It's my opinion, that this idea is stemming more from the fashion industry standard seasons, and less from traditional etiquette.
When you manufacture garments on a larger scale, you have seasons and ranges. These ranges are previewed and ordered up to six months ahead of season, and out in stores the same time each year - generally (in Melbourne) Spring/Summer out September, and Winter/Fall, out March.
In an ideal world, we'd run our hat ranges and seasons the same way, but this can prove quite tricky if you're making one of a kind items (as most of us do), however the practicality of designing specifically for seasons is something to keep in mind - and colour trends are also seasonal, if you intend your hat designs to 'match' outfits, it may be something to consider.
Being in Melbourne, Spring is often still chilly - I love crossing over seasons and non traditional fabrics out of season. I'd say it's really just a personal choice.
Alternatively, it couldn't hurt to encourage hat etiquette - there are many articles online on hat etiquette and when it is appropriate to wear certain styles of hats. This years 'audience with the Queen', at the Royal Ascot races was a great example of dressing appropriately for an occasion.
I think it depends on the country and climate. Here in Ireland I think you can get away with felt all year long! I think it depends on the colour and shape i.e bright or light colours in small non-bulky shapes for spring/summer and richer colours and textures for autumn/winter.
Since my question goes along with this topic I am going to include it here.
Are there embelleshments that are more appropriate to seasons. I had a client tell me flowers never went on fall or winter hats. Then why do I have velvet flowers?
Are there other rules I should follow? I don't usually follow the rules but ...
Hat etiquette has something to do with the culture you are raised in. With me being a Black American, we are taught 3 rules. From Easter (Resurrection Day) to Labor Day, its straw hats, from Labor Day to Easter its felt hats. 3rd rule, If your hat is made from Satin Ribbon, they are called "Year Around Hats" and can be worn in any season. I make all my clothes and they are the type that can be worn year around and my hats are made to be worn with one particular outfit. I match the outfit with the fashion fabric so most of what I make, it can be worn year around. EXCEPTION is the color white and black, no white from Labor day to Easter and no black from Easter to Labor day.
That's EXACTLY what I was brought up with. I must admit to this day if I see someone wearing white shoes out of season I hear my mother's voice in my head fussing.:)
AND I LOVE white. I hate to put it away because AFTER Labor day....DARN I don't wear it......but Lord willing, Spring will be here soon.
What about Winter White!!
My Mother used to quote her mother and say that 'only tramps and children wear red shoes'. That's so obviously now a load of rubbish ... I assume most of the other 'rules' have gone the same way. Time to learn/create new ones, I think.
One example is the other week, I went to an event -where theer were men and women, and many wearing hats. for a moment, I took exception to the young men, who continued to wear their hats - flat caps/ fedoras/triblies inside. (I'd always believed mean take their hats OFF indoors.) But, then I realised their hats were part of their outfits, just as the women's were - and relaxed. It was good.
Greer, I was taught that out of respect men were to take their hats off inside as well. I have to admit, it bothers men, when they don't remove their hats. When I see a man who removes his hat when he steps in the door, whether it is work hat or dress hat, he scores points with me.
I was taught the same thing! I do love winter white however. A beautiful winter white felt hat worn with red or green at Christmas is beautiful, in my opinion.