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Breton Shirts

Updated on July 4, 2014

Add Versatile Breton Shirts to your Wardrobe for a Variety of Looks

A single Breton striped top, whether ladies, men's or kids' style, can be dressed up or down to fit in perfectly at the office, for casual wear and play, or for more dressy occasions, so one piece can really expand your wardrobe.

Known for their high quality cotton tops that have a touch of French style without being overstated, the Breton Shirt Company is often complimented for their great customer service, the colors and comfort of their clothing and accessories, and their reasonable prices.

Here, I'll tell you a bit about the Breton Shirt Company's history and about their style and show you some great Breton tops for the whole family, including long-sleeved cotton shirts and tees, sweatshirts and hoodies and Breton striped sweaters. There's even a Breton striped mini dress that can be worn as a tunic top too.

Image courtesy of Amazon

Featured here: Fred Perry Women's Breton Stripe Sweater

Flag of Brittany
Flag of Brittany

History of Breton Shirts

A brief look at where the Breton style came from....

Breton striped tops were the traditional uniform wear of Brittany sailors and later, in 1958 as set forth by law, the style became the official uniform in the French navy. Inspired by the flag of Brittany, which alternated white and black stripes, the Breton stripe adopted navy blue and white stripes. Apparently, the thinking was that the distinct pattern of the stripes would help sailors spot their fellow seamen who'd fallen overboard.

In classic Breton style, there should be 21 stripes that are said to represent Napoleon's victories.

From the French Navy to Modern Fashion:

It was Mademoiselle Coco Chanel who brought the Breton stripe from the sea to the fashion runway, back in the early 1900s when she traveled to the French Riviera, where she saw the fishermen hard at work at the marinas in their Breton stripe shirts.

She loved the nautical look so much that she incorporated the Breton stripes in her own wardrobe and her fashion designs, often combining these tops with high-waisted pants with wide legs. That trend has never lost is allure, still ever popular today.

Image courtesy of Wiki. This file is from the Open Clip Art Library, which released it explicitly into the public domain, using the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication:

Sailors in Breton Stripes

sailors in Breton stripe
sailors in Breton stripe

Image courtesy of WikiFashion: Reproduced here under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication as a copyright expired image.

Breton Inspired Top - Women's 3/4 Sleeve Breton Stripe Top

Hatley Black and Cream Striped Women's Breton Tee
Hatley Black and Cream Striped Women's Breton Tee

This is a very comfortable 100% cotton shirt with Breton stripes and 3/4 sleeves. Wear this top with jeans, shorts or leggings for a casual, relaxed look, pair it with a skirt or dress pants for the office, and then maybe change up your shoes and accessories and hair style for an evening out without having to change your shirt.

This top is available in white and blue or in blue and red, in women's sizes 4 through 12.


Breton Stripe Loopback DressCHECK PRICE

Breton Stripe Fleece HoodieCHECK PRICE

Breton Inspired Sweater for Men - Fred Perry Men's Block Breton Stripe Crew Neck Sweater

Fred Perry Men's Block Breton Stripe Crew Neck Sweater, Navy, Large
Fred Perry Men's Block Breton Stripe Crew Neck Sweater, Navy, Large

This clean-looking chic block breton stripe crew-neck sweater with navy blue and white stripes is a great look for any man, anywhere and just about any occasion. Change the pants and change the look with the same top.

This is a quality sweater that will last for a very long time without ever going out of style, but it does require dry cleaning.


French Breton stripes SweatshirtCHECK PRICE

French Breton Stripe SweatshirtCHECK PRICE

French Breton Stripes - T-ShirtsCHECK PRICE

Black and White Brenton Stripes - T-ShirtsCHECK PRICE

Famous People Associated with Breton Stripes

  1. Coco Chanel: in the early 1900s, she is said to be the first fashion designer to pick up the style and make it popular.
  2. Pablo Picasso is one of celebrities that took up the fashion and was often photographed wearing a Breton tee shirt.
  3. French Icon Brigitte Bardot famously showed off her generous curves in Breton stripes.
  4. Andy Warhol
  5. Kate Moss
  6. Marilyn Monroe
  7. Audrey Hepburn
  8. Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis

The Breton Armor-Lix Brand

Classic Breton shirts brand

One of today's trendy brands everyone loves is the French designer brand Armor Lux. Utilitarian fashion in shirts, knits, sweaters and reefer jackets is enjoying a worldwide upsurge in popularity right now,and the Breton stripe that forms the traditional base of Armor Lux is right up there.

The French company sells their products all over the globe and continues to stand by their classic styles and their excellent reputation in techniques and materials.

The company was created in 1938 in the French town of Quimper in Brittany, inspired by the fashionable Breton stripe.

French fashion has always led trends, and these never really get old. Armor Lux still use the same factory-based knitting machines they did when they began; although since 2005, they've been making use of fair trade cotton from Africa.

Breton Shirts


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