Ella-Louise Gilbert's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘marinière

If French Sailors knew the lasting effect they’d have on fashion when they first donned a blue and white stripy top, I’m sure they’d have slapped Coco Chanel in the face with a fish for claiming to be the advocate of the trend.

Ilona Tobisch, Francia matróz

Nothing more versatile could transcend the decades than the Breton top. Even Madonna hasn’t reinvented herself as many times as this striped classic and “la marinière” sails with confidence into the teenies, (is that what we’re calling this decade yet? It’s either that or the onesies, which for me always calls up images of a pale pink baby-gro).

Breton à la Bardot


Bridget Bardot rocked the breton long before Agyness Deyn or Alexa Chung.  For Spring 2011 the bolder the colour the better, and your favourite striped top teamed with red or blue skinny jeans will get you ooh la la’s all around.

The Seventies are back this year as fashion comes over all flares and floppy hats; a perfect combination with the Breton.  Bring the French Riviera to the wet and windy UK by teaming la marinière with a floppy hat, shades, a cute, sunny skirt and contrasting tights (only the insane go bare legged before the end of April). Or for a more masculine look, wear our striped favourite with big flares as a nod to the original sailors themselves. We salute you, Monsieurs.


(click to enlarge)

Crop top, £12.99 River Island. Stare at the stripes for too long and you'll be hypnotised.

Close, thin stripes, though putting others in danger of having an epileptic fit,  adhere to this season’s op art trend (that’s “optical” art for those who think I missed off a “P” there).

Did Kurt ever take this thing off? You can almost smell cigarettes & Courtney Love's sweat by just looking at this jumper.


Red or blue stripes instead of classic black is a sterling variation, but put them on a baggy knitted jumper and you run the danger of looking like you’re a member of an early 90’s grunge band.

Close fitted, fine knits are more aesthetically pleasing. Striped jumper-dresses flatter a slimmer figure, while more curvy girls should opt for a high waisted dress that flares out at the hips.

Who in their right mind thought printed flowers on top of chic stripes was a good idea?

Aaw no, someone spewed down my Breton.

It takes away the effortless class of la marinière and replaces it with cheap and chavtastic.

If you don’t own at least one Breton top you really need to get out of your frumpy closet and treat yourself more often! It will remain a wardrobe staple as it’s so easy to wear.  On wardrobe panic days (we all have them – you stare into a wardrobe full of clothes, yet somehow you have NOTHING suitable), throw on your marinière and even with basic trousers you instantly feel slick and stylish.