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Berets, Anyone?

indycop

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,325
Location
Jacksonville, Florida
I spent my entire time in the Army hearing that there was going to be an infantry blue beret for the 10th Mountain. Blue being the color of the inf.and it would not interfere with the Rangers, S.F. or airborne. But it never happened,maybe dur to the UN beret. Of course after I got out they gave every body the Rangers berets. I guess I don't mind that the entire Army wears them, I have always liked them but It should not have been black. The Rangers had too much proud history with it.
From my experience as a grunt it would have been very practical. I carried everything on my back and the cap was irritating toting around in your pants pocket when wearing the K-pot. just my .02:)
 

Glass Shark

New in Town
Messages
19
Location
Elkridge, MD
I have been wearing berets for several years. My wife got me started wearing them in the winter to keep my dome warm. I have quite a few of various colors, all of them cheap ones. I actually think I look good in a beret. No, better than good, I look great! I have never been one to wear caps as my frizzy hair sticks out the sides and looks ridiculous. In the last couple of months I have started wearing fedoras and am trying to find my 'look'. It'll happen given time.
 

Two Gun Bob

One of the Regulars
Messages
162
Location
Bloxwich, England
I've only worn berets when taking part in WWII historical re-enactment as a British Army Sergeant Photographer of the Army Film & Photographic Unit.

Generally I've worn black normally and green when attached to a re-enacted wartime Army Commando unit (not Royal Marines). They're ok when shrunk and shaped as my dad taught me. I've found standing in the rain all day works wonders!

I prefer a fedora when 'in civvies'.
 

Woodfluter

Practically Family
Messages
784
Location
Georgia
I've worn berets off and on for many years. They are very practical under the right conditions, which tend to be cool and damp. I was introduced to them by a guy from Quebec with whom I chanced to go backpacking in the Adirondacks. After that I got several cheap ones and used them in New England quite a lot.

Good points are keeping your head warm, shedding rain, easily wrung out if soaked, can be rolled up and stashed very easily. That's what I liked about the cheap, unlined, non-sweatband types. My biggest gripe was that they came "one size fits few" and the diameter was too small.

There is a kinship here with the Scots "blue bonnet", only that was generally larger and could be pulled forward over the eyes like a short brim.

My best beret is a Hoquy, purchased in DC. Yes, it has the sewn-in label on the liner. It is an extremely dense material, and moderately thick. You can shine a very bright flashlight behind it and absolutely no pinpoints of light come through. It claims to be water-repellent, and is.

Now this one came with a woven nylon sweatband, and I thought that was a good idea but came to hate it. Too rough and it impeded its security rather than enhancing it. So I removed it and resolved to buy or make a leather one. But I never got around to that. Can anyone recommend a source for a good quality narrow leather sweatband that I might sew in myself? I am experienced with hand sewing.

Secondly, please clear up a source of confusion. NonEntity, you refer repeatedly to berets as composed of felt. I don't think any of the ones I've seen were felt. On the cheaper ones, you could clearly see evidence of the circular knit pattern. On the Hoquy, it is hard to see but in the right light there are some traces of that. I understood they were knitted, very large, and then subjected to boiling and pummeling or some such treatment such that they shrunk drastically and became very tight, at least for the quality type. Correct me if wrong!

- Bill
 

DrSpeed

One of the Regulars
Messages
128
Location
Netherlands
In the Netherlands berets are traditionally worn in the army and by the Marines (even in the Navy and Airforce berets are now introduced).
However, we've had our "beret discussion" as well when the colour of the regular army beret was changed from olive to dark green.
The special forces wear a lighter green beret, and the colour was supposed to be too close to the new "regular" model.
I think that the colour of your beret does not define who you are and what you have achieved. But that's just my opinion.
That said, wearing a uniform also means being part of something, a community with traditions and customs. I'd never wear a military beret that I'm not entitled to.

As for civilian berets; a woman wearing a beret puts a smile on my face!
 

NonEntity

Suspended
Messages
281
Location
Southeastern U.S.
I thought this thread I started way back in January was long dead, so thanks for resurrecting it, Glass Shark.

Woodfluter said:
I've worn berets off and on for many years. They are very practical under the right conditions, which tend to be cool and damp. I was introduced to them by a guy from Quebec with whom I chanced to go backpacking in the Adirondacks. After that I got several cheap ones and used them in New England quite a lot.

