Stripes for every season – Guest Post

Navy stripes are classic, chic, memorable, and timeless. Simple yet sophisticated the navy striped top has become a staple in the prepster’s wardrobe. And for good reason, a well-tailored navy striped shirt can be worn year round and styled in numerous ways–from trendy to traditional.

We owe the introduction of the Breton striped boatneck top to the iconic Coco Chanel. While vacationing in the French Riviera, Ms. Chanel took notice of the navy and white striped knit shirts worn by the local French sailors, which had 21 thin stripes, one for each of Napoleon’s victories.

Chanel introduced the top, paired with trousers, in 1917 (slightly scandalous at the time). The style became an instant hit with the upper classes, who often paired the look with blazers and shorts. Worn by Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Pablo Picasso, Brigitte Bardot, and Audrey Hepburn the navy and white striped Breton top became hugely popular in the 1950s and 60s and remains ever-present in the wardrobes of fashionistas today.


Icons Audrey, Brigitte, and Marilyn in their classic stripes

Today, there are a million variations of the classic navy and white striped top. But you can still purchase the original from Saint James, a company that has been manufacturing nautical French sweaters and shirts since 1889. With so many ways to style it and its ability to transcend seasons, the navy and white striped top is a wardrobe essential.

Here’s how to wear the iconic navy and white stripe top for every season:


preppy fashion with a striped breton shirt paired with skirt

Stripes in the spring are an easy fit, but I like to mix it up and pair them with a fun floral skirt and some bright wellies.


preppy clothes striped blue shirt and shorts for summer

Like spring, summer begs for the crisp and bright look of a navy striped top. Embrace the nautical feel and pair them with the perfect navy shorts and nautical sandals.


prep clothes for fall navy stripe shirt

For fall, I like to offset the cool hue of my navy stripe top with warm fall colors and patterns. It is important to remember that navy is a neutral, so you can get creative in the ways you style it!


navy and white top paired with jeans and vest preppy fashions

Finally, a navy striped top makes the perfect base-layer for bundling in the winter. I especially like mixing stripes with winter’s signature pattern – plaid!

It’s classic yet modern look, clean lines, and versatility means you will never regret investing in the perfect navy and white stripe top. Have you found your perfect navy and white striped top?

This post was written by Ashley of History in High Heels. As a budding Italian historian, Ashley shares her two loves (and Italy’s greatest legacies) on her blog—history and fashion. She is a PhD student who spends her semesters teaching and studying (and shopping), and her summers researching (and shopping) in Florence, Italy.

  • What a great post! I love Ashley’s blog so much and I am so happy to see this guest post 🙂

    Prep on a Budget

  • Love love love this post! Stripes are my favorite!

    Pink Champagne Problems

  • Such a great post by Ashley, I love her blog and her sense of style. She looks awesome in those pictures!