The Breton striped shirt is one of those rare items that never goes out of style. The top has humble beginnings; it was first worn by French navy sailors in 1858, but in the years since has become synonymous with effortlessly chic, French girl fashion. Breton shirts are a dependable choice for casual yet polished dressing, because who doesn’t want a little nautical flair in their wardrobe, especially as the weather starts to warm up?
Like any good wardrobe staple, the Breton stripe is a versatile powerhouse. It’s all about the styling, whether you want to pair yours with sleek black trousers, classic denim, leather leggings or summery shorts. Add a blazer if you’re so inclined, or a dash of red lipstick to really embrace those French girl vibes. A Breton stripe top is laid-back and easy-going but still pulled together, and it’s not surprising that countless style icons have shown their affinity for those horizontal stripes (and put their own twist on the classic) over the years, from Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn to Brigitte Bardot and Kate Middleton.
While you can’t go wrong with a traditional blue-and-white stripe, you could also opt for a more colorful twist on the classic look, or an unexpected fabric or silhouette. There’s a Breton stripe for every sartorial preference and every occasion. Below, see the best Breton stripes to shop right now and wear forever.
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Saint James Meridame II Breton Shirt
You can’t go wrong with an authentic Breton stripe top from Saint James. The French brand (their factory is based in Normandy) offers the classic striped shirt in a rainbow of shades, but why not start your collection with a traditional navy and white?
Michael Stars Lexy Striped Tee
For a casual everyday t-shirt, try Michael Stars’ ultra-soft Breton short-sleeved stripe.
Victoria Beckham Appliquéd Striped Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt
Victoria Beckham’s chic take on the casual Breton tee includes red stripes and a logo patch.
Veronica Beard Samson Striped Top
This preppy striped top has elegant gold button accents.
Ralph Lauren Striped Boatneck Cotton Jersey Tee
Ralph Lauren is known for timeless staples, like their perfectly preppy Americana take on the red stripped shirt.
La Ligne White Lean Lines Striped Cotton-jersey Top
La Ligne’s soft cotton Breton top is a slim-fitting option with bold blue-and-white stripes.
Aerie Feelin' Good Knit Half Sleeve T-Shirt
This textured striped tee is casual but not sloppy.
Argent Striped Longsleeve Tee in Ribbed Cotton
A simple yet polished long-sleeved Breton stripe never goes out of style.
Denimist Striped Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt
Embrace the nautical vibes in this pale blue boatneck top.
Lafayette 148 Classic Stripe Cotton Square Neck Top
If you’re ready to splurge on a forever striped shirt, consider this cotton Breton top with a square neckline and slightly oversized fit.
ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo Boy Striped Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt
A classic Breton stripe and a perfectly boxy tee is a dream shirt combo.
J. Jill Soft Side-Buttoned Easy Tunic
A longer tunic style top is another cozy, casual and polished interpretation of the Breton stripe.
Karen Millen Organic Cotton Jersey Fitted Stripe Tee
A navy-and-white striped crewneck tee is a closet staple.