Berets have a reputation for being… French. Like, super French. There’s nothing wrong with that, I mean, it’s a French hat. But berets compliment so many French caricatures–the mime, the artist, the stereotypical snobby French guy–that it can be hard to wear one without feeling like you’re trying to encompass all of those looks yourself. For that reason, berets can be a bit of a challenge to wear without looking like you’re straight up playing dress up. This kind of sucks because berets are really cute, but who wants to walk around looking like they’re channeling a mime?
Luckily, there are a number of looks you can rock with a beret that won’t–I repeat, won’t–make you look like it’s Halloween. Check out these 14 ways to wear a beret without looking obnoxious and try incorporating it into an outfit soon!
1. Pair your beret with a leather jacket for a look that low key screams sophisticated badass. Extra points if this outfit is an all black everything look.
2. Forget the traditional beret colors of black, red, navy, and beige and go for a more unique, bright color instead, like a pink, yellow, or orange.
3. Pair with round sunglasses for a retro look. If you can cop a pair of sunglasses that have tinted color lenses, you’re golden.
4. Go for a bold color that matches your beret for a striking monochrome look.
5. Pair with a turtleneck for a refined look that looks chic but not snobby.
6. If you have an afro or another naturally curly hairstyle that makes it hard for a beret to sit on your head, grab some bobby pins and go to town. Clip it in so it sits comfortably on your head without wobbling.
7. Contrast a black beret with a super brightly colored outfit. I rocked this look in Paris and it helped me avoid looking too nauseatingly cliche.
8. Pins don’t just look good on your favorite jacket. Throw them onto your beret for a look that gives this uptight accessory a little quirk.
9. Dress any beret down with a t-shirt, paired with either a skirt and sneakers like the look below, or a pair of high waist pants.
10. Or, use an oversized sweatshirt to help dress a beret down in a snap.
11. Go black and white but avoid horizontal stripes unless you want to look like you’re trying to dress up as a French person for Halloween. Swap that out for a cool contrast collar dress like the one below.
12. If you’re ever feeling bored of your box braids, throw a beret on them for a cute, effortless look.
13. Step outside the box a little bit by rocking a sweet printed or embroidered beret.
14. Play dress up without anyone knowing it by pairing a beret with granny glasses for a funky look that can be an homage to grandma without screaming geriatric.
Do you have a beret? How do you usually style it? Tell us in the comments!