Breton stripes never go out of fashion. They are far too classic and essential an item to be relegated on a whim, but it's true that they do go through moments where popularity surges and they become noticeably more on-trend than a season or moment before. Now is one such time. Everywhere I look, there are Breton stripes, and they're being worn in such a variety of new ways that it's the perfect time to gather inspiration.
A nautical trend to spring fashion is like butter to bread—the two are so much more delicious together and are inextricably linked. Although a simple item, you will find that a well-chosen striped knit or tee is the kind of clever item you'll pull out at this time every year without fail, making it an investment to not be ignored.
Any previous Breton purchases will stand the test of time and look good in 2021. There are a few quirky iterations on offer this year, though, should you still be searching for your "one." We've noticed sportier silhouettes coming through via sweatshirts and zip-front styles as well as smart, collared options for those who aren't as keen on a crew-neck. Arket's new marinière styles sold out very quickly upon arrival a few weeks back, but this is one styling idea where you don't have to buy an It item at all—just a plain ol' basic will do.
Keep scrolling to get all of the Breton-top outfit ideas you'll ever need.
BRETON-TOP OUTFIT IDEAS
Style Notes: Yes, marinière stripes are a wonderful companion to comfy black leggings.
Style Notes: When you don't want to go outside without some sensible layers, a chunky Breton knit over your shoulders will do nicely.
Style Notes: Tailoring and chunky flat shoes lend a nerdy charm to any Breton sweater.
Style Notes: Skinny jeans and cowboy boots add a more rock 'n' roll edge to a classic striped jumper.
Style Notes: Your look doesn't have to be laid-back—striped knits work with skirts and heels, too.
Style Notes: A happy partner to chinos and loafers for a preppy spin.
Style Notes: Bretons are inherently casual, so I like the idea of glamming them up with gold hoops, sunnies and a claw clip.
Style Notes: With straight-leg jeans and Birkenstocks, the nautical knit gets a very 2021 update.
Style Notes: Your sailor-style knit will absolutely work with any of the slip skirts you invested in a few years back.
Style Notes: Throw a bold blazer on top of a jeans-and-Breton combination for a fast track to looking smart.
Style Notes: Many French women are rediscovering flares this year, and they are a perfect match for a striped jumper.
Style Notes: Breton tees work with all sorts of basics, but have you tried one with a linen skirt yet? Do it!
Style Notes: Just by swapping out blue jeans for white ones, you instantly have a summer-ready look.
Style Notes: This year's striped jumpers feature some subtle, extra details—like the contrast sleeves pictured here.
Style Notes: A fine-gauge knit tucked into high-waisted jeans is such a sophisticated idea.
Style Notes: You can veer away from the traditional—this bolder cardigan option makes quite the statement with plain trousers.
Style Notes: The classic marinière stripe always works well with leopard print.
Style Notes: A striped fleece or zip-front sweatshirt looks so good with dark-wash jeans and flats.
Style Notes: A Breton knotted over the shoulders of a trench coat? Chic.
Style Notes: Collared Bretons are having a bit of a moment—this Arket style sold out fast. It's the details in each of these pieces that make a simple ensemble stand out.
Style Notes: A cosy striped jumper with wide-leg trousers and sneaks seems like the perfect weekend look.
Style Notes: A neat Breton cardigan under a blazer? Very Coco Chanel.
THE BEST BRETONS TO BUY NOW
Totême Striped Wool-Blend Jumper (£430)
Arket Long-Sleeved Pima Cotton T-Shirt (£34)
Allude Tie-Neck Striped Wool-Blend Sweater (£505)
La Ligne Gabrielle Braided Wool Cardigan (£290)
COS Boxy Breton-Striped Top (£35)
Label Mix Mix/Yaitte Cable Stripe Jumper (£79)
Celine Marin Sweater (£690)
Saint Laurent Striped Knitted Jumper (£660)
M&S Collection Pure Cotton Striped Crew Neck Sweatshirt (£19.5)
Paco Rabanne Button-Embellished Striped Virgin Wool Sweater (£530)
Next up, The Celebrity Outfits We're Copying This Spring
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
Read More from Who What Wear