Have you ever wondered if Breton is a brand? Well, the answer is 'not as such'. Of course, there are many brands - like ours - that sell beautifully iconic Breton-striped shirts - but the Breton style is just that...a style. Not the name of a company.
Where did Breton shirts originate?
Not too long ago, we wrote a blog post on that very topic, since more and more of you wanted to know about the history behind the famous Breton shirts you see on our website. Oh, and the Breton shirts you've seen many a celebrity sporting.
"Breton stripes have become fashion royalty," we wrote, back in 2019, "and their chic, simple style has brought an effortless cool to wardrobes all over the world."
The shirts were brought into the mainstream ever since Audrey Hepburn rocked her own timeless variation back in the 1950s.
"But Breton stripes have been worn with pride for much longer than that." we continued. "For hundreds of years, the French – always light-years ahead when it comes to trendsetting – have been donning la marinière to go about their daily, stylish business."
So what - or who - started this trend for Breton-striped shirts?
France's brave mariners, that's who. They've been wearing the distinctive, striped (or hooped - whichever term you prefer for a horizontal stripe) since 1858, when an act of parliament demanded that 'tricot rayé', or striped knit, became part of Brittany’s naval uniform.
If you can believe it, the law back then even stated the exact number of stripes to be knitted into the seamen’s shirts: “the body of the shirt will count twenty-one white stripes, each twice as wide as the twenty to twenty-one indigo blue stripes.”
Of course, here at Breton Shirt Company we've tried to stay as true to original Breton shirts as possible. We want you to enjoy an authentic shirt that offers a slice of history and great style.
While the shirts have had a modern update here and there, they still offer a stylish nod to Breton shirts of times gone by.
Offering men's and women's styles, all our shirts are made by hand in our family-run factory in Portugal.
We still look to the Breton shirt now as a classic; the type of shirt that dresses up a pair of jeans, yet can still look casual and comfy. It's a simple, streamlined garment that’s ready to pull on and go - and it looks just as good with a pair of jeans as it does with some smart trousers or chinos.
If you're not sure where to start when it comes to Breton shirt shopping, take a look at our range here. It features lightweight shirts and shirts that are a bit more jumper-like in terms of thickness. We also sell scarves - ideal for the colder, blustery weather.
Looking for some inspiration on how to style your Breton shirt? Look no further than our Instagram feed, which is bursting with customer pictures, tips, hints and advice.
Until next time…