There are certain pieces every gentleman should have in his wardrobe. A great suit, cashmere jumper, crisp white shirt…and a striped top.
The ease of the nautical stripe top is unrivalled. What was once reserved for the likes of the Hollywood elite, including style icon James Dean, is now the mainstay in every modern man’s wardrobe.
James Dean by Sanforth Roth, 1955
The Breton striped top was originally introduced as part of the Naval uniform in Northern France in 1858. The name, quite simply, derives from its birthplace of Bretagne (Brittany). The original design featured 21 stripes, each stripe representing one of Napolean Bonaparte’s victories; interestingly, it also made it easier to spot crew should they fall overboard. The fit of the garment was carefully considered for practicality, the length of the top was meant to cover the lower back and it wasn’t to be too lose otherwise it could get caught on anything while the Naval officers were at work.
We’re debuting our own British twist on the classic Breton top. Our Design team were inspired by fishermen on the East Coast of England and the ‘modern mariner’, so plumped on the name Norfolk Long Sleeve Tee to reference the design roots. We’re introducing two classic colours, Red/Cream and Black/Cream. We considered the classic Navy, but realised most of you will already have that covered, so we added in a bit of British quirk and opted for these two fresh colour options. Our Norfolk Long Sleeve Tees are crafted in Japan; and have a classic fit with full length sleeve and crew neck. Both colours are available to buy online and in-store at Redchurch Street.
Here’s some idea of how to style these tops with our SS17 collection.
Red Grandad Collar Shirt, £145
Beige Easy Fit Chino, £175
Beige Officer Chinos, £195