My affection for Berets started when I was 17 from the striking pictures of Faye Dunaway. Her cool, sophisticated, dangerous stare looked out from posters of the big movie that year (1967), “Bonnie and Clyde.”
Not as sultry a Faye, but it works for me. In this photo, I’m also showing off my new earrings by Michal Golan.
Archaeologists have found felt beret looking artifacts in tombs as early as the Bronze Age. As far back as 3000 BC, folks figured out what happened to sheep wool when the fibers were wet and rubbed together: the miracle of felt. Every farmer, shepard and peasant were able to have a wool type beret to keep their head warm. For centuries, the beret was the hat of choice for the lower classes. Artists such as Rembrandt painted many self portraits donned in a beret.
Rembrandt wearing one of his Berets in one of his many self portraits
I’m probably just a little bit happier here than Rembrandt.
The beret took an important turn mid 19th century when an elite French group of the French Army, the Chasseurs Alpins, included light blue Berets as part of their uniform. Over the decades, other military organizations began using this simple wool hat. Britain during WWI adapted it for their tank corps. In the 1960’s, the United States Army’s special forces looked so great in their snappy berets they became known simly as the “Green Berets”.
During the ’60s, the black beret took on even more meaning as a symbol. Che Guevara will be forever immortalized wearing a black beret with the silver star. In the United States, the Black Panthers used the black beret as a symbol in fighting injustice with a strong voice.
Past, Present and Future
Getting a little make-believe and romantic look with my brown beret
I didn’t get to have a real felted beret in 1967 because my mother wasn’t big on buying ready-made clothes from stores for me. If I realy wanted something, I had to make it. She would usually get me patterns and material. So I made a beret substitute, called then a tam, short for tam-o’-shanter.
Using this pattern, I could make a tam out of wool scraps. I always had a rainbow of lining colors on hand. As a side note, I remember making that kilt on the front out of peacock-blue wool. Sadly, those earlier endeavors, have been lost (darn moths).
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to own a few real berets. Until last year, I always just worn them unadorned. Last year I figured out that I could show off some of my pins with them for a little spice.
No pin on this one, but the deep red really jazzed up the black, didn’t it?
Flat like pancakes, a beret collection doesn’t take up much space. Just for fun, I threw in my vintage Poodle pins.
My oldest beret with one of my Pendleton 49ers coats.
I just like berets, you may have notced. I’ll share with you an ETSY shop that I am drooling over because they have twenty-nine different colors of berets. I’ve had this shop on my mind for over a year, but held off ordering (shipping brings me down).
The ETSY shop is Jedrzejko. Jedrzjko carries creative things like hat-forms for hat designers and other handmade items. But they have all those colors of Berets! Bottle green, raspberry, eggplant are just a few of the yummy colors they offer.
I should probably mention that there are many good sources on eBay for berets (where a few of mine originated). I see quite a few on Amazon too.
Almost the last Picture!-Berets just seem to go with most of what I have, from faux vintage fur jackets, modern leather, or highland plaid.
That vintage jacket was love at first sight!
Most of you know I have quite a collection of woollies (sheep and Alpacas) on our farm and a fair amount of history with sewing, knitting, spinning yarn. Also, I’ve dabbled with very elementary felt making. While writing this post, I thought that I might be able to make my own beret and have already viewed a few beret felting videos. I don’t know when I will give this a try but will let everyone know when I do and how it turned out.
That wraps up my tribute to the small piece of felt that fits my head so nicely. Berets are very popular at the moment. There are chances you can find them about anywhere. I would encourage you to just check one out, try it on and see what you think.
I link up with some great blogs every week. To see who they are go HERE.
Husband Michael gets credit for the photos of me and does a bit of editing from time to time.
Again, thanks for stopping by. Take care……..
Time for my usual link-up blurb!
It’s time for the January’s 2nd Loved 1st Friday Linkup which stays open until January 31st.
Any post on a blog, Instagram, Facebook or the like can linkup to this style celebration. If you can copy and paste the URL in the Linky box, you are good to go!
One item is quite OK—a hat, skirt, pants, shoes, purse, or a piece of jewelry. That item (or items) can be from a thrift shop, eBay, consignment shop, vintage boutique, one of the online consignment shops such as RealReal–or even something a friend gave you because they didn’t want it anymore.
When you do post, I would appreciate a description about your 2nd Loved item (or items), what type of shop you found it and what drew you to it. Tell as much or as little as you want. To be featured in my collage, which I will put on Instagram along with your links, you have to say what item is second loved. That is a “have to”.
If you have never participated in a linkup before, no fear. Go to Linkup 101 guide that is found on my 2nd Loved 1st Friday linkup page (also found at the top in the tab section).
Just click the frog below to link up and join the fun!