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Packing List: The Breton Top

Looking for the perfect piece for your next trip? May we present the classic, blue-and-white, Breton-striped top. Coco Chanel may have been the first woman to wear one around 1917 when she started raiding men’s closets. (She paired it with wide-leg pants for an afternoon-reading-on-the-porch look.) She probably picked it up from the fishermen in Brittany who wore the heavy-gauge striped sweaters to block the winds coming off the ocean. Brigitte Bardot (below) donned one in the ’60s with cigarette pants and flats. Tres chic for a drive to the seaside.

brigitte bardot breton top
More recently the staff at French Vogue began modeling the Breton again on the streets of Paris, et voila!  You can’t swing a Marc Jacobs bag without hitting one now. All the shops seem to have a version for sale (Club Monaco‘s is particularly nice). Or go for a classic by Saint James. Here’s French Vogue fashion director Emmanuelle Alt rocking it.

emmanuelle alt breton top
Bob Dylan, Picasso and James Dean
also wore Bretons. And today Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, Olivia Palmeri are on it. I particularly love how this British stylist gave it a Saturday-sail look.

breton top

The Packing List is a recurring column highlighting pieces that look great anywhere, especially in the seat of an Aston Martin on a cliff-side road in Italy.

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1 Comment so far

  1. Pingback: Packing List: Prepare for the Espadrille Invasion |

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