Staples | Breton Top

I just love a Breton top. Especially paired with a blazer and skinny leg jeans. I recently came across the best Breton top I’ve ever laid my fashion-loving eyes upon: Marcs SCS Stripe Breton LS Top. It is a luxurious blend of a cotton, silk and cashmere with camel colour blocking. RRP$139.95. I couldn’t get this in my closet any quicker!


This lead me to do a little research on my favourite fashion top. So, just for a little bit of fun, here is the history of the Breton top…

In 1858 France introduced the navy and white striped knitted shirt as the uniform for all French navy seaman. The original design featured 21 stripes, one for each of Napolean’s victories. From here the official striped navy and white shirt became  a popular working mariner garment and it was sported by men of the sea; seafairers and sailors across the region of Northern France. This is mainly because the distinctive block pattern of stripes made overboard sailors easier to spot in the waves. 


Inspired by sailors, after a visit to the French coast, Coco Chanel introduced the design to the fashion world through her nautical collection in 1917. At the time there was an increase in the popularity of seaside destinations, like Saint Tropez, where the high-society would sun themselves on sailboats and yachts. Thus there was a need for more casual wear in women’s fashion.

Through the 1950s and 60s, the Breton Top was seen on icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso, Brigitte Bardot, Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Audrey Hepburn and James Dean.

Source: Aliz of Bohemia

Most commonly teamed with blazers, skinny trousers or shorts, the Breton top is now synonymous with chic Parisian style. Today you are likely to see Alexa Chung, Kirsten Dunst, Miranda Kerr, Olivia Palermo or an Oslen kicking about in this super comfortable and stylish fashion staple. If you don’t already own, oh say, three…get shopping!

Source: Norman Jean Roy

Thanks to Wikipedia for helping me do my research!

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