Even since I was a child I’ve been intrigued by the ads for berets placed in the back of magazines. I’m talking 40+ years of magazine reading at this point. Yet this ad still appears regularly. The ad and the photo—of a vaguely Gallic looking man who appears to be in the midst of pointing out the best place to get steak frites in the 6th Arrondissement—remain the same. Even the price, $14 with only $2 added for shipping, seems impossibly retro.
I could see people maybe buying berets during the Beatnik enriched 60s, something to wear that would give them a Parisian air as they strolled arm-in-arm to a jazz club in Greenwich Village. But the mind absolutely boggles over who is still buying these berets today. I would have thought that most beret wearers have either died off or are resigned to spending their Saturday nights watching Lawrence Welk reruns at the local Sunrise Assisted Living facility.
The only beret wearers I can think of in recent memory are Monica Lewinsky—as she famously greeted paramour Bill Clinton on the White House lawn—and the flaky guy from Mythbusters.
If you, or someone you know, is a customer for one of these beret purveyors please let me know. I’d really like to meet you, if only to ask, why? For now, a bientot.