November 27, 2020

Hats off: why the beret is back on the frontline of fashion

From Edith Piaf to Marlene Dietrich by way of Prada and Dior, this season the beret is back. Long-term wearer Eva Wiseman charts its chequered history, and explains why she will always be a fan

The beret is… divisive. I know this first-hand, as I wear them regularly, in black, grey and raspberry. And while much discussion may be found online as to the angle at which one should be worn (pulled forward, or jauntily to the side, or covering your whole head, your hair croissanted up inside), of more help I think is the following tip. The trick to wearing a beret is to avoid eye contact with strangers. Then, when they shout something at you such as, “Bonjour!” (you’re from Hove) or, “Ooh Betty!” (you’re too young to get the reference), it’s far easier to pretend you haven’t noticed and carry on walking. Because in your head you’re Marlene Dietrich, as opposed to “all French people”. You’re Faye Dunaway. You’re Debbie Harry, pretending she’s Patty Hearst, pretending she’s a leftwing terrorist called Tania, with a machine gun and a cosy head. You’re Rembrandt, idiot.

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