The classic Breton top, like a fine wine.

For long as I can remember I have had a fascination with France, from the overpriced food to the brightly lit sights of Paris. I adore french style for many reasons and how simple the look can be but still look incredible. My favourite item of them all, which is the staple of any chic French wardrobe, the top that I’m talking about is the trusty Breton stripe top. It’s the one top that says you’re chic without having to spell it out on those plain T-shirts saying ‘CHIC’. No thanks! Personally trying to count the Breton tops I own is useless, they’re dotted around my room like permanent reminders that I’m not French, but I’d like to be.

As soon as you don a Breton stripe top you get insults flying in from family members linking you to Sailors and French men with garlic round their necks and some even think you’re doing fancy dress. Breton stripes, I hear you call, you’d be surprised how fashionable the simple stripes can be.

Designers and the High Street are now stocking in Breton stripe by the load, in new updated versions. Embellishing them with gold buttons for extra pizazz to changing the Breton classic white and blue norm to new colours (how daring, I know). Celebrities, musicians and artists have worn the Breton top; famous names including Kurt Cobain, Brigitte Bardot and Picasso. It’s not only chic and classic, but the top can be worn with so many pieces of clothing, from white jeans for that elegant look to the black jean combo which says Rock ‘n’ Roll in an instant even though you priorly hate your dad’s collection of rock.

It’s funny how a little old top, which has been passed on through time from the workwear of fishermen and sailors to Fashion editors around the world wearing the Breton top as a permanent staple in their wardrobes. In the famous words of Don Draper, “Make it simple, but significant”.


Jigsaw Striped Top, £59 / PRShots


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