Get With It: Breton Stripes

Karen Alfonso , 03 Jul 2012
Breton Stripes
Breton Stripes (photo courtesy |

Today’s word of the day is Breton Stripes.

The nautical trend is something that keeps coming back. And why not? The navy-white combination and the classic tailoring just makes you feel instantly chic. My favourite is undoubtedly the Breton striped t-shirt, which is characterized by thick or thin horizontal navy or black stripes.
Interesting bit of trivia: The original Breton stripes normally add up to 21, signifying Napoleon’s victories!

Coco Chanel | Image collect/ Roloff Benny/Globe Photos
Coco Chanel | Image collect/ Roloff Benny/Globe Photos

Coco Chanel, the woman who gave us the LBD and the first designer perfume is responsible for also making breton stripes fashionable. She drew inspiration from the French sailors in Brittany, France (hence, the name Breton) who wore them as part of their work attire. Chanel famously paired the the t-shirt with flared trousers which was groundbreaking at that time as women were still restricted to their corsets.

Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier (photo courtesy | Coco Cola)

Another French Designer Jean Paul Gaultier is also famous for his love of Breton stripes. Most recently he was chosen to design the limited edition Diet Coke bottles which featured his iconic stripes.

A Breton striped top will instantly make you look chic. You can easily dress it up or down, throw on a blazer at night for a semi-casual look for work or dress it down with Chinos and loafers for a cool off-duty look. Don’t shy away from stripes if you think that will make you look larger opt for thinner stripes.

Breton Stripes
Bhawna Sharma and Olivia Palermo show us how to work Breton stripes

Take a cue from supermodel Bhawna Sharma who paired hers with wide-leg pants for a night about town or American socialite and fashion muse Olivia Palermo who pairs hers with jeggings.

Picture courtesy: and

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