The Breton Stripe Is Synonymous with Parisian Chic

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 IN: Bonjour, Paris Iconic Fashion Designers Talking Fashion


Is anyone else fascinated with the way Parisians appear impossibly chic?  When I packed for my recent trip to Paris, I was sure to include an iconic Breton stripe top because it’s synonymous with the Parisian chic look I was after.

I did my homework before my trip to Paris in November to learn of the key pieces to add to my chic essentials wardrobe list.

The Breton stripe is synonymous with Parisian Chic. Location: Midtown Cinema, Harrisburg. Wearing: J. Crew Trench Navy Cape similar here, Piperlime Faux Leather Navy Midi Skirt real leather here in black, Target Style Who What Wear Collection stripe pullover crew with Cole Haan Barnard Stormcloud Suede Boots, Clare V Suede Metallic Clutch with Vogue VIP membership and Dita Cat-Eye Sunnies similar here.

 The Breton stripe dates back to the Act of France in March 1858 that introduced the navy and white striped knitted shirt as the uniform for all French navy seamen (to make them easier to spot if they fell overboard) in Brittany, a region in France.

The original design featured 21 stripes, one for each of Napoleon’s victories.  Since 1889, Saint James has manufactured the striped top in wool and cotton for sailors in Brittany (or as it’s called in France, Bretagne), France.

Breton Stripe is Synonymous With Parisian Chic. Mademoiselle Coco Chanel wearing the Breton stripe top.

The Breton Stripe Is Synonymous With Parisian Chic. Mademoiselle Coco Chanel is wearing the Breton stripe top.

Even designer Coco Chanel was inspired to include the Breton stripe in her 1917 collection after a trip to the French Riviera.  Once she debuted this ready-to-wear style, fashion’s obsession with the Breton stripe had begun. 

The Breton Stripe is Synonymous With Parisian Chic. French Fashion Designer, Sonia Rykiel.

The Breton Stripe is Synonymous With Parisian Chic. Sonia Rykiel Breton Stripe.

Breton Stripe is Synonymous With Parisian Chic. French Actress Francoise Hardy models a striped Sonia Rykiel top on the cover of the December 13, 1966 edition of Elle Magazine.

The Breton Stripe Is Synonymous With Parisian Chic. French Actress Francoise Hardy models a striped Sonia Rykiel top on the cover of the December 13, 1966, edition of Elle Magazine.

The Breton Stripe Is Synonymous With Parisian Chic. French beauty giant, Lancome launched Sonia Rykiel beauty products earlier in 2016.

Another French fashion designer, Sonia Rykiel (May 25, 1930 – August 25, 2016) is known for freeing women’s fashions. Sonia jumped on the Breton stripe bandwagon when she introduced her Poor Boy Sweater, a snug-fitting pullover sweater with ribbing on the arms and the sleeves. Her knitwear designs and her innovative style techniques led her to be known as the “Queen of Knits.”

Breton Stripe is Synonymous With Parisian Chic. Audrey Hepburn wearing Sonia Rykiel Breton Stripe top.

The Breton Stripe Is Synonymous With Parisian Chic. Audrey Hepburn is wearing Sonia Rykiel Breton Stripe top.

When iconic actress Audrey Hepburn learned of Sona Rykiel’s new chic representations, she popped by Sonia’s store in Paris to purchase 14 — one in every color. 

The Breton Stripe Is Synonymous With Paris Chic. French fashion designer, Sonia Rykiel, December 2009 introduced the Sonia H & M Collection.

In February 2010, Sonia Rykiel teamed up with H&M to share her colorful stripe collection. Last year, Lancome is keeping her name front and forward with a cosmetics line released in July.  Sonia passed away on August 25th last year from complications of Parkinson’s disease. 

Would you agree that the Breton Stripe is synonymous with Parisian chic?

Have a fabulous and stylish week.

 

 

 

  • Never knew the history behind the Breton stripes! Great article and you look very chic!

    • Cynthia,
      Hi! Thanks for stopping by The Age of Grace. As you know, from our trip in November, Paris has an incredible history that includes their fashion choices as well.

  • You have pulled together a truly classic look and I love the cape! And i always appreciate a bit of fashion history. I’ve seen the photo of Coco before and isn’t that look timeless. Good style stays classic. As usual, I enjoyed your post.

    • Terri,
      Hi! It’s always a pleasure to hear from you, Terri. Thank you for compliments, as you know I favor classic pieces, I love the fashion history behind why we adopt and wear what we wear for our life every day and our blog posts.