Of all my essential pieces, the Breton shirt is probably my favourite. I've had one since I was about 5 years old - I can remember running up and down the beach with my Dad one summer, my sister was toddling about so the most I could have been is 7 or 8. Good times.
It's probably the most versatile piece in my wardrobe, as I'm trying to show through these pictures. I love mixing mine up with other patterns; like the picture of Lucy Laucht here with her printed skirt and leopard print pumps. On the flip side I also love the effortless summer style combination of a loose Breton shirt and a pair of denim cut offs = genius.
Bretons are also great for weekend/festival chic = as Alexa Chung and Miranda Kerr prove in the pictures above. I love pairing mine with coloured jeans and trousers, particularly shades of red and blue (I saw lots of these kind of outfits recently on the American bloggers' outfit posts for the 4th of July). It also looks fab with other 'essentials' like the trench coat and the maxi skirt.
You can buy your breton in a number of styles, pretty much any where. A true Breton top is only striped in the middle section and is made from a sweater material (they were originally made for French fishermen at sea) although lots today are in t shirt/jersey fabric which is easier to wear. I have two - one thicker material jumper from American Apparel here, and one simple tee from Petit Bateau here.
Where to buy your Breton:
Quba - lovely little British brand that I found recently, this Mimram sweater is a gorgeous wool Breton.
American Apparel - as just mentioned, this company have a great range of traditional styles in the blue and red stripe
Chinti and Parker - new name love! I discovered this last week and have completely fallen for all their stuff. Net A Porter have a great selection, or visit the full site for the overall sale pieces.
Petit Bateau - where else than this fab French brand for a quintessentially French piece? Their 'mariniere' range is fab - my favourite one is here.
Kain - big fan of this essential comfort brand, and their Breton is 60% off at Net A Porter at the moment!
Whistles - of course this brilliant store have such a good classic piece, love it too!
Check out these images and more on my Breton shirt pinterest board.