing a few fail to take their cowboy hats off when they went inside. Although certainly not rude people, I would categorize them as having slightly less correct manners all around. Oh, and also the narcissists...I remember one trainer who really DID look good in his hat and didn't much like taking it off...ever :-)

                                        Like you, my memory is foggy, but I think it also depends on the level of "fancy" you're talking about. I think leaving the hat (whether cowboy or baseball) on is going to be MUCH more normal in a diner at lunchtime than someone's home or a nicer restaurant. Like someone else suggested, perhaps pick an al fresco spot?

                                    3. re: rockycat

                                      I'm too young to have seen this live, but from hours of watching Turner Classic Movies, it seems that it was perfectly appropriate for women to wear their hats in restaurants in the 40's and 50's.

                                      I won't even wear a baseball cap in a fast food joint. Don't know what prompts that practice, except my mother drilled it into as a kid.

                                      1. re: FrankD

                                        Someone posted here that women covering their heads originally was a modesty thing. I grew up in the 50s and 60s and in the 50s, we did wear hats (and gloves). But we seem to have evolved out of that and I would be just as critical of a woman wearing a hat indoors unless at the Derby, Ascot or some such :) But those aren't really hats, are they???

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          I know that the practice of men wearing hats supposedly went into decline when JFK gave his inaugural bare headed. But Jackie - every picture I saw of her until at least the 70's, she was sporting that little pillbox. I can't figure it out.

                                          1. re: FrankD

                                            Perhaps the fact that women didn't get the right to vote until 1920 may have contributed to our moving a little slower than the "boys."

                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                Just trying to give some social perspective :)

                                              2. re: c oliver

                                                Huh...given how smart the female set is, how come Jackie couldn't figure it out for forty years? C'mone now you know you deserved that comeback. :-))

                                                Now, did Andre Agassi have to take off his "hat" when he dined? What a great story about the French Open and his wig.

                                                1. re: jfood

                                                  Yeah, yeah,yeah. You used to be such good kid. Now you're as bad as the rest of us.

                                                  Didn't hear the Agassi story.

                                          2. re: FrankD

                                            It's still perfectly appropriate for a woman to wear a hat in a restaurant or anywhere else. A woman's hat is considered part of her "outfit" and she is not expected to remove it unless she wants to.

                                            A woman doesn't usually wear a hat in her home when having guests, it implies to the guests that she is expecting to go out somewhere.

                                            1. re: middydd

                                              I'm not trying to be argumentative but I'll ask: upon what do you base your opinion that it's appropriate today/2009 for a woman to wear a hat indoors?

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                As someone who loves to wear hats I've tried to make sure I'm not offending anyone inadvertently, and so have looked into what's generally accepted hat etiquette for women.

                                                The only grey area seems to be whether women still can wear a hat indoors if it's a more male type hat, like a baseball cap. Even Miss Manners seems kind of ambivalent on that point.




                                                1. re: middydd

                                                  We all know that the internet and "Miss Manners" is the be all/end all for answering this definitively.
                                                  I am curious about women wearing baseball caps/gimme caps, because many more do nowadays. What if it is a fancy one? Some are very elaborate, stylish and costly.
                                                  Look at how many restaurants are relaxing rules about jeans and jackets.
                                                  There are people you are going to offend regardless of what you wear and how you act. I started this thread because someone was offended by my wearing a cap into a restaurant and wearing it in the bar. I removed it as we were seated in the diningroom. So, I am accused of having no manners, being a boor or lowbrow. I think if your hat impinges on someone's space or vision then you should remove it.I doubt that I will take up wearing a hat in a restaurant to spite anyone.

                                        2. If I were a guy and felt I needed to keep my head covered, maybe to spare folks the sight of a chemotherapy-ravaged scalp, I think I would wear a beret.

                                          I'm not clear on whether hat etiquette rules ("hatiquette"?) apply to berets or not. How do you tip a beret? maybe you can get away with keeping the thing on where a regular hat would have to be removed?

                                          1. I live in Dallas and do not see too many cowboy types as you might when in the good city of Fort Worth (stockyards and all). I do see some gentelemen wearing hats on occassion and see nothing wrong with it. You will see something worse, I fear, should they decide to remove the hats.

                                            I was in Terlingua last weekend for the chili cook off, and saw nearly every head donning a hat, even inside the local restaurants. I think it is simply proper to sport the Stetson indoors.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: DallasDude

                                              How were you able to determine that they were "real cowboys" rather than just people wearing cowboy hats?

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                After a while you can just tell. In the city they have a certain look that is distinguishable. At Terlingua they had horses and some even arrived in a covered wagon. Fairly telling.

                                                1. re: DallasDude

                                                  Having lived in a rural, ranching community for about 15 years, what was "distinguishable" was that "real cowboys" did NOT wear their hats indoors. And a covered wagon in 2009 is a fun thing but not an indicator of "real cowboys." I know this because a woman I know who competes at a relatively high level in dressage (about as far from a cow as you can get) drove a wagon for an Oregon Trail memorial event.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    I can assure you and anyone who cares to listen, that the cowboy contingent at Terlingua were part of a very real working ranch from Colorado (not Texas) and did their part to raise an incredible sum of money to benefit ALS research. Hat or no hat.

                                                    Chili was good, too.

                                                    I lived in a very rural community in Kansas with Amish, some wore their hats indoors. Some of the farmers did as well. Guess they were uncouth. I think for working men stepping into a cafe after hours herding cattle or running a combine, you get a hall pass on the hat removal thing. I don't want to know what evil might lie beneath.

