Although we spend the majority of our days looking at new trends, there are moments when we like to shine a light on the tried-and-tested pieces that work 365 days a year. (You know, the jeans that fit in all the right places or the blazer that makes you look like you've made an effort—even if you haven't brushed your hair.) Then there's the top that never lets you down: the Breton.
As far as iconic fashion pieces go, the striped top is up there with the best of them. Introduced as the uniform for the French Navy in 1858, the one and only Coco Chanel later took inspiration from the sailors' look for her nautical collection in 1917. Since then, we can categorically say that the rest is, well, history.
Striped tees and jumpers are now go-tos for an entire range of women: from the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, to the fashion industry's elite. Giving that certain je ne sais quoi to any outfit, this is the chic separate that will go the distance in your wardrobe way beyond 2019.
Style Notes: We can always trust in Jeanne to give us endless style insights. We'll be wearing our blazer over our Bretons from here on out.
Every single editor at Who What Wear HQ has said they own at least one of these striped classics. Then there are the fashion girls (including the founder of cult Parisian brand Rouje, Jeanne Damas) who make them part of their everyday uniforms. Luckily, we've found the best places to shop them. From Comme des Garçons Play to Weekday to & Other Stories, there's a striped top to suit every style and budget.
Style Notes: Adding a hint of colour to the classic striped number, Ada goes for clashing hues to brighten up her monochromatic ensemble.
Style Notes: It's the outfit equation that works for a lifetime: Breton top + jeans + trainers = perfection.
£150 to £300
It's all about that heart motif.
Yes to sequins all year round.
It's made to be worn with a bright-red lip.
£100 to £150
You've most likely seen these tops all over Insta.
Simple yet effective.
£50 to £100
We love the subtle embroidered "amour." So cute.
Perfect with white cropped jeans.
We can always rely on Ralph Lauren for a classic.
Team with a clashing print skirt.
£20 to £50
It makes us happy.
The ideal neckline.
Sailor chic at its finest.
Layer with golden jewels.
Looks great with a slip skirt.
Swap an overpriced cocktail dress for this.
Go slouchy for weekend brunch vibes.
It looks way more premium than the price tag.
Next up, these are the 15 pieces that'll give you the ultimate French-girl capsule wardrobe.