Admit it! When you think of what a Parisian looks like, a striped shirt isn't too far behind, right? That iconic piece is actually called a Breton shirt, a striped sweater that was common among sailors from Brittany. Over time, it became a French style staple, even reaching a point that it's referenced in cartoons and such. With it being as famous as it is, you'd think that it'd be too basic to wear it in Paris, right? That you'd look too stereotypical to sport it in the French capital? Well, that's not exactly the case, and are some reasons why!
It's A Style Staple
Even though a Breton shirt has become part of what a stereotypical French man, or Parisian, looks like, it's Parisian style staple
nonetheless. Forget the fact that you've seen it worn in cartoons and such! Instead, when you look in the streets of Paris or even on social media, you'll find that many people still sport it here! Despite its stereotypical nature, the Breton shirt is distinctly French and definitely quintessentially Parisian. It's just up to you not to make it look like you're cosplaying as a French man (nor as a mime!).
A Classic Look
and Audrey Hepburn
are two of the most famous style icons in history. Their influences in fashion and style remain relevant and reinvented again and again to this very day. They also both have a strong connection to Paris, with one opening her famous brand
here and the other practically becoming a Parisian through her many movie roles. Among many other things, both icons have popularized wearing the Breton shirt, making it less of a cartoonish piece and more of a classic French fashion mainstay. And if there are two style icons you'd want to follow to achieve that perfect Parisian style, it's these two!
It Can Be Slimming
They say that vertical stripes are more slimming but Parisians don't exactly agree! When done and fitted right, a horizontally-striped Breton shirt will make anyone look tinier than they actually are. It's all about the right proportions, the perfect fit, and even the suitable length. The neckline can also make a difference. A nice Sabrina-necklined Breton shirt would make any neck look thinner and longer, elevating it to swanlike
status. A slightly longer and oversized take would also provide the illusion of a smaller body. Just make sure the proportions are still right and you've got yourself a flattering look!
Perfect For Any Season
If you think A Breton shirt is only suitable for spring, think again! Remember, the Breton shirt, also known as a marinière
originated as a long-sleeved sweater among sailors in Brittany
. So a common version of it comes in wool and cashmere that are perfect for autumn
or even winter style
. And when you pair it with a nice trench coat, it becomes an exceptionally chic Parisian look that's as classic as ever! During summer, on the other hand, a Breton shirt would go well with a nice pair of denim shorts or even a frilly summer skirt!
Easy To Style
Speaking of style, a Breton shirt is probably one of two Parisian style staples that are easiest to style. The other one is a flattering pair of denim jeans. Pair both together in one outfit you've already accomplished a signature French look with just two pieces. That's just one way to do it! Another is to go for a high-waisted skirt—pleated, if you'd like!—for a daintier and more classic Parisian aesthetic. A look fit for a stroll along Champs-Élysées
! What about a mini leather skirt and killer heels? Now that's a great ensemble to wear while you explore La Pigalle Quartier
So Many Places To Find One
From French designer brands
to affordable contemporary labels
, it's easy to find a Breton shirt in Paris. In fact, you can even go for a second-hand piece at any of the chicest vintage clothing shops
in the city. That's how widespread and popular this garment is. Why do you think it's stereotypically French? You can easily get a nice shirt, perfect for your size and shape, just about anywhere in the French capital or even any outlet store in France
. It's only up to you to make it more unique and fit your style and aesthetic!
If there's one piece that can instantly make you look recognizably Parisian, it's a Breton shirt! This iconic striped piece has been a classic style staple in the French capital for decades now, becoming a vital element to the city's signature aesthetic!
A Breton shirt while you lounge about in your Parisian luxury home
would be the chicest thing ever, no?