Berets for days

Dear Diary,

I wear a beret because mein Vati wears one. Well, he has more than one: French, Basque, Italian, Spanish, Czech/Slovak.  The are all pretty much the same, some are smaller than others or are made of thicker fulled (felted) wool.  Berets are traditionally black but they do appear in colours from time to time.  Archeology has shown that hats similar to the beret were worn in the Bronze Age.  What we know today as the "French" and "Spanish" beret come from the south of France in the province of Béarn and the Basque country in Spain.

An oil painting dated 1929 from Slovakia.  Vati purchased this and it's on its way here now.


Size is important but more important is how it's worn on the head and how it's shaped.  It can be worn pushed forward (farmer style):

Or sitting centered on the head:

Or pushed to one side or the other:

Vati's favourite photo of beret wearers.

Or pushed to the back:

In addition to these way of wearing a beret, there is also how it's shaped on the head.  Here are some examples:

Then, there are the military berets:

Another choice is the diameter of the plateau:

Very small:



Check out this video for an entertaining explanation of how to wear a beret:

As Vati often says, "Whoever would have thought that wearing a beret could be so complex and complicated?"


Gentlemen's hats fell out of favour when the US President John F Kennedy attended his inauguration bare-headed.  It was the death knell for hatters and milliners.  But, the wearing of hats by men is not dead and is having a renewal in the world of fashion.  Vati has observed that no one notices that he wears a beret, and certainly no one has commented on it.  (I explained to him that when he turned 65 he became invisible.) But, men still remain afraid to wear this simple cap for fear of ridicule.

Traditionally, berets have been the headgear of peasants, farmers, shepherds and workers.  They are most commonly associated with intellectuals such as artists, film directors, academics and those involved in the cultural arts. Ethnic and religious groups have also claimed the use of the beret. They are associated with revolutionaries, the most famous being the (in)famous Che Guevara.  In Europe, many different political groups have worn the beret.  Today, berets are commonly seen worn by specialist military, paramilitary and police groups as part of their military uniform.  

Vati and I tried to figure out to which group we belonged.  We're too dense to be intellectuals.  We are talentless so can't be part of the cultural arts set.  We have no qualifications to be academics.  We don't relate to any particular culture or ethnicity.  We are too peace-loving to be in the military.  We have no strong political affiliations to belong to any political group.  We are too cynical to participate in any revolution. We are white collar to the core so no chance of the worker relationship.  We don't live on a farm so we're not farmers. Herding animals isn't our forte. So, that leaves just the peasants. I guess we'll just have to accept our place in life.

There are high quality berets and low quality berets.  The price will directly reflect which is which.  Vati recommends to anyone, man or woman, who wishes to purchase a quality beret, the best beret shop in the world.  This shop has a wide variety of berets and the owner is not only a beret aficionado but also an expert on the subject.  The customer service is second to none and the owner is happy to give advice when buying online.  It needs to be said that the best beret shop, with the largest selection, is located - where else? - in New Zealand of all places!  Check out the store:

and the blog:

⭐A Beret Rainbow⭐

Now, about my berets.  Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find a beret to fit me?  Impossible and the same goes for patterns.  I was determined to look like Vati so I made my own pattern, bought wool felt and started to sew.  The colour of a beret can have identify a certain group of wearers; I have many colours to suit my fashion sense.  I don't want to live in a black & white world!  

Here are the results:

"Ready, set..."

I couldn't stop with only a few colours so I kept on sewing.




Dark Green

Powder Blue

Royal Blue




Mottled Green



Medium Grey

Spring Green

Dark Brown

Mottled Red

Yellow Green


Mottled Sky Blue

Mottled Dodger Blue

Medium Turquoise

Charcoal Grey

Navy Blue



All in a day's work.

To sum up:


Popular posts from this blog

His lordship, lord todd wadley

A doll poem

Porky pig has the last word