                                            2. I'd definitely go with "in certain circles..." in certain circles, yes, in others, not in a million years.

                                              I am in rural mid-western TX, and have the unique - to these boards - position of having owned a small town 'cafe" in an area where cowboy hats are practical, not fashion, and I've noticed that we've got such a culture shift going that we're now all over the map.

                                              I can safely say that there are bubbles, last bastions of old Texas etiquette, but I'm afraid that the Texas I know and love is quickly (so quickly!) being dissolved by the internet and satellites bringing every other corner of the world into my own. Of course I'm part of that, and it isn't all bad (Huy Fong at my local grocery store.. what?!) but you've brought back memories with your simple question.

                                              My grandfather wore a straw hat almost every day of his life. Felt was for ranchers and funerals. He would never in a million years have kept his hat on during a meal, and wouldn't have known what to make of any restaurant where hats were acceptable indoors. He had an impeccably secure sense of right, wrong and where he stood in the world, and how others should be treated and respected.

                                              But it's... different now. Elmer Kelton is dead. Cormac McCarthy has taken his place. Sometimes I, a relatively young woman at 39, don't know which I prefer.

                                              1. etiquette suggests that as a sign of respect hats are to be removed when inside, except for places that are large public areas like streets, such as lobbies, corridors, and crowded elevators (non-residential). In a public building (where there are no living quarters)elevators are considered public area and you may choose to wear your hat or not ...however in the presence of a lady your hat must be removed.

                                                15 Replies
                                                1. re: KitchenKitten

                                                  And if they're not a lady? Who is to judge who is a lady and who is a gentleman?

                                                  How about my example of being in the bar of a restaurant? What about a bar, period? Often they are separate from a restaurant.
                                                  I think this issue of being labeled as having "bad manners" by wearing a hat is foolishness. People should look beyond the attire and a concentrate on how the person acts. There's too many examples of wonderful human beings who were/are eccentric in their dress and other habits.

                                                  1. re: Scargod

                                                    You're not rich. Only rich people are "eccentric." The rest of us are just weirdos.

                                                    Hats indoors, elbows on the table, burping loudly --- clearly the decline of civilization. Where will it all end???????

                                                    1. re: Scargod

                                                      manners are manners there are actual books on the subject ... to use manners means you are showing respect for not only your companions but also for yourself.... a lady is defined as a female you hold in high reguard...like wise a gentleman is a male you would hold in high reguard ... to hold them in high regaurd means you choose to care for and respect this person and lets face it who wants to dine with someone you do not hold in high reguard and just because you have been showing lack of reguard to your dinning companions for ages does not mean its the right thing to do... just like it would be equally bad manners to point out to the hat wearer that its bad manners to wear a hat at the dinner table.

                                                        1. re: KitchenKitten

                                                          I can just imagine a conversation like this:
                                                          "You didn't open the door for her or pull out her chair for her.."
                                                          "Nope, she's no lady".
                                                          "But you keep inviting her and she has good table manners. You like having meals with her".
                                                          "Yep, I do. I just don't hold her in high enough regard to do those things, though." She's no lady!"

                                                          1. re: Scargod

                                                            he he i can hear her speaking to her friends later about the dates "he seemed like such a nice man before we dated ... however he drops the door on me after he walks through it, drops my coat on the floor, the waiter has had to seat me and do not even get me started about him wearing his hat at the table ... i thought i he liked me sadly it does not appear so... " to bad he did not treat me like a lady <giggles>

                                                            1. re: KitchenKitten

                                                              You nailed this guy, KK. Who wouldn't want to date such a treasure?

                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                And the mythical person is clearly a lady since she didn't say "take your damn hat off!"

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  I'm sure she said, "Please remove your hat, sir." Had no effect on Scargod, however, who said something unprintable.

                                                          2. re: KitchenKitten

                                                            I was taught to assume that all women were "ladies" until proven otherwise.

                                                          3. re: Scargod

                                                            Oh yeah, we'll let you decide what's acceptable or not. There are accepted cultural norms that determine what is polite behavior. You don't get to make your own rules. I have no interest in encountering fellow humans who are "eccentric in their dress and other habits." Bathing? How bourgeois.

                                                            1. re: Scargod

                                                              Stepping into the clubhouse bar for lunch at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland my friend was immediately reprimanded for wearing his golf hat.
                                                              NOTE THEIR DRESS CODE:
                                                              Headwear is not permitted in the Clubhouse.
                                                              Gentlemen are required to wear jacket and tie in the Smoke Room and the Dining Room although casual golf wear is acceptable in the Club Bar and for lunch in the Ailsa Room.
                                                              Denim jeans, tee shirts and training/sports shoes are not permitted in the Clubhouse or on the Courses.
                                                              Ladies are permitted to wear tailored shorts.

                                                              1. re: monku

                                                                My husband played Royal Troon and I dropped off and picked up. What a lovely place. Can you imagine their reaction to ANY hat much less a COWBOY hat? Too funny to even think about.

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  I'm sure scargod would feel entitled to wear his cap. We just don't understand his vibe.

                                                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                                                    He may feel entitled, but he wouldn't have gotten past the lady bartender that immediately scolded my friend to remove his cap as soon as we walked in the door.

                                                          4. My husband just told me a story. When he was in the Army, he said if you went into the officers' club wearing your hat, which BTW was considered part of your uniform, a bell was rung and you had to buy a round of drinks for everyone there. I guess "An Officer and a Gentleman" actually meant something :)