Good points are keeping your head warm, shedding rain, easily wrung out if soaked, can be rolled up and stashed very easily. That's what I liked about the cheap, unlined, non-sweatband types. My biggest gripe was that they came "one size fits few" and the diameter was too small.

There is a kinship here with the Scots "blue bonnet", only that was generally larger and could be pulled forward over the eyes like a short brim.

My best beret is a Hoquy, purchased in DC. Yes, it has the sewn-in label on the liner. It is an extremely dense material, and moderately thick. You can shine a very bright flashlight behind it and absolutely no pinpoints of light come through. It claims to be water-repellent, and is.

Now this one came with a woven nylon sweatband, and I thought that was a good idea but came to hate it. Too rough and it impeded its security rather than enhancing it. So I removed it and resolved to buy or make a leather one. But I never got around to that. Can anyone recommend a source for a good quality narrow leather sweatband that I might sew in myself? I am experienced with hand sewing.

Secondly, please clear up a source of confusion. NonEntity, you refer repeatedly to berets as composed of felt. I don't think any of the ones I've seen were felt. On the cheaper ones, you could clearly see evidence of the circular knit pattern. On the Hoquy, it is hard to see but in the right light there are some traces of that. I understood they were knitted, very large, and then subjected to boiling and pummeling or some such treatment such that they shrunk drastically and became very tight, at least for the quality type. Correct me if wrong!

- Bill

Yours, with the nylon sweat band, is one of the many versions of the Hoquy. Someone earlier asked about replacing a leather beret sweat, but no one's yet offered a source. As I said before, just get your own leather. Your being handy with sewing, I would think that you could trim down a fedora type sweat and afix it yourself. In fact, using a reeded roan leather sweat such as come on Akubras and better hats would be superior to the leather that's used on the finest berets. Sources for reeded roan leather sweatbands have been discussed on other FL threads.

As for the what-are-berets-made-of issue, the answer is, if you can imagine it, that material has been used to construct a beret--everything from synthetic knits to cotton duck. Many of the "tropic" models you see this time of year are made of a very open woven knit for ventilation.

However, despite that the original berets which Basque fishermen wore were woven, authentic Basque and military berets are constructed of wool felt and have been for at least 150 years. If a wool beret appears to have a woven hand, which is more apparent in the lower quality ones, it's just a vestige of the manufacturing process, which does not involve any sort of weaving.
 

freebird

Practically Family
Messages
755
Location
Oklahoma
I have a black one that was given to me as a Christmas gift. It's marked "Denmarks's Military, N.y Ny. 10012" and has a place for "Name, Rank & Serial #". Rarely do I ever wear it.
 

Miss Sis

One Too Many
Messages
1,888
Location
Hampshire, England Via the Antipodes.
Berets are great from the point of view that they are so practical - you can roll 'em up and squish them in your bag/pocket and they come out just fine again.

I have a quite bright maroon one I stole off my Mum years ago and I wear it almost all winter. Get the diameter right and almost everyone looks good in a beret!
 

Woodfluter

Practically Family
Messages
784
Location
Georgia
NonEntity said:
Yours, with the nylon sweat band, is one of the many versions of the Hoquy. Someone earlier asked about replacing a leather beret sweat, but no one's yet offered a source. As I said before, just get your own leather. Your being handy with sewing, I would think that you could trim down a fedora type sweat and afix it yourself. ///

However, despite that the original berets which Basque fishermen wore were woven, authentic Basque and military berets are constructed of wool felt and have been for at least 150 years. If a wool beret appears to have a woven hand, which is more apparent in the lower quality ones, it's just a vestige of the manufacturing process, which does not involve any sort of weaving.

Thank you NonEntity!

Looking all over the web, I no longer can find the pictures I once saw...a knitted or woven beret the size of a medium pizza, undyed, then shrunk down by mysterious processes to a normal size and dyed. But I now find references indicating it was originally woven but is now felt. Or perhaps woven and then treated as a felt (felted)? Such as:

http://www.abelard.org/france/pyrenees_atlantiques2_pays_basque.php

"The highly practical and versatile hat - the beret - is a Basque (or possibly a Bearnaise) invention, originally worn by shepherds, made from woven and then felted sheep’s wool. Although Frenchmen traditionally wear a black beret, in the heart of both French and Spanish Basqueland, a red beret is worn. In Spanish Basque provinces, the red beret is a part of the policeman’s everyday uniform. The beret is called txapela in Basque; the word beret comes originally from late Latin, birrus, meaning a hooded cloak.

