The humble and stylish Beret has roots all the way down to the Bronze Age, when they were worn by Minoans, Etruscans and Romans. It is that old! The beret stays in use even today and it’s a proper artist’s hat; you can’t even imagine a Parisian artist without one.
When you Google the tips and rules on “how to wear a beret”, it sometimes shows you how military people wear it, and it’s too strict and rigid. They might still use the beret, but they’re using it wrong. It should be worn freely, and float on your head.
Now let’s get down to business and tell you how to properly wear a beret, how the military wears the beret, and how to improperly wear one.
How to Properly Wear A Beret And Be Fashionable
1. The Beret should be above your ears and above your forehead
A good inch or half an inch above the line of your eyebrows is good enough. The beret should show some skin, it’s not a beanie cap.
2. The Beret should be tilted to one side
Tilt the beret to one side, whichever side you prefer. The beret is a beautiful, asymmetrical piece of clothing. You can keep the beret above your ear or cover one of your ears, either way is okay.
3. Tuck the brim of the Beret upwards
If you give your beret a slight tuck upwards, you’ll make it look fluffy and full, which is what we generally like seeing in a beret. If you overdo it, you’ll look like you have a flat beret on your head, which could still be a passable look if you’re cosplaying a Parisian mime.
4. Adjust the Beret around until you find a great look
Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit, as long as you follow the general guidelines. Maybe you like having a flatter beret, so you’ll tuck the brim upwards. Maybe you like having a fluffy, puffy beret and lower the brim down to about 1/3 of an inch to your eyebrows.
You might have longer hair that needs to fit into the beret, or you might have very short hair and a beret looks different on you than on your Rapunzel friend.
Test it out! Don’t be afraid to experiment with how you look.
How the Military Wears the Beret
The Beret is worn by military and police forces around the world, and they usually have very strict rules on how to wear it. Anyone who’s passed mandatory military service had to learn to wear a beret or else the drill sergeant would yell at them.
- In the military, they’ll give you the right size beret, as smaller or bigger berets don’t look so sharp. Thanks, army man!
- Fresh army berets have an adjusting ribbon (small rope). After you tightly fasten the rope for your head size, tie a knot, and then you’re supposed to cut away excess rope. Don’t mess this up!
- The beret’s brim should be 1 inch above the eyebrows and completely straight across the forehead and the back of the head. Your eyes and ears are on a level plane, and the beret should be straight too.
- In the military, you shouldn’t have any hair extend from your beret over your forehead. It has to be really tight.
- In the military, you’ll usually get an insignia of your unit or your country. This insignia is proudly worn on the left side over the left eye.
- Any excess material will be pulled down on the right side, away from your insignia. Hold onto your insignia and gently tug it down right; the material can go over the tip of your ear, but not over the middle of your right ear!
- You’re then supposed to put the small ribbon inside the brim of your beret, to hide it.
- Congratulations, you’re now looking sharp!
My sister was a Cadet, so she showed me how they do it. It’s too rigid and rule based, even if it looks very sharp. I’m not about that military life and look, but if you are who am I to stop you.
How to Improperly Wear a Beret and still be Fashionable
Rules rules rules. Ironic how something that defines artists has so many rules that you have to follow! Thankfully, we live in a free world where we’re free to wear anything and commit any fashion crime (within reason).
You don’t have to wear the beret as a military person, you can use it as a cap. Cover your eyebrows and ears with it if it’s really cold outside.
You can even leave the material on the middle of your head and make a small, cute mushroom shape, or make the beret so thin that it looks like you’re carrying a flat hat.
Match the color of your leg warmers and your beret! Or match your suede or velvet purse and beret, or the color of your eyes or the hair. Berets are a very fun type of headwear that has a lot more class than a baseball cap.