In The Beginning

The history of the Breton Shirt is synonymous with seafarers and sailors across the north of France. The original design featured 21 stripes, one for each of Napolean’s victories but variations of the style were adopted by coastal communities across the globe.

Whether its Parisian chic or Hollywood glamour, nautical stripes play a key theme with celebrities and cinematography alike.

Our family had always enjoyed our trips to France. Our fondest memories were of the long trips south in our father’s Bedford van, crossing to Calais in the amazing hi-tech hovercraft, whilst not forgetting to put the yellow headlight stickers on and ensuring our GB sticker was proudly positioned. On our return, the van was usually filled to the gunnels with interesting food, wine of course and always a striped top or two. That’s how or story begun and in 1988 we started selling them through national newspaper adverts and in selective magazines. We featured in publications as varied as The Times, Private Eye, New Musical Express, Country Life to even Viz.


Above:Typical adverts circa 1989 before internet!

We always wanted The Breton Shirt Company to represent something different. Something fresh but with a history and strong foundations. At The Breton Shirt Company we respect the heritage of these iconic striped shirts and our clothing represents tradition with a modern twist bringing colour, vitality mixed with genuine authenticity.

We are still as enthusiastic now as we were at the start and are often asked by customers to name our favourite. The answer is easy. It’s the 10 year old faded original shirt in my bottom drawer that has seen many a summer! We hope you like them too. If you don’t – its no big problem. Simply return them and we will refund you.