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I have a question about the pattern "wear [something] into/to a [place]/[event]"

  1. wear a hat to a party
  2. wear a hat into a party
  3. wear a hat to a stadium
  4. wear a hat into a stadium

Do "to" or "into" make a difference?

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To wear X to Y ordinarily implies that you put X on as appropriate dress for travelling to or being present at Y; for instance

I wore a hat to the party ... (because it was fancy dress)
I wore a hat to the stadium ... (because it was very chilly)

The expression may also be used with the implication that you negligently wore inappropriate dress:

My dear, he actually wore a bowler hat to the opera!

Into would replace to only in speaking of your wearing X while (and after) entering an enclosure. So it would be possible to speak of wearing a hat into a stadium. It is difficult to imagine why you would mention wearing a hat into a stadium; but it is easy to imagine that wearing a hat into a place where you ought to remove it would provoke comment:

My dear, he actually wore his hat into church!

But I cannot come up with a situation in which you might say that you wore a hat into a party.

  • So this might be wrong: "Netherlands wears black hat into World Cup semifinal vs. Argentina" – meatie Jul 10 '14 at 2:44
  • @meatie: Stadium is implied in that title, we know the match took place in a stadium. But are you aware that wear a black hat is a set phrase? When someone is said to wear a black hat it doesn't necessarily mean he wears a hat but that he is behaving as the bad guy. On the opposite someone who is described as wearing a white hat can mean he is the good honourable guy. StoneyB will probably expand on that when he gets back to his computer. That could be a nice ELL question/answer. – None Jul 10 '14 at 6:50
  • @meatie: This article is the best I could find to explain the metaphoric use of white hat and black hat which is quite common in internet slang and marketing. The point of the Washington Post article you're linking to is (as far as my very poor understanding of football can tell) to demonstrate the Netherlands team are behaving like villains. – None Jul 10 '14 at 7:07
  • @Laure Admirably put. If meatie doesn't ask the question I will, and you can answer it! – StoneyB on hiatus Jul 10 '14 at 10:56
  • @Laure So, it should really be "wear black hats to the semifinal", not "into"? – meatie Jul 10 '14 at 12:58

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