All about the blue & white striped shirt

Hi there fashionista all over the world walking around in Breton striped marinières.

I  love traditions with a story, why didn’t I ask myself before where these stripes come from ?

The first trace of the striped fabric was found around 1858, when the French navy started to wear it in Northern France. Since everything in France can be brought back to something linked with Napoleon, so does this print. It initially was composed of 21 stripes, one for each of mr Bonaparte’s victories. For those not knowing how to swim, be reassured, the stripes also helped, and still do, to be spotted while drowning. (please don’t try this at home).

Text & Images by Renée Koudstaal

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