I love berets. Wearing one makes me feel French: like a bohemian, beatnik, poet, artist. A beret is a soft, round cap, usually of wool felt and associated with France and Northern Spain. Precursors extend back to the middle ages.
I'm not sure when I started wearing them. Post college. I was heavily influenced by the children's book Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina. A peddler wanders the countryside selling beret-like caps and shouting "Caps for Sale." He carries a very tall stack of caps. Monkeys are involved, but I don't want to reveal too much and spoil the plot.
Although published in 1947, this was not a book of my childhood. I first read it when I taught nursery school back in the late '70's.
Famous beret wearers include: Picasso, Jean Piaget, Linus Pauling, John Lennon and Che Guevara.
Although we tend to associate a beret with an artistic personality, lots of paramilitary organizations wear berets as part of their uniform. In Hong Kong the Police Tactical Unit wears a navy blue beret. In Iceland the polica cadets wear black berets. In South Africa the South African Police wear a camouflage beret.
Boyscouts, Brownies and Girl Scouts wear berets. (I think?)
Just to name a few. Have a beret nice weekend.