Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Staple in My Stable

What's a wardrobe staple that's been around forever and is still chic and more popular than ever? Did you say leopard? That would be one. I spy the French sailor's t-shirt aka Breton fisherman t-shirt. Chanel wore it with a knowing wink to menswear. Picasso wore it (when he wasn't going shirtless). Bardot was— well— very Bardot in hers. Audrey, Jean, Jackie, Paul, James even Liz wore one as did the gone-too-soon Oliver Reed. Jean Paul Gaultier practically built a business around his favorite top.

Jean Paul

This is the perfect example of how style can churn up from the street. It's so ubiquitous today that it's obvious influence appeared on three diners within my camera range having lunch at Neiman Marcus the past weekend. Believe it or not, there were three more in the other direction, but the light was not in my favor. No designer on high ever declared this the "it" shirt. Like leopard spots, fisherman stripes just keep bouncing along.

Fisherman's stew was on the menu

There can be many variations and colors, but black-and-white seems the most popular. Mine is most similar to the one at the top and was from Land's End. The heavier weight fabric washes and dries like a dream, though it may be more suited to summer in Wisconsin than summer in Texas.

Dressier than a t-shirt for men, they are less formal than either a polo or a sport shirt. My husband does not believe in costumes (unless dressed to watch football) but loves being a French fisherman (though only at the seaside).

Black and white goes well with other colors and patterns. Love love love pairing the striped top with a striped skirt as shown in June's InStyle magazine.

French sailors still wear theirs, but the Breton fishermen themselves opt for a more modern look.

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