Wardrobe Staples: The Breton Stripe Top

I have been accused of being a shopping enabler of late, but Hey, I’ve just been giving you some helpful discount codes and showing you a few nice things! I am not frog-marching you directly to the high street or forcing your credit card out of your wallet with the threat of a Chinese Burn. I am merely passing on information out of the goodness of my heart. This week, however, I am focusing on something you should all already have in your wardrobes, The Breton Stripe Top. You MUST have one of these right? Good, well then let us see how we can style it with a few ‘nautical but nice’ outfits.

I’m not advocating going the full Sailor-boy look complete with shorts, a snazzy neckerchief and hat worn at a jaunty angle. It’s all just about the stripy top. I’m sure you all have at least one of these in your wardrobes, at the last count I had 16! but is that enough? No, it clearly isn’t, as this week I bought 2 more. Yes, they are both ‘slightly’ different from all the others and I WILL try and get rid of some of the old ones to make room, I promise! What I’m trying to say is that the Breton style top is a must-have item for everyone. My standard fall-back outfit (other than dressing in all black) is a blue and white striped top and either navy trousers or jeans. I’ll take a wild guess and say I’m probably not the only one. It’s a classic.

Did you know that it was actually Coco Chanel who brought the striped top into the world of women’s fashion exactly 100 years ago? Before her nautical collection in 1917, it was all corsets and dresses. She brought in the Breton and paired it with a wide leg trouser. A women after my own heart if ever there was one. These days you don’t need to spend top designer prices on the your stripes. Almost every high street shop does a version of it. The best ones I have found have been from & Other Stories, Petite Bateau and Whistles. They all wash and wear very well. Here’s four classic ways to style up your Breton.

WITH CLASSIC NAVY TROUSERS

This is possibly my favourite. I bought this top from & Other Stories last week. (Discount code still valid until end of today, May 21st, just saying) It was slightly different from all my others as it has a contrast red neckline, adds a pop of colour and you know how I like to match things to my handbag. Talking of handbags, how cool is this red one from Mango? total rip of of the J.W. Anderson bag, but for a fraction of the price! bonus! I’m also in love with those Isabel Marant trainers. Repeat after me. I. DO. NOT. NEED. ANOTHER. PAIR. OF. WHITE. TRAINERS…

Breton Stripe Top

1. & Other Stories Stripe Top
2. Top Shop Lightweight Duster Coat
3. Me & Em Wide Leg Cropped Trousers
4. Mango Ring Bag
5. Isabel Marant Beth Sneakers

WITH A DENIM SKIRT

I should also think you will have a denim skirt somewhere in your arsenal. Not this one maybe. This one is special. It’s from See by Chloe and I love the tulip hem. I think this outfit would cover all bases. Trench coat for warmth and shelter if it rains, plus a sandals for sunshine and tiny picnic basket for your Gin In A Tin and a packet of Quavers.

Breton Stripe Top

1. Petite Bateau Stripe Top
2. Whistles Trench Coat
3. See By Chloe Denim Skirt
4. Mango Basket Bag
5. Top Shop Toe Ring Sandals 

WITH JEANS AND A BLAZER

Worlds easiest ‘Mum Uniform’. Let’s smarten it up a bit though shall we? This would be a great all day outfit. Swap your daytime flat sandals and green shacket (you have one of those now, right?) for a smart blazer and some high heels and away you go. I made a new brand discovery this week in ME & EM, they have lot of nice bits for us grown-ups, similar price point to Whistles and great quality too. My love for Isabel Marant has been renewed of late, which is dangerous (see Instagram for frivolous coat purchase) I love this suede bag she’s done for summer…

Breton Stripe Top 1. Petite Bateau Stripe Top
2. Me & Em Belted Blazer
3. Mango Relaxed Jeans
4. Isabel Marant Suede Bag
5. M&S Heeled Sandals 

WITH A LEATHER SKIRT

Oh, look, here’s that shacket again, the one you obviously all also own by now. Another all day look here. swap your white trainers for these high sandals and add a cute clutch for when you’re off out out. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too old to rock a leather skirt. I think it should also be a wardrobe staple…

Breton Stripe Top

1. Me & Em Striped Top
2. Top Shop Green Shacket
3. Whistles Leather Skirt
4. Hillier Bartley Bunny Clutch
5. & Other Stories Strappy Sandal  

That’s it for this Sunday. I’ve inspired myself to don a Breton this week. If you do the same tag me on Instagram #wearsmymoney so I can see!

K x

10 thoughts on “Wardrobe Staples: The Breton Stripe Top

  1. My best Breton tops have come from esprit. I love them!
    I do own a couple of red stripe ones which I’m not so sure about, how do you wear those without looking like where’s Wally?

    1. Just leave out the matching hat and you’ll be fine! I have a red and white ones, I wear with jeans and white trainers. If someone calls you a Wally then own it and walk on with pride!

  2. I’ve had my eye on that whistles coat for a while, I had managed to forget about it but it’s looking very tempting again…

    My bretons are from Me + Em, they’re a good length (definitely no tummy-showing slips when I put my arms up), and they wash really well.

  3. I love Breton tops, I had one I wore all the time from Zara but then it shrunk in the wash! Now I’m on the lookout for another one to invest in but I haven’t quite come across what I’m after yet, every time I find one it’s either really expensive or the store doesn’t ship to where I live!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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