As I noted in earlier post, I have been reading a lot about France lately.
One thing that really struck me was the berets! So many Frenchmen still wear these things. In the rural areas and especially among older Frenchmen, berets are almost ubiquitous. Even younger Frenchmen often wear berets. These are often guys from the more rural areas of France who are often deeply steeped in French history, culture and literature. Call them traditional intellectuals if you will.
In the larger cities, especially in Paris, I am not sure how prominent berets are. Among the corporate types and the more modern crowd, they may well be going out in big cities.
I also saw many pictures of France from a while back. It seems that for a long time from about 50 years ago and before, every single Frenchman wore a beret! You will not see a picture of ordinary Frenchmen pre-1960 where they are not wearing berets. I believe in Picasso and Jacques Cousteau wore berets, n’est-ce pas?
It seems that for a long time in the 19th and 20th centuries, the beret was simply a part of the Frenchman’s daily uniform.