Stylish and chic and with a long history, every fashionable girl (and the more sartorially daring gentleman) needs to know how to wear a beret. With a military history that dates from Roman times to the present, the beret is also often associated with Bohemian free thinkers and arsty Parisian style. Because of its distinctive shape, many people are hesitant to take on this timeless hat. When worn correctly, this classic chapeau will elevate your style from “eh” to exceptional. When worn incorrectly, however, the hat’s unique shape is lost and the effect is a bit frumpy. It isn’t hard to wear a beret the right way once you know how; here are some basic tips for how to wear a beret as well as few extra ideas for how to take this look one step further.
Most berets are made of soft materials and can be found in either an open knit or closely woven form. Looking rather flat and pancake-like when not in use, it’s when you actually place the hat on your head that style gains dimension. Simply place the hat directly on your head, not to the side or towards the back or front. The key with a beret is not to pull the edge so far down onto your head that it looks like a ski cap that’s too loose; rather, you want to pull it down just far enough that it fits securely on your head, but still has a bit of extra material left on top for the next step, the tilt.
There are a few options in terms of the direction in which you can tilt the extra material of your beret, depending on your personal style. Moving it to the right or left side creates a jaunty, stylish look that is reminiscent of the classic Parisian method. Moving it towards the front and off to one side gives the hat a sexy, mysterious look, while moving it towards the back is more open and youthful. Experiment with different tilts to see which one you like best, or switch up your tilt depending on your outfit and the feeling you’re trying to convey. This is one of the reasons the beret has such staying power, because it’s such a versatile option. Berets that are closely woven often have a natural fold, which makes it easy to create a clean, crisp tilt. Berets that have an open knit style, on the other hand, may take a little bit of fussing and flouncing to get your tilt just right. If you find that your beret is slipping and sliding a bit during the day, simply use a few bobby pins or hairpins to secure it.
Now that you’ve got the basics down, you can start to have some fun. Attach a favorite pin or brooch to the front of your beret for a little extra pizzazz. Because of the beret’s versatile history, you can change its feel depending on what you wear it with. Pair it with a striped top and loafers for a worldly, European look or wear it with a trendy military-inspired jacket and capitalize on its armed forces associations. Soft, unstructured berets add a feminine or bohemian touch to every outfit.