Originally called a marinière or Breton-stripe shirt, the classic navy-and-white-striped tee has rocked the boat for decades as a timeless design that’s reminiscent of a seaside resort.
Here are some fun facts about everyone’s favorite seafaring stripes:
- The Breton-stripe tee was born in 1858 as part of the Act of France that named the navy-and-white striped knit part of the uniform for French navy seamen in Brittany.
- The original design had 21 stripes to signify each of Napoleon’s victories.
- After a visit to the French coast, Coco Chanel was inspired by the iconic stripes and introduced them to the fashion world as a design element in her collection.
- Celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso, Brigitte Bardot, and Jean-Paul Gaultier helped put the style on the fashion map.
- Hollywood spotlighted the tee on James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Cary Grant in Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief (1955), and Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face (1956).
- In 1965 Andy Warhol filmed Kitchen. It starred Edie Sedgwick, who wore the striped top with black tights. The outfit became synonymous with Warhol’s signature style throughout the ‘60s.
These clean, simple stripes remain a classic go-to pattern in our women’s apparel, kids’ clothing, and home collections. What memories do nautical stripes conjure for you? How do you wear your sailor stripes?