The beret is a sophisticated, versatile hat that always looks flattering, as long as you know how to wear it. This stylish fashion piece can be worn multiple ways, depending on the weather and the look you're trying to create. Whether you're exploring a summer market downtown, cycling through the countryside on a crisp autumn day or bundled up for a snowstorm, the beret is the perfect accessory.
Below, you'll discover how to wear a beret for women and how to wear a beret for men, along with some of the top styling tips. Find out how you can make a beret the perfect addition to any outfit, any time of the year.
How to Wear a Beret for Women
The beauty of a beret is that it suits every style, no matter how reserved you might consider your standard look to be. Once you learn more about the ways you can wear a beret, you can start playing around with which beret approach works best for your aesthetic and head shape. Get started by checking out the four most common ways to wear a beret:
1. Traditionally Tilted
When you think of someone looking effortlessly chic in a beret, this classic style of having the hat tilted slightly to one side is what you imagine. It's no surprise that we tend to picture berets worn on a tilt, considering this is the way the hat was designed to be worn. Luckily, this timeless style is easy to master and flattering for everyone.
Follow these steps to look tasteful and sophisticated:
- Set the beret on your head about an inch or two behind your ears and around three-quarters of the way up your forehead.
- Secure your beret in place by tucking the brim under.
- Give your beret a bit of volume by pulling some of the fabric above the brim out.
- Create the traditional tilted look by pulling one side of the beret down to either the left or the right until the hat covers just the top of your ear. This step may take some trial and error before finding which angle looks best on you.
For a more dramatic look, you can move the hat's tilt forward over your eyebrow. On the other hand, you can craft a more casual look by pulling the beret backward and to one side.
2. Straight on Top
If the tilt doesn't feel natural to you, you can try the more straightforward approach of simply placing the beret right on top of your head. Aside from being easy to achieve, this voluminous style accentuates the natural dollop shape of a beret. In particular, this style looks fabulous on anyone with a longer forehead.
Here's how to accomplish this look:
- Put the beret on your head, with the brim resting about an inch above your eyebrows. If you have a longer forehead, you can play around with moving the beret higher until you find the spot that looks the most flattering for you.
- Either tuck the brim under the beret or leave it out to create a more puffed-up shape. Leaving the brim untucked will create a more voluminous look in which the beret is closer to the head at the bottom before ballooning out at the top.
- Gently tug on the top of the beret to give the hat more volume. Most beret designs include a small knob in the center of the hat that you can hold onto. You can pull on this knob a couple of times to puff out the fabric, then smooth out any areas that got too big.
If you're feeling indecisive, pull on one of the beret's edges to give the hat a slight tilt for a look that's halfway between this straightforward style and the traditional tilt.
3. Toward the Back
If you're going for a more subtle beret look, consider wearing the hat farther back on your head. Doing so will make the hat appear less like a beret and more like a beanie. While this is the easiest way to position your beret, this style is also the most likely to cause your beret to slip or move around throughout your day.
Follow these steps to create a more laid-back beret look:
- Set the front edge of the beret slightly beyond your hairline, with the back edge of the beret sitting as close to the nape of your neck as it can. Those with a larger head or lot of hair might need to position their beret a bit higher.
- Tuck the brim into the beret to secure the hat in place.
- Look at your beret from the side or angle a second mirror to see how the hat looks from behind and adjust its positioning accordingly.
Depending on what type of look you're going for, you can add some volume to your beret by tugging on the center to puff it out. For a more circular look, you can let the beret lay flat. If you're concerned about your beret slipping, you can use bobby pins to fasten it in place.
4. With a Chignon
What could be more fitting than wearing this classic French hat with the signature French low messy bun — the chignon. This beret option that combines with a modernly popular and classically chic hairstyle is your perfect solution for looking runway-ready.
Check out these steps for styling a dynamic chignon and beret duo:
- Tie your hair back into a low ponytail.
- Twist your ponytail and use another hair tie or bobby pins to secure it into a low bun. Make it a messy bun for a modern look.
- Place the beret on top of your head and arrange it into the traditional tilt or the straightforward style, depending on which you prefer that day.
These styling steps also work for other low hairstyles like French braids and fishtail braids. Regardless of which hairstyle you choose, topping it with a beret is the perfect way to transform a bad hair day into a fashion icon moment.
Top 7 Styling Tips for Women Wearing a Beret
Now that you know the basics of positioning a beret, you need a few extra styling tips to complete your look. Knowing how to wear your beret the right way will help you look like a modern fashionista. Below, you'll learn the essential style secrets for effortlessly pulling off a beret.
1. Make Sure Your Makeup Is Muted
Because a beret is already a statement piece, pairing one with a bright red shade of lipstick creates competition. To let your hat stand out, you'll want to keep your makeup simple, minimal and understated. Stick with subtle makeup techniques like a muted blush, a tinted lip gloss and a rosy eye shadow with just a dash of mascara.
2. Skip the Stripes
Unless you're wearing a cute Halloween costume, pairing a beret with black- or navy-and-white stripes is a bit too on the nose. Instead of wearing stripes, stick with solid staple pieces or basic color blocking. You could also use wearing a beret as a chance to wear a floral print.
