The Breton Shirt: A Look at its Heritage

Ever wondered how the humble Breton shirt came to be? An iconic garment, the Breton striped shirt has graced many a wardrobe over the years and has been sported by everyone from James Dean to Kate Middleton – and even Coco Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier!

Pablo Picasso was another famous fan. In fact, we named our Picasso shirts after the renowned artist.

What defines the Breton shirt?

Known for its classic design and striking stripes, this is a much sought-after garment that can work with just about any outfit you have in mind. Pair it with palazzo pants and a blazer for work meetings, or team it with jeans and trainers for drinks in a country pub.

For post-office cocktails, we wear ours with cigarette-style trousers and a leather jacket. Then, simply dress it up or down with heels or brogues. It’s up to you.

 Pictured: The Original Breton Shirt

Where did the Breton shirt originate?

Ever wondered where the iconic Breton shirt originates? Allow us to fill you in. Originating in Britany, located on the north west coast of France, the shirts are synonymous with style today – but were actually, perhaps surprisingly, first introduced as the uniform of the French Navy back in 1858.

The original Breton shirt design featured no fewer than 21 stripes (one for each of Napoleon’s victories). So, you see, the Breton shirt really is steeped in history.

Of course, the original Breton shirt has now been reimagined in a host of fun colourways by the team here at Breton Shirt Company. Shirts like our Breton Aqua, for example, or our bold and daring Breton Orange (below).

What is it about Breton shirts that people love?

It has to be their versatility. A wardrobe staple that's perfect for many an occasion, the Breton shirt can be worn day or night – and in any kind of setting. They just look the part, really – and can be dressed up or down with ease.

Whether you’re opting for a ‘Parisian chic’ look or Hollywood glamour, nautical stripes will elevate your look. If you’re keen to add one to your wardrobe, we have a wealth of styles to choose from.

Our ‘red’ Navy Breton shirt (pictured below) is a good choice if you’re looking for a pop of colour. Like many of our shirts, it can be worn as an undershirt, it can be slept in, or it can be worn while jogging or even hiking. Made from super soft 180 gsm organic cotton with a subtly different 1 x 1 stripe formation, it’s a lesson in modern Breton style – take a closer look.

Loved by celebs (and even royals) the world over, Breton shirts have been worn throughout the years and continue to look cool, regardless of what they’re paired with.

Until next time…

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