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How Alexa Chung, Cara Delevingne and Adwoa Aboah are bringing back the beret

Clothes are an extension of the self. But as far as expressing your personality is concerned, no item says it better than a hat. Not just because it takes pride of place as the crowning glory of your outfit, but because a well-chosen titfer can act as both a means of disguise and a method to stand out from the crowd.

Take the beanie, for example – often selected in response to plummeting mercury or a bad-hair day, this style of hat is the go-to among the too-cool-to-care crowd.

A wide-brimmed, feather-trimmed fedora, on the other hand, is never worn by someone who wishes to slip through the day unnoticed.

Using this logic, where does that leave the beret? Neither an introvert nor extrovert, perhaps it is the intellectual of the bunch? Cool yet uncontrived, stylish yet sensible, the beret is the thinking girl’s cap.

Pink faux fur beret, £15.99, Zara

A symbol of insouciant Parisians and historical revolutionaries, it comes with the suggestion that its wearer went to art school, speaks fluent French and spends her evenings in jazz clubs and her weekends at protest marches.

It also served as a quiet statement for Maria Grazia Chiuri’s second collection for Dior.

The designer – whose debut for the house was marked by hotly debated T-shirts extolling “we should all be feminists” – continued her crusade this season by topping off every model on the catwalk with a sharp leather beret.

Model army: backstage at Dior’s AW17 show. Leather berets, £580

Designed by Dior’s milliner Stephen Jones and yours for a cool £580, the duchesse silk-lined creations are tipped to be the must-have accessory for 2017, with early adopters including red-carpet rebel Rihanna and French actress Isabelle Huppert, and with the first drop selling out across boutiques.

Isabelle Huppert (Rex Features)

Also proving popular among fashion renegades are the embroidered slogan berets from Itchy Scratchy Patchy, the brainchild label of model Edie Campbell and designer Christabel MacGreevy. Cara Delevingne certainly seemed to have a bee in her bonnet when she stepped out in the brand’s fire- engine red Anarchy style, while model and activist Adwoa Aboah is a strong supporter of the Respect option in classic black.

Cara Delevingne (Rex Features)

For those who want their beret to speak of timeless style, Alexa Chung’s plaid wool beret and French style plate Lou Lesage’s chic cream cap will provide ample inspiration.

Lou Lesage (Rex Features)

And be sure you pay a visit to stalwart British hat shop Lock & Co, which has seen a surge in interest in its berets. “We sell authentic Basque berets, which have a leather trim and a traditional stalk on top and can only be called as such when they have been made in the Basque Country in France,” says Roger Stephenson, the brand’s deputy chairman.

“Due to the popularity of the men’s Basque berets at Lock, which are currently available in black and navy, we introduced a more casual beret in our women’s collection for autumn.”

Lock & Co beret, £49


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