Monday, October 10, 2011

Ways to Wear... A Beret

Our first autumnal "ways to wear" comes courtesy of some vintage catalogue and magazine cuttings. The beret is easily my favourite cold weather hat - it's very wearable, and doesn't look out of place in a modern world. As the featurelette from 1950 says, it's many hats in one.

Ideas from 1935, below, in the Sears catalogue.

A 1949 Everywoman magazine suggests different ways to adorn a beret for a variety of looks.

A featurelette from 1950, again in Everywoman magazine extolls the beret's virtues, "dressed up, flattened down; pinned with a priceless gem; padded muffin-fashion; adorned with a feather; on the back; on the front; on the side." What you will notice, though, is that these berets are slightly smaller than the standard beret size now. I've been trying (so far in vain) to find a 1950s little beret, but the styles are all still doable with a modern hat.

As an aside, this was such a transitional period in fashion that even though these two articles were published only a year apart, you can see real differences in the styling from the early New Look period to the perky 1950s.


  1. I have quite a large head so vintage hats don't tend to fit me, but I've found berets are the best alternative! I have so many of them, my two favourites being my Parisian black one and my leopard print one.

  2. Oh how I wish I could wear a hat! They just don't seem to suit me!

  3. Have you thought of looking at children's size berets for a small option? I have one I got when I was about 10 or 11, and it's about the same size as the ones in the 1950 clipping! :) Of course, I do have to make sure it's secured to my head since it's a bit small, but it works great for a more vintage look. ;)

  4. Casey, what a brilliant idea! I must go and check out the children's sections immediately :)

    xx Charlotte

  5. I always have a beret to hand. I find they can be worn with any era from 40s-80s, likewise any level of smartness from evening to walk in the park. They are just SO versatile.

    I am definitely going to steal some of these style ideas, as usually I go no further than pinning on a brooch! I realise now how many other options I have with my plain old beret!

  6. Love berets too!!! I bought a 50's velvet one made by LANVIN last year and wore it a lot!!!
    Funny too see how we can guess the era with the way to wear it...

  7. I've just bought my first beret, great post! X

  8. Lovely post.
    I like to wear berets aswell, and they are so easy to make them yourself, and add pretty embellishments to them - for example - a feather.

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. I love berets too and I love the way they suggest you jazz it up! I've tried adding brooches to mine also. What about knitting or felting yourself a beret? I'd think after you being such a dab hand at the record hat that this would be a great project for you!

  10. This is such a great post. I have several vintage berets and hardly ever wear them, they're just so beret-ey, but now I have lots of great ideas. Thanks!!

  11. I wear berets a lot, I put different things on them to jazz them up. I have a black one from Monsoon, it's reasonably small fitting. Found rather nice little jewelled dragonfly clasps there one time which look great on it.
    There's a lady who sells fancy ones on e bay.... ashleighmanor.... rather coveted some of her ones in the past.


I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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