Berets are a type of hat typically made of felt that have a flat appearance on top. Berets were popularized in France and Spain in the 19th century and are still widely associated with those cultures.
They are also worn by various military and law enforcement personnel as part of their uniform in a folded style significantly different from their civilian counterparts. Although some organizations have begun issuing pre-shaped berets, many uniform berets still require special shaping by the wearer to produce a sharp look.
Knowing How to Wear Your Beret Properly
Learn your organization’s dress code.
Although the following can be used as a general guide for uniform berets, you will need to know any unique rules you may be required to follow.
If you’re wearing a beret for fashion, there is really no limit to how it may be worn (as long as it’s sitting on top of your head). The most popular casual method of wearing a beret is to wear it without a fold and tilted so that the brim sits diagonally across your forehead. Usually casual berets need no shaping other than fuzz removal.
Align your beret properly.
This typically means to wear your beret with the brim straight across your forehead. The United States Army requires the edge to sit one inch above the eyebrows. If your organization requires a “flash” insignia, it should be aligned over your left eye.
Excess material will be folded and draped towards the right side of your head. This is typically why a beret must be shaped, as it will most likely resist holding this shape when brand new.
Keep an appropriate hairstyle.
Do not wear hairstyles that may distort the shape of the beret, such as high buns or ponytails. Your bangs should not extend below the front brim of the beret. Some organizations, such as the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force, require that those with long hair keep it in a hairnet most closely matching their hair color.