So this week I took the toddler and the baby to the park. The sun was shining, there were kids skipping, ice-cream being consumed and general happiness everywhere.
There were also a LOT of Breton striped tops. Cool mums wearing theirs with cropped boyfriend jeans and Converse, posh mums wearing theirs with chinos and a scarf, while daring mums wore theirs with cut-offs. Well, I did say it was sunny.
The sailor top has become a style constant, seen on everyone from Brigitte Bardot and Jackie Kennedy back in the day, to modern day icons like Kate Moss and Alexa Chung today.
And everyone does them – the authentic, the classic, the cheap, expensive, baggy, fitted, 3/4 sleeve, long sleeve, vests. And some have a cool, modern twist on the original.
Armor.Lux and St James are both properly French, for properly naval-garb-wearing types. They are also supposedly very hard-wearing and wash well.
Toast, Whistles and Reiss are a bit pricier, but their thicker material and quality finish means you will come back to them year after year.
So here are ten great Breton stripes – as picked by me.
Main image: J Crew
- Breton striped top, £80, Jaeger at John Lewis
- Breton sailor £78, Chinti & Parker at Farfetch.com
- Authentic stripe, Saint James, approx £25, available from Arthur Beale
- Long sleeve mariniere, £50, Petit Bateau
- Long sleeve Breton stripe, £25, Boden
- Matelot stripe, £32, French Connection
- Regatta stripe, £45, Jigsaw
- Stripe jersey tee, £59, Toast
- Stripe print jersey, £49, Reiss