Fashion Fact of the Week – Breton Stripe

Almost every clothing store  you enter this year there is some form or other of the Breton Stripe ( more commonly known as  a navy and white stripe). Designers have created an abundance of styles containing this classic look.  Although the mainstream fashionista might think this style was originally designed to be worn by the casual boater, it has quite a different origin.


On March 27, 1858 France decided on  a new uniform for the French Navy:  A knit shirt with navy and white horizontal stripes.  This particular design  was used because they felt that the contrast of the Navy and white stripes  could easily be seen  beneath the ocean’s surface.   The new choice in uniform meant that less sailors were lost at sea.  Consequently this style quickly  became a fashion staple favorite among boaters of all kinds. , especially the northwestern region of Brittany, or “Bretagne” in French.  Thus being labeled the “Breton” stripe.