Parisian Beret: a Chic Basic for your Wardrobe

By Mathilde Vuillemenot | Last update on March 14, 2024

The Parisian beret is the emblem of the French fashion style. No doubt on it: it's a chic basic for your wardrobe that you can wear all year long. Although it's a classic, there are many questions about it: What makes a Parisian beret? How to wear it like a real Parisian? Where to buy an authentic one? So, let's answer all these important questions, so you feel confident when buying and wearing it! 


What is a Parisian Style Beret?

There are 4 key elements to recognize a Parisian beret, let's deep dive! Anatomy of the Parisian beret: a French accessory to wear all year long

  • Pure wool. The French beret was initially the accessory of shepherds in South West of France. They made their own beret with their sheep’s wool. The beret was aiming at protecting them from the cold and the rain (South West of France is a rainy region!). Indeed, wool has a moisture transfer property that allow it to accumulate up to a third of its weight in water, without feeling damp. The wool also regulates the temperature, meaning that it remains pleasant also when the temperature rises. This is why the authentic French beret, made in pure wool, can be worn all year long! Last but not least, wool is elastic (yet resistant) so it adapts to the head comfortably and can even be smoothly enlarged if necessary.
  • Neutral shape. The shape of the French beret can seem basic, and actually, it is. The perfect round shape makes it an accessory for all genders. Over time, the beret has been used by soldiers, sportsmen (golf, tennis…). And from 1930s, the beret joined the women’s accessory. Coco Chanel was the one who transformed the French beret into a fashion accessory. She aimed at showing that anyone can dress simply, while keeping a certain elegance. This is why she introduced popular French wardrobe symbols into fashion, the classic French beret being one of them. Since then, the French beret is an essential in both men and women’s headgear.
  • Colorful. Here comes the versatility of the French beret: it can be in any color. Now you understand why it’s such a great fashion accessory. Of course there are some iconic colors: red, navy and white… The colors of the French flag! But fashion addicts from all around the world collect the beret in various colors, so it fits different outfits. The famous Emily in Paris has it in vibrant red and bright yellow, for example.
  • A tail. The tail (or spike) pocking out of the top is the final touch that makes the uniqueness of the French beret. In French, it’s called a ‘cabillou’. It takes the palm of the cutest detail, right? Due to the small size, the tail is meticulously knitted manually. It can be the same color of the beret or from a different color. The tail is the distinctive sign of a French beret, an unmissable and charming detail.


How to Wear a Beret Like a Parisian?

The Parisian beret fits to all heat shapes, and can be worn from different ways... A versatility that fascinates all fashionistas! 







There are almost 10 different ways to wear a beret, you can check them on this video here. Even I discovered new ways to wear it thanks to this video!

And for more inspiration, I created a board on Pinterest called 'French fashion beret': hundreds of outfit ideas with a French beret hat (aka the Parisian beret). Definitely a chic basic!


Buying French Beret Online

There are many berets online, lots of options from big online stores to specialized hat stores to French independent stores (like my boutique French Address ;).

To choose the right one, it's effortless. Indeed, there is only one criterion to have in mind: the authenticity. By that, I mean berets made in France. The origin is the guarantee of quality and style. I made a quick comparison below on the differences between an authentic beret made in France and a copycat beret made in Asia. Of course there's a slight difference in price but when you see the list of key positive points of a true beret, it's hard to still consider buying a copycat, right? 

 French beret made in France

If it's a beret made in France from a French brand, you're sure to make the right choice. Now, as the name indicates, French Address only selects made in France items. I make no exception. I thoughtfully picked a colorful collection of French fashion berets, made in Biarritz, South of France. 

If you travel soon to Paris, you may wonder if you should buy your beret in Paris or before. As you prefer! I know some people love buying in Paris, the recommendation is the same as for buying French beret online: check the labels to be sure it's an authentic French beret. 


Do Parisians Wear Berets? 

Absolutely! 😊 In the Parisian winter, you'll spot locals donning berets for that perfect blend of warmth and chic. So, yes, Parisians do wear berets, especially when the air gets a bit chilly.

To future tourists, fear not! There's no need to feel out of place or worry about looking ridiculous. Your Paris trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and every moment should be savored. Embrace the whimsical charm of the city, and if you've ever dreamed of sporting a beret, now's the time! The streets of Paris are your runway. Fashion is an expression of joy, and there's no better place to experiment than the City of Lights. So, go ahead, indulge in the Parisian flair, and make your journey even more memorable. Whether it's a stylish beret or another unique accessory, feel free to let your fashion sense shine. After all, in Paris, every day is a celebration of life, love, and self-expression. Enjoy your trip to the fullest! 

And to prove Parisian do wear berets, here are photos of Parisians of all ages wearing a beret (photos taken in February): 

Real Parisians wearing a beret


Et voilà, I hope I answered all your questions regarding the Parisian beret. If you love the chic Parisian style, be sure to have at least one beret in your wardrobe. It will add a chic touch to your outfits!