If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know my undying love of berets. I may have minor dalliances every now and then with other forms of head wear, but in all truth, my heart belongs to the beret.
And with Valentine’s Day nearly upon us, it seemed an amusing idea to share my love of berets with you, as an alternative Valentine’s Day post because I’m sure you don’t need to read yet another blogger’s post about ideas for his ‘n’ hers Valentine gifts or outfits….. zzzzz.
Come stroll with me through 15 cracking reasons as to why you should wear a beret – at all times.
Apart from when you’re in the shower.
Or possibly when you’re asleep.
1. Easy to pack for holidays or trips abroad.
On my last trip to France at Christmas, I packed 3 berets in my suitcase, each taking up minimal room and barely adding any extra weight to my luggage allowance.
2. Easy to store.
They take up minimal room and there’s no need for multiple hat
boxes. Or if you do store them in a hat box, you just stack them one on top like a pancake tower!
Oh, and before you think, hang on a minute… is that a cat sitting on top of…. no, it’s not a curled up, sleeping cat. It’s my uber fluffy, leopard print beret!
3. You can squish, squash, fold and
scrunch them in your bag and they still ping back into shape;
making them perfect to wear if you commute; just pop your beret into your handbag when it’s not required to be of service, on your head.
4. They exude a timeless style.
Certain styles of
hats may come and go but the beret is enduring and never looks dated.
5. They’re ageless.
40+ ladies, however open to wearing different styles, might be concerned that some millinery could make them look like mutton dressed as lamb, but berets look equally cool on a 63 year old, as on a 23 year old.
6. They are one of the most inexpensive, yet stylish forms of head wear you can buy.
Good quality wool berets can be purchased for under £10!
7. Über warm and light to wear in Winter.
Pom pom hats and beanies don’t even come close to the warmth I feel when wearing a wool beret on a freezing cold day.
8. And unlike pom pom hats or caps, I never seem to suffer from hat hair.
You know the look. The one where your hair ends up literally being smeared down the sides of your head like glue whenever you take a hat off.
9. Berets never blow off your head when it’s a windy day!
The number of times I’ve seen women clutching onto their floppy hats or fedoras for dear life, even in in moderate winds, whilst my beret remains firmly attached to my head is more than I care to count.
10. Good for all head sizes.
I have a
very small head and most hats fall down over my eyes. With berets, I
can style them so they sit well on my head.
11. They’re unisex.
Perfect for adding a masculine element to
an outfit as in my menswear inspired Suited & Booted look. Yet at the same time, the soft texture is a feminine counterpoint. Marlene Dietrich wearing her beret was the epitome of this look.
12. They add an extra style element to a smart outfit.
if they have some intricate detail such as crystals or sequins.
13. A coloured beret adds a complementary yet contrasting pop of
colour to any outfit.
Playing on colour theory, here are two colours that sit opposite each other on the colour wheel. Raspberry and teal are really only extreme shades of red and green. The raspberry jacket is the dominant colour, the teal beret, the complementary one.
The result is two strong pops of colour that work in harmony with each other, whilst providing an eye-catching contrast.
Here the teal beret is still working on the above principle but as part of an outfit with a more sophisticated feel.
This time it’s the complementary colour to deep maroon.
14. Ideal to wear as a linking accessory, in either colour or print.
Here I’m wearing varying shades of grey, literally from top to toe with my beret and brogues.
This outfit shows how easy it is to link your accessories with a pattern; the beret, belt, bracelet and boots are all slightly different leopard print accents.
15. Wear a beret as a finishing touch to a
More grown up than a pom pom hat, there’s a touch of the Parisian chic about a beret, even when worn with a dressed down look of a maxi skirt, biker books and gothic style, biker leather jacket.
As you can see, berets are far from boring.
Find ones with tiny, faceted gemstones or beads, that sparkle as they catch the light, such as my navy, silver grey and black berets below, and this humble hat is effortlessly elevated to the chic and glamourous.
The three below all came from Accessorize; long been a favoured place to buy my berets from. I snapped up the navy one in the sale two Winters ago at, of all places, the Gatwick airport branch! I was flying off on a Christmas break and it came in very handy on the trip, alternating head warming duty with the one I’d already packed.
Most years, they do a variety of colours. This past season they stocked them in Black, Berry, Grey and Mink and their Ivory Beaded Wool Beret is still available in their sale, reduced from £17 to £5.10.
Alternatively, seek out berets with unusual patterns and multi-coloured ones.
One of my favourite additions to my ever growing beret collection is the one peeping out of the top in the photo below. My cat beret, with its felt bow around its neck, brings new meaning to Dr Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat!
Convinced about the joys and usefulness of beret wearing?
Want to channel your inner Greta Garbo?
Want to know where you can buy one?
It’s classic beret heaven in a huge variety of colours at The House of Bruar, plus they very handily do different sizes – small, medium and large.
And Village Hats have all kinds of berets from the tradition basque to the more military in style.
Classic black and burgundy felt berets still available at New Look
And many to be found on e-bay.
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