There’s nothing more French than a Breton Tee… Well, except maybe the Eiffel Tower and smoking, but a blue and white (or black and white) striped t-shirt ranks right up there, for sure.
The Breton tee was originally introduced as the official uniform for the Brittany navy in 1858 and included 21 stripes – one for each of Napolean’s victories. The stripes were also said to have made it easier to find overboard sailors.
However, it was Coco Chanel that made these simple tees a fashion staple through her nautical collection in 1917. Everyone from Pablo Picasso to James Dean sported the casual and chic striped cotton shirt.
Today, there are no shortage of striped tees on the market – from the least expensive mall stores to the biggest fashion houses Europe has to offer. But one that I have my eye on now is this version from Clare Vivier. This one in particular has “Oui” on the front – another French detail que j’adore.