If there is one fashion look that has stood the test of time it’s the nautical or “Breton” stripe. We see it in clothing, home decor, and accessories. Its message is clean, casual, and coastal. We’ve seen some version of the Breton stripe on celebrities past and present, from A udrey Hepburn to Kate Middleton, from Pablo Picasso to Harry Styles.
This nautical look was extremely popular throughout the 1960’s. Everyone who was anyone was wearing the look, even Barbie! The iconic doll was launched by Mattel in 1959 wearing a black and white striped bathing suit!
This popular look, synonymous with a nautical lifestyle, was
actually born in the Normandy region of France, in a little village called
Fast forward to 1858, the company was commissioned by
the French Navy to create its official naval uniform. At the time, the headquarters for the French
Navy was in the Brittany region of
So how did the Breton stripe become so popular in the fashion world? After vacationing in the seacoast towns of northern France and seeing locals wearing this striped knitwear, Coco Chanel introduced this nautical look, “la mariniere” (the mariner or sailor) in her 1917 collection in Paris, and as we say, the rest is history!
Although the nautical stripe has been used by many designers
throughout history, Saint-James continues today to provide the world with the
authentic Breton stripe. Their attention to detail and quality control
is very important to them. At the time of this writing, Saint-James does not sell on major
websites as other brands do, preferring to sell through independent retailers
who will tell their story. They release
just two collections per year and they are owned and operated by their employees. In 2005 Saint-James received the “Ethics and
Governance” trophy from the Ecole des Dirigeants et Creaturs d’ Enterprise, or EDC,
a private business school in
Not only does Saint-James offer an authentic collection of Breton striped tops, sweaters and dresses in a variety of colors, but they have designed their Propriano dress and Garde Cote tops out of a polymid microfiber that provides UV protection from the harmful rays of the sun! You will look great and be protected from the sun’s harmful rays as you enjoy your own coastal lifestyle or vacation.
Propriano II Dress in Navy/Neige with UPF50
Garde Cote III Top in Azure/Neige with UPF50
Island Pursuit is proud to carry Saint-James , especially our newest Island Pursuit exclusive designs for Chatham, Longboat Key, Mystic, Newport, Sanibel, and Sarasota. We worked with Saint-James to create an exclusive sleeve design featuring a French burgee flag and U.S.burgee flag custom embroidered with the name of one of these special resort locations where Island Pursuit is located. Wear your love for one of these special places on your sleeve!