An ode to the Breton Stripe

There aren’t many styles with the longevity of the Breton Stripe. Originating from all the way back in the 1850s, the classic long sleeve, navy and white stripe design was initially sported by Seamen in the French navy so they would be easier to spot if they went overboard. Unlike bell bottoms and doughboy hats, there’s something about this nautical style that has really stood the test of time. The sleeves were shortened and by the 1950s the Breton had become a staple style in the wardrobes of fashionistas, beatniks and beyond.

This popularity hasn’t really wavered in over 150 years, and these days the Breton Stripe remains a strong style for the warm days of spring and summer. If you haven’t got one in your wardrobe, now is the perfect time to get involved with a Breton.  It’s a great way to look like you know how to dress, without it looking like you’ve put too much effort into it. James Dean famously wore one, so how much more inspiration do you need?

Breton Stripe Chair

You don’t just have to stick to the classic long sleeve design. These days, things are not so simple as black and white (or navy and white, in this case). The very aesthetically pleasing stripe design (one wide, one narrow) has been adapted to many different colourways, and utilised in modern and irregular designs. In the sometimes confusing world of men’s style, there’s something comforting about the durability of the Breton Stripe. It’s a classic and easy-to-wear staple style that can be adapted and modernised to suit the times. Fashion can often feel too trend led and throwaway, so it’s reassuring to know that a Breton Stripe is an investment worth making. You never know, it could last you the next 150 years…