Nostalgic Reflections: Exploring the Traditions That Defined Baby Boomers

By Jack Ripley | March 28, 2024

Following the Rules of Hats and Gloves Etiquette

Born out of the post-World War II era, the Baby Boomer generation emerged as a symbol of resilience and renewal. Defined by a surge in births between the mid-1940s and the mid-1960s, Baby Boomers embraced a variety of traditions that shaped their collective identity. From cherished family rituals to societal norms that echoed their values, these traditions offer a window into the rich tapestry of Boomer experiences and lifestyles. Join us on a journey through the unique traditions that defined a generation.

test article image

The perfectly turned-out lady pictured has clearly consulted her Emily Post, the etiquette authority of the Boomer generation. A hat and gloves were requirements for the fashionable female as she went about her day, running errands and paying visits to her friends.

A hat was also the crowning touch for a man’s business ensemble. The fedora was a favorite style. Men would wear wool hats in winter and straw boaters in summer. No self-respecting Boomer would be caught outdoors without one.

Indoor hat etiquette was another matter. It was customary for men to remove their hats upon entering indoor spaces, such as homes, restaurants, and offices. This gesture was a sign of respect for others present.

Women in the Boomer era considered gloves to be essential fashion accessories. The choice of glove length often depended on the formality of the occasion and the type of outfit.

Watching Television As A Family

test article image

Boomers came into the world just as television replaced radio as a home’s main source of entertainment. This photo shows a family gathered around a black-and-white TV set. In its early years, TV had far fewer channels, and each show came on at a specific time. With a set number of options, families typically watched their favorite shows together. Unlike today, they couldn’t record it to view later or stream it on demand.

Popular shows during the Boomer era, such as "Leave It to Beaver," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," and "I Love Lucy" both reflected and helped shape the values of the generation. Certain TV events, such as the broadcast of major news or significant cultural events, became communal experiences. Families would come together to witness historic moments, creating lasting memories around the television set.

The television set held a place of honor in the living room. Gathering around the television as a family was the norm during this era. Families bonded while enjoying their favorite TV dramas, variety shows, and sitcoms.