Saturday, December 12, 2009

To be-ret or not to be-ret?

Google something like 'beret' or enter 'beret' on Ebay and you get an incredible amount of pictures of newsboy caps, beanies, cabbie caps, hats in polyester or nylon, all sorts of knitted and crocheted hats that are miles away from the Basque Beret. There is a tendency to call any kind of flat hat a beret, but faithful followers of this blog know better, of course.
But then, sometime you come across a kind of hybrid beret that is actually very nice and sometimes even qualifies for the label Béret Basque.
Excellent examples are the beautifully made Tolosa Tupida's and Espinosa's in cotton, by Bonigor SA in Buenos Aires.These were an invention by the present-day owner, who, with declining sales in 1998 searched for an alternative to the merino wool beret for the Summer season. It's a concept tried by many beret manufacturers (Betmar from New York, Canadian Parkhurst, for example), but they all resulted in a thin and floppy piece of headgear.
Not these Argentine berets that stay 'flat' and keeps their shape when picked up at the txortena. Fantastic headgear and I wear mine all through the NZ Summer (and available again through South Pacific Berets!).

The berets pictured below are another variation on the Basque Beret - I found the pictures on and thought they were actually very original.

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