As far as basics go, a Breton striped shirt is as necessary as a black blazer or a pair of blue jeans, and like those staples, the allure of a classic striped shirt lies in its versatility. Whether worn by sailors, celebrities, or modern-day It-girls, the styling choices have evolved over time—but the effect has remained the same.
Typically characterized as a cotton top with thin horizontal stripes, the style was introduced in 1858 as the uniform for the French navy, and didn’t particularly possess any fashion cache until—after a trip to the French coast—Coco Chanel took notice. The iconic designer was so inspired by the sailors’ uniform that she incorporated the stripes into her 1917 nautical collection. The casual design helped break away from the heavily corseted fashion of the time, changing the face of casual womenswear.
Today, style stars like Kate Moss, Alexa Chung, and Olivia Palermo regularly rock striped T-shirts, as do most of us. Because you never can have too many, we’ve rounded up the 30 best breton stripe shirts in stores right now—from ASOS to Proenza Schouler.