The Breton Stripe Top | Notes From a Stylist

Finding the perfect Breton stripe top.


I’ve always had a bit of a yen for a Breton stripe top. I don’t think there’s a spring season that goes by without me adding another incarnation of it to my already over cluttered closet. Each time I snag a new one, it’s with the expectation that this really is going to be the one… until I spy another version winking at me from some other mag or website. So this season I thought I’d try and crack the code of what makes the perfect Breton stripe top for me.


I think I’ve nailed it down to 3 factors. First up the stripe has to be the right width to flatter my short and slightly corpulent waistline. Too big a stripe and I’m looking like Smee in Peter Pan (Google it you’ll see what I mean), too thin and it begs the question is that actually counted as a Breton stripe or more of a geometric A level art project. Finding the right fits-me-like-Kate-Middleton-wearing-a-Breton-top has become an annual obsession.


Next up it’s all about the thickness of the fabric – I look to sport my stripe top as an alternative to a sweater on those in between days in the warmer months when a tee is not quite enough, and a sweater has you coming out in hot flushes like it’s a menopause kinda day. This Etre Cecile one fits that bill perfectly. Here I’ve paired it with Marks & Spencer wide leg denim pants (from last year… similar from Frame here or Gap here), these cute J.Crew stripe pumps, and the must-have Cult Gaia ark basket.



Finally, I like a bit of a boat or slash neck which adds a little extra French insouciance to the look in an Audrey Hepburn homage. J.Crew is brilliant at pumping these out every season, as is Boden.

If you want to find out whether this wardrobe classic might suit your personal style – head on over to our Start Here page and take a gander at our Style Tribes quiz which will give you a little insight as to where you sit on the style fence.

Breton stripe top… where to shop

So where to snap up one of these closet keepers? Here’s a smattering of items out there right now… loads of which are on sale. Click the images to shop.

How about you? Are you similarly obsessed with seeking out the perfect perky Breton? Let me know in the comments below.

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