Summer Styling: How to Wear Your Breton Shirt

You may have heard us talk about the Breton stripe as the stripe that never goes out of style. Well, it’s true! This classic French look has been gracing magazine covers since the turn of the century – ever since Coco Chanel saw French sailors rocking stripes and thought: “I’m having a piece of that!”.

Now, more than 100 years later, we’re still proudly striping it up, and we will be throughout the summer, whatever the wonderful British weather throws at us.

If you’re a long-time lover of your Breton shirt, you might be looking for a little bit of inspiration. There’s only so many times a person can wear stripes and jeans to brunch, after all.

You’re in luck. We’ve scoured the internet for the best and freshest style tips for this summer, so you can bring a whole new lease of life to your Breton striped wardrobe. Oui oui!

For Men – The Classic

Is it cheating to say: “stick to the old ways, because the old ways are the good ways”? No? Okay, good, because that’s what we’re saying. Take a look at old pictures of James Dean, of Gaultier’s catwalks since forever, even of Andy Warhol in his heyday. They all have one thing in common. They keep it simple!

Long sleeves are the key here. We know short sleeves are probably your comfort zone, especially for a t-shirt-type top, but grabbing a fresh long-sleeved Breton in a slightly different colourway like our Breton Ice will smarten up your look a bit. The Ice is a little cooler as the colours are inverted – you’ve got white stripes on black, not the other way around.

Add a denim or leather jacket (or we hear suede is very chic this summer if you’re feeling the '90s vibe), chino shorts and some box fresh trainers and bam – you’re ready for summer.

For Women – It’s the Little Things

This season, designers are having a lot of fun mixing up their Breton stripes with print designs and embroidery for a modern twist on eclectic 90s thrift store fashions.

Some have even added pockets, buttons and patches, creating detail and treating the striped pattern as a block of colour, rather than a clashing design.

Accessorising is another great way to get involved in this detail-orientated trend. Adding a silk neckerchief ensures a cheeky nod to vintage styling, and a bow at the neck brings class and glamour – perfect for going straight from beach to bar.

It pays to think about your bottom half, too, if you don’t mind us saying. Instead of pairing your Breton shirt with a pair of skinny jeans, why not bag a pair of pedal pushers for an instant 50s seaside pinup look? Or, if you’re into dresses and skirts, what about tucking your shirt into an A line corduroy skirt...or better yet, layering it underneath a denim pinafore?


There are so many ways to wear your beloved Breton shirt. They are the one thing in your wardrobe that goes with almost anything, so relax and let the stripes do all the stylish hard work for you!

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Until next time...