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.
A friend and I were recently having a discussion about finding the perfect white t-shirt. There are a list of stipulations that the “perfect” tee must meet in order to indeed be the perfect tee.
It can’t be too heavy, but not too see-through either. It has to hold it’s shape well and not stretch out. The quality has to be such that the seams run in all the right directions (You know we’ve all had those cheaper-made tees that have seams that twist and turn around our torsos!)
The sleeves should be short enough to not get bunched up under our cardis or sweaters, but not so short that they show off the little bit of extra “pit fat” we’ve been trying to lose since we had our last baby (18 months ago for me!) A v-neck can’t be too deep, a crewneck can’t be too tight and we really don’t want a boatneck. It can’t be too clingy, but not too loose that it looks like a paper bag either.
The perfect white t-shirt has to be so perfect that we don’t have to replace it every year and so perfect that we actually want to buy several so that we’d never be without one. It has to wash up nicely (and be dryer-proof for her.) I lay everything out to air dry so that’s not an issue for me.
We even agreed that we’d pay considerably more for a t-shirt that looked great with everything.
So I’ve been doing some research and googling “perfect white t-shirt.” Most of the articles written on just that topic give quite a few options – but I’m unsure that the tees have actually been test-driven, so to speak.
Here are a few however that I’d like to try out. Or better yet – to hear from readers if you’ve had good or bad experiences. Or let me know which perfect white tee has worked out for you and why!
There’s nothing I like better than a sharp-dressed man. And if he’s not in his favorite jeans and white t-shirt, then I prefer him in an impeccably tailored suit, crisp white shirt and the perfect tie.