Rock Away With the Classic Breton Tee

440 440 Velvet

September is just around the corner and it’s one of my favorite months. I truly love its light and how it gleams so warmly onto the surfaces. Yet, I catch myself feeling I’m in between seasons! Do you know what I mean? Don’t you ever get that feeling? It’s not like I have given up on summer or anything, but the holidays are over and so I find myself looking into the “in-between” section of my wardrobe for basics that bring out a coastal feel to them and yet, are perfect to wear anywhere including work. The marinière or the Breton top is the perfect key piece. Well, I bet you all have at least one of those classic tees!

A flatlay of a Breton shirt, a notebook, a pair of shoes and a pair of black pants
Photo by Toa Heftiba

The iconic stripes!

The iconic striped long sleeve tee is an old favorite of mine. It is a timeless fashion staple that will always be trendy. It was worn by seamen of the French Navy since 1858, but it’s been around for much longer (some say around 200 years). Originally, it had 21 white stripes and 20 or 21 indigo ones, one for each of Napoleon’s victories, making it easy to be spotted while at sea.

Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel among other things, reinvented this classic tee, and sold it in her store since 1913. Later, it was embraced by celebrities from the film and music industry like Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, Brigitte Bardot, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, personas and ordinary people alike.

A blonde woman (whose face can't be seen) is wearing a Breton sweater and carrying a striped backpack somewhere by the seashore
Photo by Pete Bellis
A blonde young woman wearing a breton shirt with a shoulder off
Photo by Pete Bellis
The rear of a young blonde woman who is sitting atop a cliff watching the view over a lake, wearing a black baseball hat, a Breton tee and jean shorts
Photo by Becca Tapert
On the left a young woman (whose face is not visible) is wearing a Breton shirt dress and Greek sandals. Her tattoo on her left left is visible). On the right a young woman at a beach wearing a black bikini is folding a muted white and gray stipe Breton beach towel.
On the left a young stylish woman is wearing a black leather jacket with a breton tee under it and faded jeans. On the right a young girl wears a Breton shirt and a straw hat (her rear is seen).


A young beautiful model is wearing a Breton styled midi flute dress and looks gorgeous in it. Image by Long Tall Sally.
Image by Long Tall Sally. So summery!!
A young beautiful woman wearing a red Breton top, white wide leg jeans and a black hat. Very stylish indeed! Image by Long Tall Sally.
Image by Long Tall Sally
A young woman wearing a long sleeve Breton top and faded jeans. Gorgeous. Image by Long Tall Sally.
Image by Long Tall Sally

The nautical flair of the Breton top is stylish and always looks up to date. The colors and width of its stripes may vary creating new takes on a classic value. Personally, I can’t have enough of them and mixing the stripes can result in gorgeous combinations. Needless to mention that every brand has at least one version of it (from ZARA and Tommy Hilfiger to Coco Chanel).

People will stare, so make it their worth while!

Harry Winston

Therefore, I think a Breton top is just the perfect thing to wear this season. It is a great reminder of everything that’s summery yet, it’s sophisticated, smart and preppy in a casual way! If we dress it up with a blazer, loafers and jeans we’ll get a great work uniform, whose stripes will strip away the blues that come along with September and the “sterile back to business look” (that I dislike so much)! So ladies, let’s get our glam radars tuned in and dig up our wardrobes, put on our tiger stripes (or zebra ones at that), accessorize and voilà!

Rock on, xo

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