"And how versatile is a beret? Tremendously! You can pull a beret down over the ears to warm and protect them, shade your eyes, and roll it up and stuff it in a pocket when it is not wanted. ///

"Note that although military personnel wear the beret so that it creates a peak at one side of the head and slopes down over the ear on the other side, berets worn by men in Pays Basque and in Les Landes (just to the north of Pyrénées Atlantiques) are most often worn so there is a shading peak overhanging the eyes. The resulting shape looks very similar to a cloth cap, as often worn by country and horsy folk in Anglo-Saxon countries.

"Berets originally were dark blue or red, and now most berets worn by Frenchmen are black. /// Note that the ‘original’ Basque beret is made with a leather headband, while nowadays it is often in vinyl. There are also, probably more comfortable, berets without a headband."

I just might keep it sans sweatband. Here's another interesting source for sweatless berets with larger diameters, more like the original:
http://home.avvanta.com/~rgphoto/2004/basqueberet.htm
 

Vintage Betty

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,300
Location
California, USA
Yikes! I haven't visited this thread for a while and it's trotted on without me.

NonEntity, the beret was a gift. I have packed it away, so I'll need to pull it out to answer your questions and ask the gift giver (some of) your questions.

Vintage Betty
 

NonEntity

Suspended
Messages
281
Location
Southeastern U.S.
Woodfluter--

I carefully studied the beret offered by the Seattle photographer in the link at the bottom of your last post. He said it is manufactured by a family owned company in the Basque region of Spain, so that could only be the Elosegui factory in Tolosa.

At the inexpensive prices he is selling them for, $31.50 and $32.50 plus only $ S & H--dirt cheap considering the current U.S. Dollar-Euro conversion rate--he is definitely not in it for profit, so I must take his word that he's truly selling berets for the fun of it. And he has me convinced that he's a very experienced beret wearer who knows his stuff, so I do not doubt his extremely favorable quality assessment of the ones he is selling, which have the sewn-in label.

BUT, the other attributes of these berets--diameter, one-size-fits-all, and no sweatband comfort--are highly subjective.

First, their wide diameters: 12-, 13-, and a cartoonish 15-inch, are too large for the vast majority. Note the side-by-side photographs near the top of the web page of him on the left and another model on the right donning 12-inchers . He has his pulled forward driver-cap style while the other guy wears his to the side. See how much larger the other guy's looks compared to the photographer? That's most likely how it will look on most people, unless you are like the photographer who obviously has a very large head and wear the beret in like manner.

Let's analyze the one-size-fits-all and no-sweatband comfort attributes together. As mentioned in my previous post, like this guy's, I have such a beret with the "Cavanagh" sweatband that features the wool pressed back into itself for a smooth, seamless edge with no sweatband per se at all. Laid flat, it measures 6 inches across the diameter from sweat edge to sweat edge, and fits my size 7 1/8 / 57 metric / 22 1/4-in.-circumference head perfectly, snug but not binding.

Yet when you do the math, circumference = pi X diameter = 3.1416 X 6 in. = 18.85, and 22.25 in. minus 18.85 in. = 3.4 in., that's a whopping discrepancy! So we can see that laying a beret upside down flat and measuring the diameter of the head band dimension--the way I'm certain he measured his--will yield a number that is far smaller than the actual fit. That's because wool felt stretches, and I would have never guessed it has that much give until I did this exercise. Due to the degree of stretch, this method of computing the size from the headband diameter will not render an accurate fit, but we can conclude that his 7- and 7 1/2-in. diameter berets will fit extremely loosely on all but those with the biggest heads. Ergo, one size does NOT fit all.

Now, the issue of the comfort of a no-sweatband beret. Mine is pretty comfortable, but, remember, it fits perfectly. Even so, after wearing it for a while, the wool against my forehead does begin to itch. Were it loose like this guy's are likely to fit on most, it would move more and itch more. I personally find my other, leather-sweatband beret to be more comfortable when wearing it for a long period of time.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I hope this helps.
 

