The history of the Breton stretches back to the start of the 19th century, with fishermen wearing tops made out of wool to protect themselves from the elements. It wasn't until 1913 that Coco Chanel introduced the iconic stripes into the mainstream fashion market with her marinière, or fisherman, tops. Cut to 2021, and the Breton has become a ubiquitous item in the wardrobes of the general public, with its democratic appeal that transcends generations, genders and budgets.
Since its inception, the Breton stripe has also broken free from its "basic-top" origins and can now be found in a plethora of formats, from swimsuits and dresses to shirts and trousers. While these new iterations might not adhere to the original naval specifications (21 white stripes on the torso measuring 20 millimetres in width and 21 blue stripes of 10 millimetres width, if you were wondering), they're still imbued with that unique brand of ageless style that the Breton stripe possesses.
Spotted on countless stylish Instagram feeds, Arket's collared jumper is at the top of our striped wish list right now. Just add to wide-leg jeans and leather loafers for Parisian-inspired chic. We're also enjoying the Breton-stripe swimwear that is proliferating right now, and we can imagine one of & Other Stories' square-neck swimsuits looking just as good styled with wide-leg tailored trousers and a raffia bag as they would with sunnies and flip-flops. Scroll down to see and shop our Breton-stripe shopping edit.