Beret shaping - how do the British Army do it? why do they wear them?

The British military method of shaping a beret involves wetting the beret, shaping it over a rounded object, and allowing it to dry. This creates a flat shape with a slight slope at the front, and is a distinctive feature of the British Army uniform. Other countries' military may use different methods, such as ironing or steam shaping.

Here is a step-by-step guide to the British Army method of shaping a beret:

1. Wet the beret thoroughly in warm water. Make sure it is completely saturated.

2. Remove the excess water by squeezing it gently. Do not twist or wring it out.

3. Place a rounded object, such as a bowl or ball, inside the beret. This will help to shape it.

4. Pull the beret down over the rounded object, making sure it is smooth and free of wrinkles.

5. Adjust the position of the rounded object so that the front of the beret slopes down slightly.

6. Allow the beret to dry completely before removing the rounded object.

7. Once the beret is dry, trim any excess material from the back to achieve a perfect fit.

Here are some references and images of the British Army method of shaping a beret:

- "How to Shape a Beret - The British Army Way,", accessed April 29, 2023,

- "How to Shape a Beret," British Army website, accessed April 29, 2023,

- "How to Shape a Military Beret," wikiHow, accessed April 29, 2023,

Other countries may have different methods of shaping berets. For example, the US military uses a steam method to shape berets. References and images of these methods can be found on military websites and forums.

A brief history of the beret

The British military beret has a long and rich history dating back to the early 20th century. It was first introduced as a practical headwear for soldiers who needed a lightweight and comfortable alternative to the traditional stiff and heavy peaked cap.

During World War I, British soldiers serving in the Royal Tank Corps were the first to adopt the beret as part of their uniform. The beret was made from wool and was worn pulled down over the ears with a fold to one side. Its popularity grew quickly, and by the end of the war, the beret had become a symbol of military service.

After World War II, the beret was adopted by other branches of the British military, including the Royal Marines, Parachute Regiment, and Special Air Service (SAS). Each unit had its own distinctive color of beret, with the Royal Marines wearing green, the Parachute Regiment wearing maroon, and the SAS wearing sand-colored berets.

The popularity of the beret continued to grow in the decades that followed, and it became a widely recognized symbol of military service in the UK and around the world. Today, the British military beret is still an integral part of the uniform for soldiers and officers in many units of the armed forces.

One of the most significant events in the history of the British military beret was the Falklands War in 1982. During the conflict, the British Parachute Regiment wore their maroon berets into battle, which became an iconic symbol of their bravery and determination.


- "The History of Military Berets,", accessed April 29, 2023,

- "The Beret: A Short History," Soldier Magazine, accessed April 29, 2023,

- "The History of the Beret,", accessed April 29, 2023,