Who doesn’t love a classic striped T-shirt longsleeve top? I would imagine most of us would have some kind of stripy number in their wardrobe – I still have some from Remo, that have stood the test of about 20 years!

And how fabulous is this collection from Claudia Stahl – under her terrific label, Jac Cadeaux.
Here’s a little Breton history . . .

The Breton stripe originates from Brittany (or ‘Bretagne’ in French) on the North West coast of France. A decree on the 27th March 1858 introduced the striped shirt as the prescribed seaman’s uniform. The stripes were white for 2cm and then blue for 1cm.

The navy and white striped shirt was made the uniform of the French navy. Somewhat ironically, the garment usually has a boat neckline. The distinctive striped pattern made them easy to spot in the waves in emergencies.

Many designer have a long enduring love of the simple but chic stripe. Coco Chanel introduced the striped pattern to a nautical inspired collection in 1917, after visiting France. Seaside destination holidays, like St Tropez, were becoming popular and so this more casual style was ideal. This style broke away from the more heavily fitted styles of the time. This stripe style was made even more popular by icons James Dean and Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Edie Sedwick, and Brigitte Bardot, wearing the style.

From its humble beginnings as a naval uniform, the Breton stripe pattern has grown to be almost synonymous with effortless Parisian style but further than that it has become a truly adored product that has stood the test of time.