The beret has long been, for some reason, a continued stereotype of what it means to be French in spite of the fact that it hasn’t been on-trend in France since the 1930s. Yet, like Italians portrayed with the shitty, “You-a wanna-a pizza-a?” accent, the beret is one so-called emblem of the culture that will forever be ingrained in the minds of Americans, most especially les “femmes” basiques.
Yet, for as much gall as it takes to wear a beret in America, even “women” like Carrie Bradshaw (who famously showed up to Mr. Big’s in embarrassment after self-chiding, “I’m running around town in a beret!”) know all too well that to actually wear a beret in France, particularly Paris, would be the ultimate crime against fashion, as well as the ultimate insult to French people (apart from matter-of-factly informing them that Italy has better wine and cheese). It’s mind-boggling, really, when you really examine it–the imagined scene in some “quaint” Canal St. Martin Airbnb–that a “woman” could actually be possessed to, of sound mind and body, pick up a beret, place it on her head and think: “Yes, this is going to make the Parisians regard me with le respecte.”
The only thing that could make it more of an affront to both Americans who don’t want French people to despise us any more than they already do and the French themselves is if the “woman” in question also donned a white shirt with horizontal stripes. The beret makes for a bull’s eye effect enough already as it is in terms of informing the French who’s la belle and who’s la bête.