Style,  Wardrobe

Useful basics – the Breton Top

The Breton Top with those classic stripes has become extremely popular in recent years. Many shops sell their own version of it. The Breton stripe shirt was first introduced in 1858 as the uniform for all French navy seaman in Northern France. The original design featured 21 stripes, one for each of Napoleon Bonaparte’s victories and the distinctive stripes made it easier to spot wayward sailors who had fallen overboard. It’s now classic French Chic!

This versatile Breton top can be worn all year round – on it’s own in summer or layered with a jacket or cardigan for the other three seasons. If I see a whole rail of Breton stripes in a shop I’m immediately drawn to them, as they come in so many colours now, not just navy and white. Originally, the Breton stripe was white for 2 cm and blue for 1 cm, such as the one shown here by Petit Bateau:

Now, the stripes can be any width and are still classed as a Breton.

To accessorise a Breton top you could add a scarf or a necklace – a sparkly one or pearls would look good. How about adding some leopard print into the mix or a cardigan to match one of the stripe colours. You could also wear a denim or leather jacket. Have fun – there are so many ways to dress up a Breton top.

Here’s an example of a multi coloured striped Breton from Kettlewell Colours

Navy & white with coloured stars from Boden:

I do hope you will enjoy wearing a Breton top as much as I do!

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