You Don’t Have to be French to Love a Beret

While we are most inclined to associate the beret with the French, it has also has a long history in Spain and Italy. The beret was first produced in the 19th Century in these countries. Ever since that time, Artists, men, women, revolutionary groups, military and police units around the world have also adopted the beret into their fashion and passion.

According to, The French word beret is from the Bearnais Berret and described as a “sort of flat woollen cap, worn by the local peasants”. The beret sure has come along way since then. Not only has the military world embraced this headcovering, but the “hipster” world has embraced it as well. Yes, the uniform of the emerging artist, boehmian, and beatnik has included the beret in their attire. Womens fashion in both America and Britain was influenced by the beret invasion during the middle of the 20th century. Towards the end of the 20th century, the Chinese also embraced the beret into their fashion and politics.

Is there really one way fits all when it comes to wearing a beret? With a snug fit to it, the beret feels nice and secure when on the head. Made with flexible material, it can be molded and manipulated in a variety of ways. In America, the beret is most often worn off to the side. In other countries like Central and South America, men and women like to wear it pulled towards the front of the head. Most often seen in solid dark colors, the beret can also be quite colorful. In the Rastafari movent, the berets are very large insize and are either crocheted or knitted with black as the main color. To top things off, red, gold, and green circles are on top. The the Rastafari movement is known for their dreadlocks. This hairstyle and the beret is a strong representation of their biblical covenant with G-d and they refer to themselves as the “black Israelites”.

The beret has also be known to appaer in revolutionary circles in Cuba as well as several revolutionary groups in the United States. The Blank Panther Party, a 1960s activist group, took on the black beret as part of their uniform.

How does a berte feel? While most are partially lined with silk or satin, more modern beret fashions are lined and made of “Polar fleece”. These are very popular and can be thrown in the washing machine.

Do you own a beret? Would you wear a plain black one or one of Rastafari fashion?

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