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Reinventing The Classic Breton

I love classics. Artwork, music, the humble espresso. But every so often a classic is reinvented and the result is beautiful. I'm talking about the Linen Breton Jumper from Jigsaw. It's been deconstructed, with a tubular and curved hem. And finished with knitted side panels and a ribbed collar and cuffs. It's been my go to layer of choice, easily paired with jeans or tailored trousers for an easy breezy classic look.


The striped Breton was originally introduced to the French navy as a uniform following the 1858 Act of France. It was known as a marinière or matelot and featured 21 stripes, one for each of Napolean's victories.

Manufactured in wool and cotton, it became a staple for those working on and around the mariner. The classic stripe Breton was born but it wasn't just it's distinctive block pattern that brought it to the limelight. It started in 1917 with Coco Chanel's nautical collection debut.

With seaside holidays set for becoming a summer trend, the Breton was paired with long flared trousers, blazers and shorts. It was a force to be reckoned with. Throughout the years, style icons have solidified its cult status, including Marilyn Monroe, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn and my personal favorite Edie Sedgwick.

Today those who wear the Breton encompass chic Parisian style. And I for one definitely feel my best when I'm wearing a bold stripe. After all, creating a minimal wardrobe is about the key pieces, the cult classics and the one's you can't live without.

What cult pieces do you have in your wardrobe? Have you added a Breton to your hangers?

Gem. x