This French accessory trend is back and we’re totally on board

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Nicola Rachel Colyer
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Ooh la la… the beret is back, and we could not be more excited. 

As the self-confessed Francophiles that we are, it’s no secret we can’t resist anything that promises to bring us a step closer to living out our dreams of becoming a chic Parisian woman. So naturally we are ready to hop on board with the return of this most fabulous of French trends.

Ever since Maria Grazia Chiuri sent every single model down the runway topped with a leather beret in Dior’s AW17 show earlier this year, the long abandoned French millinery of choice has been creeping back to the top (quite literally) of every fashionista’s look. 

Dior AW17 leather beret
The moment the beret made its comeback in Dior’s AW17 collection

And with a history embedded in artistic culture and revolution, it’s no surprise that the beret is Chiuri’s accessory of choice as she continues to take a feminist stand with her collections.

Rihanna beret
Rihanna tops off her look with a leather beret at the Dior AW17 show
red beret style
Street style star Linda Tol matches her red beret to her boots at SS18 Paris Fashion Week

While mass production of the beret began in the 19th century, it’s roots go much further back. According to The Guardian, the first examples were found by archaeologists in bronze age tombs and the style has been skirting in and out of fashion ever since. Crossing both the social and political divide, the beret has been worn by everyone from peasants to royalty and artists to the military, before it became a favourite of the fashion set in the 20th century.

In the 1960s the beret was politicised by Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara who adopted the look as he rallied support against the Batista government in Cuba. It has been utilised by activist groups ever since, notably as the uniform of the Black Panthers in the 1960s and 1970s – a look which Beyoncé used to make a political statement at the 2016 Super Bowl.

Ernesto Che Guevara
Ernesto Che Guevara politicized the beret in the 1960s
Beyonce Super Bowl
Beyoncé uses the black beret to make a political statement during her Super Bowl performance in 2016

For many though, the beret continues to evoke the style of screen icons such as Faye Dunaway and Greta Garbo – and it’s almost whimsical quality can have a transformative effect on our look. 

Greta Garbo beret
Greta Garbo wears a beret in The Kiss, 1929
Faye Dunaway
Faye Dunaway works a beret in Bonnie and Clyde, 1967

So, if you’re looking to channel your inner Parisian, there’s something for every style. From traditional designs from French brand Laulhère, who have been making berets in the same spot since 1840, to Itchy Scratchy Patchy’s political incarnations, scroll down to shop a few of our favourites below.

Black Wool Beret with Silver-Tone Eyelets

The Kooples black beret eyelet


Wool Beret in Red with Leather Look Bound Edge

Asos red wool beret leather edge


Star Studded Beret

Accessorize star beret navy


Solidarity Beret

Itchy Scratchy Patchy cream solidarity beret


Vinyl Beret

Mango vinyl beret


Pom Pom Beret

Toast knitted beret bordeaux


Velour Beret

Philip Treacy purple velour beret


Authentique Merino Wool Beret

Laulhère Hats Authentique Merino Wool Beret


Images: REX Features