How to wear a beret: Tips for wearing the classic style

This hat style is tres chic!
Tyra Banks beret Modelland
Tyra Banks wore a military-style beret on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna on Monday, Feb. 24.Nathan Congleton / TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

Ready to say "oui" to one of the hottest hat trends around? Beret hats for women are a classic accessory that are back in a big way, and they can instantly take an outfit from drab to fab.

"They embody an easy yet sophisticated sense of old-world elegance that can be incorporated into a modern look," said Mitali Saxena, CEO of the affordable styling service Fashom.

While the traditional French beret tends to get all the attention, it's not the only beret in town. Military and knitted berets are equally as stylish in their own ways, and easier to rock than you may think. If you're looking to step up your hat game, you're in luck because TODAY Style consulted hair and fashion pros to help answer the age old question: How to wear a beret hat? With their expert advice, you'll be mastering one of the coolest hair trends in no time.

French berets are the most recognizable style. Max Mumby/Indigo / Getty Images

How to wear a French beret

The vibe: The original French beret hat for women is undoubtedly the crème de la crème. It's best worn perched at the top of your head or tilted to one side, and and is typically made of felted wool with a small "tail" at the top.

How to wear your hair: French berets are pretty classic, so you'll want an equally effortless textured style. "Let hair air-dry naturally. Some natural texture will give you body, especially for fine hair," New York City-based hairstylist Lauren Baxter told TODAY Style."Blow out the front and curl hair with a bigger barrel curling iron. Finish off with a dry texturizing product for added volume and texture."

How to style the look:

  • With its classic vibe, a French beret can dress up casual basics, like jeans and a floral blouse. "It's a perfect accessory for coffee dates or a casual brunch," Saxena said.
  • The style also pairs well with jeans, a T-shirt and a trench coat, according to celebrity stylist Britt Theodora. "I would wear one of these on a Sunday at an art museum or (while) sightseeing in a new city!"

How to wear a military beret

Military berets are a bit more structured than French berets.Paul Morigi / Getty Images

The vibe: Military berets often lean toward one side and typically have a thick back to keep them in place. Much like other military-inspired garments, military berets can give off a slightly edgy vibe.

How to wear your hair: With their structured shape, military berets call for an equally sophisticated hairstyle. "Make sure your hair is clean so you don’t come across as sloppy," said Bianca Hillier, colorist at Andy Lecompte Salon in Los Angeles. "Military berets pair perfectly with all hair types, whether you have curls, straight strands or waves." To keep the look clean, Hillier suggests using a styling cream to prevent flyaways.

How to style the look:

  • Contrast the edginess by pairing a military beret with classic pieces, like a crisp white shirt, skinny trousers and heels or ankle boots. "It's great for any occasion when you want to feel and look 'dressed' or if you think the environment could handle something 'extra,' like dinner out with girlfriends and a gallery walk," Saxena said.
  • Theodora suggests rocking the style with a tailored jacket and pants for a chic ensemble.

How to wear a knitted beret

Knitted berets are a popular winter style but can be worn in multiple seasons.Chris Walter / WireImage

The vibe: With their somewhat slouchy appearance and winter-ready material, knitted berets have a more casual vibe and can be both fashionable and functional.

How to wear your hair: Just like thick headbands, knitted berets are perfect for second- or third-day hair that needs a little boost. "You can wear a knitted beret with a messy low bun or stringy dirty hair," Hillier said. "Avoid using any creams with this look and stick to something like a texture spray."

How to style the look:

  • Rock a knitted beret to step up your winter accessory game: "I would wear this instead of my beanie on days when I feel like making my winter look more fashion-forward," Theodora said.
  • Don't be afraid to keep things casual! "With a knit beret, I would reflect a similar silhouette and wear a slouchy sweater and leggings and boots," Theodora said.