Our new take on the Breton stripe, arriving next week, is made from a soft blend of cotton with a touch of cashmere. This transeasonal sweater with a relaxed fit and blouson sleeve, can be worn rolled up or down.
Nautical by nature, a Breton style sweater will look dreamy on a sail boat or along the French riviera, but realistically it is a smart everyday go-to.
The Breton, sometimes also called la marinière (sailor), is quintessentially French. In 1858, the striped shirt became the official uniform of the French navy. The design featured 21 stripes, which were said to make it easier to spot sailors who had fallen overboard.
Coco Chanel is credited for elevating the Breton from a uniform to a fashion item when she included the stripe in her runway show in 1913 and making it a stylish investment piece for seaside holidays.
It remains one of the few fashion staples that can look both bourgeois and bohemian, depending on how it is worn. It has become a marker of classic French chic.