I don’t know about you but for me a trip to Paris (or anywhere in France for that matter) isn’t complete without Breton stripes thrown in for good measure. I stop at dressing like a walking French cliché in trench coat, beret and ballet flats, but there is a lot to be said for the French woman’s take on a monochromatic palette and feminine tailoring. Isn’t that the real allure – the chic simplicity of it all?
Introduced as the uniform of the French navy in 1858, the Breton top wasn’t even a ‘thing’ until spotted by Coco Chanel on a trip to the French coast. Breton stripes made quite an impression and featured heavily in Chanel’s 1917 nautical clothing line, ensuring stripes a place in the fashion hall of fame.
The beauty of the Breton top is in its effortlessness and versatility. Today the stripe top is as necessary as a classic white tee, black blazer and blue jeans.
If it’s good enough for Coco…. For a day spent wandering the city’s famous boulevards and tourist haunts I paired my stripes with a jumpsuit, Nike kicks and an oversized duster coat.
When I came across Daniel Buren’s incredible column installation “Les Deux Plateaux” at the Palais Royal in the 1st arrondissement my Breton stripes met their match. If you haven’t been, you need to visit. It’s visually stunning. Wear stripes and blend in or stand out, depending on your view.
Breton Sweater ♦ Asos
Jumpsuit ♦ H&M
Duster Coat ♦ Boohoo.com (similar here)
Scarf ♦ Top Shop (similar here)
Beanie Hat ♦ Primark (similar here)
Sneakers ♦ Nike
Bag ♦ Chloe