BellyTank

I'll Lock Up
NonEntity said:
Now, I would be delighted if anyone could furnish any info or even speculate about my favorite beret, which was my mother's, of all things, and I've never seen another quite like it. I don't have photos, but here is a detailed description:

Exterior - Thick, dense wool felt. 10 3/8 inch diameter. Midnight navy color. There is no top knot, but there is an ever-so-slightly thicker, barely detectable little spot in the center of the crown. My mother says the beret never had a top knot, but it's possible it once had one and was cut off before it came into her possession. Then again, it may have never had a top knot, and the tiny lump could be a vestige of the manufacturing process.

Interior - Unlined. Sweatband: none whatsoever, and that's the most interesting thing about it. The felt is folded under and "welded" back into itself, making for a seamless edge without any stitching--sort of a Cavanagh edge, to borrow from the world of fur felt fedoras. Stamped into the top center of the crown in white lettering is the following:

Barets Knitted C.D. 18
BERET INDUSTRIES LTD.
1953
(symbol resembling an up-pointed arrow or Christmas tree)​

No, that "a" in the "Barets" on the top line is not a typo, but since the first part of the next word is worn, I'm not certain it's "Knitted," but that's the only word I've been able to piece together that fits with what's still legible.


At 55 years old, the beret is still in perfect condition, and will probably last practically forever, as there is nothing--lining, sweatband, ribbon, or stitching--to tear or decompose.

Any ideas?


Hello-
what you have is a Civil Defence beret(CD), from the UK.
The CD wore dark navy blue(black) versions of British Army battledress uniforms, including the beret.
BERET INDUSTRIES LTD., was a large manufacturer of wartime berets, along with Kangol.
The "18" that you see, may actually be the remnants of the beret's size marking(as these berets are sized in hat sizes)- like "/8", or something, from a 7 1/8 size(for example), or 7 3/8- maybe. Something like that.
Not sure about the "Baret" spelling but it seems to ring a bell for whatever reason. The "arrow mark", "<-" is the mark of the Ministry of Defence and has been used for hundreds of years.

B
T
 

NonEntity

Suspended
Messages
281
Location
Southeastern U.S.
BellyTank said:
Hello-
what you have is a Civil Defence beret(CD), from the UK.
The CD wore dark navy blue(black) versions of British Army battledress uniforms, including the beret.
BERET INDUSTRIES LTD., was a large manufacturer of wartime berets, along with Kangol.
The "18" that you see, may actually be the remnants of the beret's size marking(as these berets are sized in hat sizes)- like "/8", or something, from a 7 1/8 size(for example), or 7 3/8- maybe. Something like that.
Not sure about the "Baret" spelling but it seems to ring a bell for whatever reason. The "arrow mark", "<-" is the mark of the Ministry of Defence and has been used for hundreds of years.

B
T

BellyTank, I cannot thank you enough for that information!!!

To think that I've worn this beret that is one of my favorite possessions for 25 years and had no clue it was military, and British at that, just makes me go "gulp." And I'm embarrassed that I have stated with confidence that the distiguishing features of a military beret are leather piping for the sweatband and a drawstring through it that ties in back to adjust the fit and keep it securely on--and my military beret has neither.

As mentioned, the beret was my mother's, and she had not worn it since she was in her 20s (I'd never seen it before) because it messed up her hair-do, so when I found it in a box when she and Dad moved in 1983, she gave it to me.

The curious thing is that, though my mother has an encyclopedic memory of virtually all her clothes and other possessions (the price, where bought, who was shopping with her, etc.), her mind is a total blank on this beret. She was working for the U.S. Dept. of Defense Depot during the 1950s, and our working theory of how she came to have it has been that some soldier gave it to her. That it's British C.D. military issue supports that theory: Perhaps an American GI picked it up in the UK while stationed there and brought it back.

Now, a few questions:

The date in the crown--1953--is quite clear, a time when Britain was not at war, so how was it that its Civil Defence force was still intact and being issued berets? Is the UK's CD similar to the US's National Guard or Reserves, a uniformed homeland military force always on standby whether there's an armed conflict or not?

The "C.D.18" at the end of the first line in the crown is also very clear, with no space for missing characters before, in the middle of, or after it, so I don't think that number has anything to do with size, unless it's part of some sizing system with which I'm not familiar. I'm thinking it could be a specific Civil Defence unit number or maybe a numeral designating a manufacturing run or that particular style of beret. What do you think?