3. Use a Hair Clip as Your Anchor
Whether you've been blessed with bouncy curls or silky smooth locks, you may find it challenging to keep your delicate beret in place. Although you can try to keep the beret steady with bobby pins, the pins will most likely stand out. In that case, you might as well go all out and use a bold barrette or a large clip to ensure your beret doesn't shift around all day. If your hair clip features a fun design or texture, it'll add even more style and drama.
4. Use Your Beret as a Statement Piece
Wearing a beret is an easy way to make a fashion statement. If you feel underwhelmed after putting on your outfit for the day, take the ensemble up a notch by adding a bold beret. For example, topping off a monochromatic outfit with a brightly colored or patterned beret can complete your look.
5. Experiment With Texture
While most berets are made from wool, you might want to mix up your look every so often with a beret made from a different material, such as leather, cotton or suede. Matching the material of your beret to the feel of your outfit can enhance your overall look. You'll also love the way different beret patterns and designs come across when made with a different material.
6. Make Your Beret Seasonal
A beret is one of those magical accessories that can be worn all year round. A standard beret is heavy enough to keep your head warm throughout the winter months yet lightweight enough to transition into spring. A beret also works well with in-between-seasons outfits like billowy blouses and long-sleeve dresses, lending your transitional style an extra feminine touch.
7. Channel a Mood
As an eye-catching accessory, a beret gives you the opportunity to craft a whole look. Your beret choice can set the tone for your entire outfit and mood for the day. Check out these styling suggestions for some inspiration:
- Modern: You can modernize your look by opting for a beret with a bold finish or a fun hue. Wearing your statement beret with other modern pieces like a neon shirt, chunky loafers or other street-chic choices will make your look fitting for the 21st century.
- Nostalgic: On the other hand, you can cultivate an aura of nostalgia with your beret by pairing it with more retro pieces. Consider working some modern accents into your nostalgic look so your outfit comes off as balanced and current instead of like a costume.
- Edgy: Infuse your beret with some rock-and-roll energy by wearing it with a moto jacket or combat boots. Toughening up your beret will help you achieve the perfect balance of delicate and rough around the edges.
- Romantic: If you would rather emphasize the whimsical spirit that a beret naturally has, you can wear your beret with clothing that features flowers, ruffles, sheer textiles or pearls. Choosing a soft color scheme will also help you lean into the beret's dreamy aesthetic.
How to Wear a Beret for Men
Wearing a beret is a classy style choice for women and men alike. In fact, the beret is a common fashion piece for men in both Europe and the United States. Because men tend to have shorter hair than women, they don't have quite as many options when it comes to styling a beret. These are the basic recommendations for styling a beret as a man:
- Wear your beret flat on top of your head, positioned about an inch or two behind your ears and three-quarters of the way up your forehead.
- Tuck in the brim of your beret to keep your hat in place.
- Pull down one side of your beret to create a slight slant.
- Give the hat a bit more shape by manipulating the crease.
While these are the general guidelines for wearing a beret in men's fashion, you don't have to tilt your beret if the straightforward look works better with your outfit. You might also want to pull your beret straight down to cover your ears during the colder months. Ultimately, you'll want to play around with different beret angles to find what works best for you.
Top 5 Styling Tips for Men Wearing a Beret
If you want to really own the beret look, check out these tips for how to wear a beret as a male:
1. Focus on Sizing
When it comes to wearing a beret, the fit is critical. Choosing a beret that is tight enough that the hat won't slide around will save you from spending your whole day rearranging your hat. The right beret will feature an elastic band that fits snugly against your forehead.
2. Choose Your Look
While you can wear your beret in the traditional tilted style, you can also wear your beret closer to the back of your head for a more casual look. Show off your laid-back personality by pulling the crown of your beret all the way to the back of your head to create a look commonly worn by writers, artists and intellectuals.
3. Take Extra Hair Care
Whenever you wear a beret, you'll want to make sure you get the right amount of hair sticking out from under the hat. Position your beret so some of your fringe shows to avoid covering all your hair. Achieving the perfect balance of tucked-in hair and sticking-out hair can greatly enhance your look, especially for men with longer locks.
4. Don't Wear Stripes
This fashion law stays the same for anyone — don't pair a beret with stripes. Although a beret works well with almost any outfit, a striped top is the one exception.
5. Commit to the Beret Life
Once you've styled your outfit and got your beret on, do not remove the hat. If you take your beret off, you will have a crease in your hair and an impression mark across your forehead from the elastic band. Most men have short hair and no bangs, so they can't do much to disguise either of these fashion faux pas.
Order Your Beret From Eric Javits
Now that you know all the best tips and tricks for styling a beret, you're ready to turn heads with your fashion-forward look. But first, you'll need to order your stylish beret from Eric Javits. At Eric Javits, we offer beret hats in a wide variety of materials, colors and styles so you can look chic in every season. We also provide designer beret hats for men so everyone can stay on-trend.