Berets: The elegant all-rounder

March 13 2013

Leonard. Picasso. Faye. Henry VIII. Che. Can you spot the common thread below? 

The beret is a pretty amazing accessory. Unlike specific styles and trends, the beret is always one of the style perennials: a go-to hat when it comes to having something warm, easy to throw into your bag, classic, stylish and maybe even colourful, depending on what suits your style. Berets also conveniently suit pretty much any face shape and better still: some amazingly well-made ones can cost under £20. Need a hat that does all that? The beret's your answer.

Historically, berets have been worn since the Bronze Age across Europe and have been mass produced starting in the 19th century in France, Spain and italy. A lot of military and police uniforms use berets, mostly for its durability, ease of travel and simple profile. 

Ernest Hemmingway

It was really in the 20s and 30s that men and women started wearing berets as more of a fashion piece and since then, berets have been made not only of wool, but also stretchy knits, leather, denim, polar fleece (machine washable!), satin, wild colours and sequins and fabrics, and even aluminium. Yes, you read that correctly. So you can choose what look you want, whether it's classic or retro, rasta, rock and roll or avante garde... the beret is flexible enough to let you wear it (and not the other way around). 

                                                                   John and Yoko in a beret and flat cap

As well as being flexible in style, the beret is also handy in the way it's made, because you can fit it to your head and shape it the way you want it to look for your style: flat on the side, back from the forehead, pulled down over your ears. There is no universal rule for how to wear it, it's completely up to the owner. If a beret is made of wool, it can also be sized to how you want it to fit, which is pretty handy as well.

You can probably tell by all this that we do love a classic beret. We can't help it-there are so many colours to choose from, the best colours for spring being blueberry, cranberry, lemon, licorice and flannel. It's sometimes the best thing to throw on when you have to run out the door and you want something fun to wear-it might be just the sweet little thing you need for a little pick me up in anticipation of winter ending soon!