The striped Breton sweater originated in Brittany 200 years ago and was worn by navy seamen. The boat neck allowed the sailors to dress quickly and its 21 horizontal stripes marked each of Napoleon's victories. Coco Chanel spotted the stripe on her many visits to the French Riviera. She used the style as inspiration in many of her collections. She often “borrowed from the boys”.
It is a style with a real St Tropez vibe and was worn by Brigitte Bardot, Jean Seberg and Pablo Picasso. In the 60s via Mary Quant, the Kings Road and the Left Bank it was picked up by the hip kids of the time, then showcased every season by Jean Paul Gaultier. Since Coco Chanel I can’t think of a time when stripes haven't been part of the fashion iconography. Or as we would say today “they went viral”. Nautical stripes have always been a favourite of Inez de la Fressange, one of Winser London’s style icons. She wears hers with jeans, while rock legends wear them with leather and today a working woman can look office-ready on a Spring day. This season, Winser London has included several nautical offerings in the collection. The Merino Wool Rib Striped Jumper is in fine wool. There is a long sleeved stretchy summer dress and T shirt, a striped Breton top with shoulder button detailing and a great cotton knit striped sweater. For me it’s a bright and breezy look that never lets us down, and I confess I have been buying a new one every year as it is one of my most go-to tops for every day.
Style Agenda by Vanessa de Lisle - www.thefashioncupboard.com