Any new thoughts on the curious spelling of "Baret?"

I really appreciate your help.
 

BellyTank

I'll Lock Up
Civil Defence is not Military, hence the "Civil". Not an armed force by any means.
The UK has the Territorial Army(Territorials), which is like your National Guard, one weekend a month type thing.
I think the CD were/are? a full time organisation, not just in wartime.
Emergency and disaster management and all that.

The uniform items are from Government suppliers/ Govt' stocks, so have the WD mark. The "18"? don't know. "Baret" maybe it is actually a typo, they got the "Beret Industries" correct.
But the important thing is British Govt. product and clothing label usage nomenclatures(got that?)- thay have a way of stating the product name:
"Caps, comforter" for the cap/comforter(a wartime woolen cap), "Overalls, Denim", Berets,??? if you see what I mean.

B
T
 

Woodfluter

Practically Family
Messages
784
Location
Georgia
Thanks NonEntity!

Great observations. Couple of points:

NonEntity said:
I carefully studied the beret offered by the Seattle photographer in the link at the bottom of your last post. ///
BUT, the other attributes of these berets--diameter, one-size-fits-all, and no sweatband comfort--are highly subjective.
First, their wide diameters: 12-, 13-, and a cartoonish 15-inch, are too large for the vast majority. ///

Depends perhaps. If you are seeking a conventional French look of the past century, yes surely. As the Seattle guy points out, the larger diameters are traditional Basque. I recall seeing photos of them in California, where I was born, wearing surprisingly large headgear like this. On the "tribute" page, you'll see a guy from Bayreuth wearing a larger one in exactly the fashion seen in pictures of Wagner, whose stony noggin forms a background for that shot.

Also, apart from color the larger ones look to me almost exactly like the traditional "blue bonnets" of the Scots, at least those from the 16th through 18th centuries...so maybe that Basque style is a holdover from a more universal form of headwear originating in that era. I don't know. But I do suppose it depends on what you're used to or just happen to like. I like both looks. The Scots, by the way, appear to have generally pulled the front forward to shade the eyes, as seen in numerous drawings & portraits.

NonEntity said:
Let's analyze the one-size-fits-all and no-sweatband comfort attributes together. ... I have such a beret with the "Cavanagh" sweatband that features the wool pressed back into itself... ///
Yet when you do the math, circumference = pi X diameter = 3.1416 X 6 in. = 18.85, and 22.25 in. minus 18.85 in. = 3.4 in., that's a whopping discrepancy! So we can see that laying a beret upside down flat and measuring the diameter of the head band dimension--the way I'm certain he measured his--will yield a number that is far smaller than the actual fit. That's because wool felt stretches, and I would have never guessed it has that much give until I did this exercise.

As I noted before, for many years I wore cheap, unlined, no-sweatband, one-size-only berets (Kangol), in blue and black. Bought from a hattery in New Haven CT. They all worked fine. There's more to this than the stretch - they really don't stretch over three inches! Try tugging on the edge of one! The inside edge gets rolled inside and upward, so a band of felted wool is against one's head. The stretch mostly comes from the non-Cavanagh'd body just beyond the edge, and the edge itself ends up higher on the head where the circumference is smaller. Or so it seems to me. But I'm not entirely sure how this works. It does though.

I have also turned the edge down, more like a military beret (sans leather edge binding) and found that it takes a whole lot of persistent stretching over long time to get it to sort of fit my head. Same OSFA beret that fits easily on different heads in the tucked-under configuration.

NonEntity said:
Due to the degree of stretch, this method of computing the size from the headband diameter will not render an accurate fit, but we can conclude that his 7- and 7 1/2-in. diameter berets will fit extremely loosely on all but those with the biggest heads.

We shall see. I ordered one shortly after posting earlier. I'll post observations after it comes. The 12" and 13" have 7" diameter openings...if he measured that right. That would be 22" circumference; my head measures 23.6". My Hoquy, now bandless, doesn't seem to have much stretch potential at the backfelted edge.

NonEntity said:
Now, the issue of the comfort of a no-sweatband beret. ///...after wearing it for a while, the wool against my forehead does begin to itch.

