Greta Garbo, Ernest Hemingway, Edith Piaf, Ernesto Che Guevara, Pablo Picasso, Audrey Hepburn: what do they have in common?
Simple: they were Beret lovers. The origin of the name comes from the peasants of the Basque Country (Basque hat in French) but already in 400 AD. a round and soft hat spread throughout Europe. Until the thirteenth century had variable shapes and dimensions but which kept the fabric constant: wool felt.
At the end of the eighteenth century the beret took on a military and political meaning: it was first worn, blue, by the soldiers of the Scottish army and then, red, by the Spanish rebels. Always blue for the French Alpini, black for the Royal Tank Regiment, while green for the American special forces: they are still called Green Berets. It is still part of the uniform of the armies of many countries, including Italy.
But it is impossible to think Berret without connecting it to France: a symbol of Paris, of artists and revolutionaries, from the 1920s it spread among painters, singers, writers, movie stars and bohemians. So much so that today it is known as French Beret.
In short, the beret is one of the most famous and recognizable hats in the world, but the real question is: how to wear it?
Beret is in one word versatile! It is your ally to define the look you like best, fortunately it adapts to all face shapes. (See our beret collection here)
Some examples? If you wear it slightly tilted to the side, you will immediately have a retro and vintage style. Perfect for a French style that with striped outfit, a pencil skirt and retro coat. This style was revived from the television series Emily in Paris.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a more casual style, you can wear it backwards, covering your ears and leaving your forehead free. This style is fresh and modern and you can wear the beret every day. An advice? Play on the colors: you can adapt the beret not only to your overcoat but also to your accessories such as scarves, gloves, bags and shoes. This is how you will color the classic dark coat that we have in our wardrobes.
Finally, you can lightly press the beret on the forehead for a more alternative grunge style. A pair of sneakers, a leather jacket and your favorite band's shirt will be the perfect match.
What if you don't feel comfortable with a soft beret on your head? Simple: opt for a stiff beret. We made it from wool felt and it has the same shape as the classic beret but will hold its shape due to the structure like a regular hat. Brilliant, right?
How to wear a men's beret
Is the beret also a hat for men? We want to answer now and forever: Yes! If you have skipped the origins of the Beret we repeat: the Beret was born as a man's hat. And it is still used a lot today. The beret, in its simple wool version that we like, is the unisex hat. Focus on dark colors if you are approaching Basque for the first time. A beret in shades of gray, placed ¾ across the forehead that leaves the ears free is your style ally. With an elegant coat it will give you an extra touch, with a leather jacket for a rock chic style or with a waxed jacket for a retro and slightly Northern European style. Once worn you will not be able to do without it.
How to reduce a beret hat's size
Many customers ask us how to change the size of the beret to better fit the head. Let's start by saying that our berets are one size fits all and the soft selected wool fits naturally on the head. But if you still have problems we are here for you. While it is relatively simple to stretch it using our machine which gently stretches the wool fibers without damaging them, it is not so easy to tighten the beret. You have to arm yourself with a needle and thread. We've read about terrible things online like washing your beret at 90 degrees. You don't. You will felt the wool ruining the beret which will be unimmable. Furthermore, you will not be able to quantify the narrowing of the Beret so we do not recommend it. If you are not familiar with a needle and thread, no problem: Cappelleria Bertacchi will be happy to help you tighten your hat. The situation changes with the rigid berets: to tighten them, just put a hat reducer and you're done.
How to elevate your Beret?
If you have a special occasion or are feeling whimsical why not embellish your beret with a brooch? Lateral and not too heavy, it will immediately make your beret precious and certainly unique. Just be careful that the brooch isn't too heavy to ruin our soft wool.
Or you can choose the beret with the veil, a novelty for this autumn-winter season. A light polka dot veil will make your look retro and absolutely elegant.
And how do you wear your beret? Do you collect all colors like us?