The Breton - A Marker Of Classic French Style
Touted by stylish insiders as one of the transition items to take us from working from home to emerging out into the world, the familiar stripes have been spotted recently on the Duchess of Cambridge, Anna Wintour and actress Camille Razat from Emily in Paris.
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 – or who’s wearing it. It has become a marker of classic French chic.