I understand. People's sensitivity and reactions to wool seem to vary a great deal. It doesn't seem to bother me unless it is very coarse and short-stranded. Long strand wool such as is found in long underwear (I didn't always live in Georgia) and good wool shirts next to my skin don't trouble me. The berets were always kind of marginal...didn't bother me 95% of the time, but then I'd occasionally want to take it off and rub my head! Your mileage will vary. :D
 

Woodfluter

Practically Family
Messages
784
Location
Georgia
It arrived already!

Incroyable. I ordered the 13" Spanish Basque beret from Ronald Greer and Co in the wee hours of Wednesday, and here it comes in the noontime Friday mail.

Some very quick and dirty digital grabs for illustration:





For reference, General Zumalacarregui, Revolutionary of Basque background, in the Carlist wars in Spain:


You are right, NonEntity, it is Elosegui. It is very dense and substantial material, slightly denser and thicker than my Hoquy. Amazing stuff. Despite the size, it doesn't flop around when you move. That stiff. But it easily rolls up and stuffs in a pocket - a large pocket. The opening is actually about 6.5 inches, not 7 inches. It fits me fine, just the same pressure on my head as the Hoquy. Not loose at all. It weighs about 5.6 ounces, in the felt hat range.

Check out their website at http://www.boinaselosegui.com/
Interesting info on history and manufacture. If you can read this in French, I recommend that as the English translation is a bit dodgy in places.

Based on the website, I do believe my recollection was mostly correct. These are woven oversized, stitched together on one side, a plug sewn in the top (hence the little "tail"), subjected to fulling and "mechanical hammers" and wetting and heating - essentially like felting, but applied to a woven fabric, not to a mass of hair. I suppose this results in a sort of shrunken woven material with fibers interlocked somewhat as in felt.

Looking at their models, I believe this has to be their top-of-the-line Super Luxury due to the option of a "Euskal Herria" label in that one. Greer is selling it for less than I paid for the Hoquy years ago. So you're right, this really does seem like a labor of love, because there can't be much profit.

They offer bandless unlined, bandless lined, and sweatband models for each line. Size is quirky - they give metric for the head size (possibly only applies to those with sweatband?) but the diameter appears to be in English inches. Seven diameters, range is 10.5" to 14". My Hoquy is 10.5", their smallest equivalent. A special model, supposed to be for awards and prizes in contests, is offered in 15" and 16", and that's surely the source of Greer's giant pizza model.

I think this is going to work out well for some purposes. Scots bonnet with my kilt, great cold-weather camping and backpacking chapeau that shields front and sides of head from rain and can be rolled up. Maybe more. You'd get some weird looks in Georgia wearing this around town, fer sure!

- Bill
 

galopede

One of the Regulars
Messages
220
Location
Gloucester, England
I've got one of those Elosegui top line models. Mine's about 11 inch diameter. I bought it in a beret shop in San Sebastian (Basque Spain) a several years ago. Can't remember the exact price, somewhere around 14 euro ($21-22) I think it was. The shop only appeared to sell berets! Mind you, most of the blokes above thirty in the town seemed to wear them!

They wear them square on the head, pulled forward at the front, making them a bit like a flat cap. Mine's always in my pocket for emergencies!

Gareth
 

Woodfluter

Practically Family
Messages
784
Location
Georgia
galopede said:
I've got one of those Elosegui top line models///
a beret shop in San Sebastian (Basque Spain) //
They wear them square on the head, pulled forward at the front, making them a bit like a flat cap.Gareth

That's how I usually wear mine. Square on the head but not pulled forward in the case of the 10.5" Hoquy - not enough material for that on my head - but pulled forward for my military surplus beret (minus insignia ribbon etc.). This thread has re-ignited my interest in the beret.

- Bill
 

Maguire

Practically Family
Messages
619
Location
New York
D.W. Suratt said:
I hate wearing berets. I really hated when the Army started everone wearing them. I always felt stupid wearing them. Although they look good on some, I just didn't like wearing them.
I agree 100%, i despise berets. They look ok on che.. but not on a real, standing army. Whatever happened to officer's peaked caps, shakos, and all those nice hats we used to see people wear, now the beret is worn, simply because it is easy to fold up and such. Its a shame really. Berets are completely pointless in that they really offer no protection from the sun, they just sort of sit on your head. I'm not talking about the basque berets and some specific styles, but the generic beret nearly every army is adopting.

I believe i've got one somewhere though, blue. I've only worn it when there was absolutely no other hat available and i had a reason to put a hat on my head.
 

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