Monday, 5 May 2014

THE BRETON QUESTION

Top: H&M, Jeans: Marks & Spencer, Coat: Topshop, Shoes: ASOS, Beanie: H&M, Sunglasses: ASOS
Let me take you on a journey through time and babes, also known as The History of the Breton Top. Firstly time: the Breton top as we know it today came into being following the 1858 Act of France, which introduced the navy and white striped knitted shirt as the uniform for all French navy seamen in Brittany. Fact. Secondly babes, because Breton been worn by many a babe over the years. Coco Chanel? Check. Jean Seberg? Check. Audrey Hepburn? Check. Brigitte Bardot? Check. And, most recently, we've seen the striped wonder repeatedly gracing the frames of It Girls Alexa Chung and Olivia Palermo. Check.

But while our stripey friend may scream easygoing elegance and thus is the epitome of weekend chic (on a Monday - HELLZ YEAH bank holiday), it's been done so often that Breton's now an obvious choice. It's not easy to do something new with it, nor is it easy to avoid comparison with these prior babes of yore - and frankly, when it comes to a stripe-off between me and Jean Seberg, Seberg will always win. This is a dilemma, and one that doesn't just apply to Breton shirts. It's the same with trench coats or any other classic item; 'classic' being a byword for 'it looks amazing but it's looked amazing a thousand times before'. So what's a girl to do? Well, what this girl would do is treat Breton as a base rather than a statement piece. It's easy to chuck on a stripey shirt and let that be the punchline of an outfit, but while that looks pretty, it's not very exciting. However, if you put on your Breton top first and work around it, you can find ways to accessorise with colours and modern pieces that will offset the 'classic' nature of the Breton top. By doing this, one can in fact create something which is, in the words of that great poet will.i.am, 'super fresh'. 
    

Normally I'd class myself as being in the Coco Chanel school of accessorising, you know, the 'remove one accessory' thing, less is more and so on. However, it's a bank holiday and nothing says 'go lavish' like a lie-in on a Monday, so I've opted to style my H&M Breton with lots of my favourite accessories. A beanie, to a) offset the classic with grunge, and b) to hide the fact that I haven't washed my hair in days. I may or may not look like I dunked my head in a vat of olive oil. Then we have big sunglasses of Victoria Beckham proportions. They make me look like a bug and I like that. Next is the green coat, which I've worn so much that the lining is disintegrating. However, I really like the green with the navy in the shirt and the blue of the denim - the brightness throwing the simplicity of the top off kilter. Lastly, these shoes I bought off ASOS last week. Was it a sensible way to break into my student loan? No. Do I regret it? Hell no. Though a word to the wise (from the less wise), DO NOT wear them on a night out. I did, and of course light grey and a dirty, sticky club where drunken people have dirty, sticky feet is NEVER a good idea. Cue me spending the following morning desperately scrubbing them with the rubber off the end of a pencil. (Mr Google told me too. Mr Google mocks me.) Thankfully though, they have lived to tell the tale. I like them because they're not quite boots and not quite sandals, and it's fun to play accoutremental mind games with people.

So there we have it. Doing Breton, but without being obvious. It's a homage to babes in Breton, past, present and future. The babes of which we could be one. 

Vaguely,
Elizabeth x







Thanks to Lucinda Furness for the photos!

8 comments:

  1. I love this look - it's gorgeous and the coat.....what a fab colour!!!! :)

    Layla xx

    www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk - hope we can follow each other xxx

    ReplyDelete
  2. omg i loooove the color of your coat - the whole outfit is amazing :) xx

    www.lackofcolor.at

    ReplyDelete
  3. love accessories! - visit www.robecart.com they have nice handbags, shoes, dresses and accessories too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jewellery - visit www.robecart.com they have nice handbags, shoes, dresses and accessories too!

    ReplyDelete

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