Every Member of the Who What Wear Team Owns This Classic Top

Although we spend the majority of our days looking at new trends, there are moments when we like to shine a light on the tried-and-tested pieces that work 365 days a year. (You know, the jeans that fit in all the right places or the blazer that makes you look like you've made an effort—even if you haven't brushed your hair.) Then there's the top that never lets you down: the Breton.

As far as iconic fashion pieces go, the striped top is up there with the best of them. Introduced as the uniform for the French Navy in 1858, the one and only Coco Chanel later took inspiration from the sailors' look for her nautical collection in 1917. Since then, we can categorically say that the rest is, well, history.

Striped tees and jumpers are now go-tos for an entire range of women: from the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, to the fashion industry's elite. Giving that certain je ne sais quoi to any outfit, this is the chic separate that will go the distance in your wardrobe way beyond 2019.


(Image credit: @jeannedamas)

Style Notes: We can always trust in Jeanne to give us endless style insights. We'll be wearing our blazer over our Bretons from here on out. 

Every single editor at Who What Wear HQ has said they own at least one of these striped classics. Then there are the fashion girls (including the founder of cult Parisian brand Rouje, Jeanne Damas) who make them part of their everyday uniforms. Luckily, we've found the best places to shop them. From Comme des Garçons Play to Weekday to & Other Stories, there's a striped top to suit every style and budget.


(Image credit: @Ada_oguntodu)

Style Notes: Adding a hint of colour to the classic striped number, Ada goes for clashing hues to brighten up her monochromatic ensemble.


(Image credit: @hannahcrosskey)

Style Notes: It's the outfit equation that works for a lifetime: Breton top + jeans + trainers = perfection.

£150 to £300

£100 to £150

Related: The Capsule Handbag Collection I'm Curating in My 30s

£50 to £100

£20 to £50

Related: Mark My Words: These Will Be the Season's Best-Selling Blazers

Under £20

Next up, these are the 15 pieces that'll give you the ultimate French-girl capsule wardrobe

Freelance Fashion Editor

Harriet Davey is a freelance fashion editor who has been part of Who What Wear's extended team since 2017. She previously worked in print at Look magazine and has since worked across print, digital and social for many other titles, including British Vogue, Stylist, Grazia, Refinery29 and Marie Claire. Also a stylist, Harriet has had the pleasure of producing cover shoots and editorials along with commercial shoots for brands including Boux Avenue, Watches of Switzerland, Benefit Cosmetics and Revolution. To add to this, Harriet also works in live TV styling for ITV’s This Morning. Back to Who What Wear. With hundreds of published stories on site, Harriet knows what the WWW reader wants. Keeping up to date with the latest It buys and runway trends, she can guarantee to keep you one step ahead of the most stylish people. When not writing or styling, Harriet loves to go shopping (yes, more fashion). If she’s not in a local Hackney bar or restaurant, you can find her forever searching for her next holiday destination.