Hollandsch Meisje

Beret Season

Is there actually a Beret Season? Off course not. You can wear berets whenever you want! But for me autumn, winter and even early spring is when I use mine most, and since I had a weird viral online moment declaring Beret Season has started two years ago, hashtag use would suggest it is now considered to exist. 

Since Berets have become part of my online persona I did look into them a bit more. Some version of the beret has been in existence since the Romans and, like the Roman empire, the beret spread and was adapted by several European countries. 

In the late 1800s several countries military forces sported berets. The Basques especially became known for the black berets as part of their daily work wear and the first time they became popular as a fashion item in the 1920’s people referred (and still do) as Basque caps or hats. 

From the 1920s on they have continued to grow in popularity as a fashion item. Mostly meaning there were more colours or even patterns used, different materials and different ways to position them on your head. More about fashion, pop culture and berets below. 

A 1940's fashion: The Halo beret Photo by Sugarcoated Studios

More info about the history of the beret in general. And with a nice long list of citations and more websites to visit

Fashion trends that included a beret were seen from the 1920s on and a became a familiar sight in media and pop culture.  

  • Which androgynous fashion item was seen in many of Marlene Dietrich’s photo’s and is probably a big catalyst in its popularity? (1920s)
  • What does Bonny Parker of Bonnie & Clyde fame wear in her homemade publicity shots? (1930s)
  • What makes Lauren Bacall look extra cool in The Big Sleep? And Lana Turner in The Postman Always rings twice? (1940s)
  • What does a beatnik poet, or at least the stereotype, wear? (1950s)
  • Aside from colourful tights and mini skirts would your Mary Quant outfit be complete without a colourful beret? (1960s)
The placement and hairdo’s are typical for certain fashions and era’s are a fun way to make a beret your own. Modern fashion fortunately allows us to play with our looks more and plain black berets are no longer the only option.

Lets start with the 1920s: Your hair would probably be shorter and parted to the side. To make sure your finger-waves or marcel curls were still on display you wear the beret flat and pulled to the side while covering most of the back of your head. It is a plain black woollen beret.

In the 1930s your pin-curls are far more curly than the finger-waves and your hair has grown out of that bob. Your beret is a bit more detailed, maybe knitted or crocheted, but still most likely black or brown. You wear it more toward the back of your head and its no longer flat but still worn at an angle.

In the 1940s your structures waves and hairdo’s are complemented by the beret placed more loosely on the crown of your head. This way your hair is still on display. The beret itself often is more rigid and stylish like other hats. The colour could match your jacket or dress and it can be made of several different materials and even adorned with beading, ribbon or netting.

The 1950s give you more options in colour. Your hair, weather short or long, is the main attraction still and the beret is often placed on the back of the head. But some trends place it on top of the head, covering the hair.

In the 60s colourful berets are best to match you mod style. You wear them on top of your head with some volume and covering most of your head. Up to you if you pull it down covering all your hair or let the fringe peep out!

What do you think? Do I have it right? There’s many more trends off course but these should give you some ideas of era specific beret wearing. If you’d like more visuals keep an eye on my Instagram. A certain challenge is back soon!