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Stripes are incredibly versatile, don’t you think? They can be formal when they’re pinstriped, chunky and colourful when they’re playful, and quintessentially French when they’re horizontal, navy blue and offwhite. I read something really interesting the other day about how Breton stripes originated in 1858 when they were designated the uniform for all French navy seamen from Brittany (hence the name). The original design featured 21 stripes, one for each of Napoleon’s victories! Who knew? It’s funny that fashion can sometimes be considered frivolous but delve a little deeper and you soon realize there’s a lot of history behind pieces that are now considered classic and iconic. To read more about the history of the Breton stripe, head on over to WikiFashion.
Back to the present though and horizontal stripes in general are always current, fully fashionable, and a go-to staple in my closet. I love Breton stripes in particular because, together, navy blue and white is a crisp and uncomplicated combination. A striped top can be dressed up with a skirt and a pair of pumps, or rock the casual movement with ripped denim and fabulous flats. They also work in pretty much any aspect of your wardrobe, not just shirts or dresses. How about a fabulous striped espadrille, scarf or purse instead? Oh, and in case you’re wondering, much like the dapper navy seamen of the past, stripes look just as stylish on the guys too!
A couple of caveats though- be careful you don’t end up with more than one striped piece at a time, maybe two if one of them is an accessory. Too much of a good thing and all that, you know? Also, horizontal stripes will make you look broader visually, so if that’s a concern, I would opt for chunkier stripes vs. skinnier ones. You’ll sort of veer into colour blocked territory at that point which you can use to strategically highlight what you want to show off and disguise what you don’t.
Below are some inspiration images showing the best ways to wear Breton stripes this summer followed by my top striped shopping picks.
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Updated affiliate links: May 3rd 2023
And here’s a round up of my favourite striped pieces for summer.
So, tell me, are Breton stripes in your future?
Fork In Page says
Yai! Good to see your blog on my feed again!
Loved this post. Love stripes – so easy to pair with anything.
The green floral shirt with striped skirt, love that! What a smart little pairing.
Side note – have you heard of Rent the Runway?! I’m very intrigued!
Yes! Also, Stitch Fix does the same kind of thing but they send you whole outfits paired on your preferences. There’s also Bag, Borrow or Steal for purses! I also found this great round up once of personal shopping companies and I’ve been dying to try that! Also, yes to stripes!!
Amanda Jo says
Love stripes & love this post! you have inspired me to add some more to my style 🙂
Hurray! Thanks Amanda! 🙂