Friday, November 25, 2011

Military Style Berets (by lack of a better definition...)

Military style berets have been written about numerous times on The Beret Project and actually, I think I should find a better description for this kind of beret. It may be in the military style, but it is widely worn by a civilian population.

I have posted on Ralph Hotere before, Dizzy Gillespie, Bertil Vallien, Benjamin Nicholson and many more - non of them your average military person. 
What I appreciate is the "humbleness" of these beret wearers, often stating that they picked their beret up at a local Army-Navy-Store, 2nd hand affairs getting a new lease on life.
Bertil Vallien
And , of course, the industry adapted to the need; Boinas Elosegui and Blancq-Olibet (Bakarra) making some of the nicest and quality berets in this style.

Czech manufacturer TONAK makes the Service Star and American Apparel have their own style again. 
Kangol is the odd one out, always concentrated on the military (Montgomery) style beret.

In principal, a military style beret is a Basque beret, with the txortena (or 'wick', 'fuse') shorn off, a synthetic or leather rim on the outside of the natural woolen rim with a drawstring and often air vents added. Generally, the diameter is very small, <260mm.
Interestingly, this style beret seems especially popular in the Scandinavian countries (but I have no explanation as to the why. 


  1. An explanation of the relative popularity of military style berets in Scandinavia could simply be that they were/are easier to get hold of.(surplus,"lost" in service). In these scarcely populated countries with relatively few beret wearers, you don't find many vendors of "civilian" berets.

  2. True. I find the same situation in NZ, but thanks to the internet (and South Pacific Berets...), that is changing rapidly. The world is getting very small, for that matter...