Though French style is not my cup of tea, there are still some French basics I enjoy wearing. The marinière* better known as breton top in English is one of those. Funny how language is. If in French the word marinière remembers the origin of that famous top – that is a vest sailors wore under their uniform – in English its name refers to the region of Brittany. In many French novels, Brittany is the region of sailors, so I always find the English translation a little bit poetic.
My great-grandfather was a sailor and serendipity had him sail to Douala, Cameroon. Literally my birthplace! Also, did I mention he was Breton? When my dad discovered this story, it surprised him a lot because he ended up living in Cameroon and marrying a Douala woman! Hence why today’s outfit is dedicated to my great-grandfather and this funny bond linking us.
Everyone knows a great breton top has large blue and white stripes. Worn by Coco Chanel and Jean-Paul Gaultier, it really is a classic of the French wardrobe. I twisted this idea by choosing a black and white body with thiner stripes that I styled with a perfecto and what I call a ‘sartorial sarong’ gifted to me by my flatmate. I didn’t wear them that much yet so expect to see them more!
ps: I did not cut my hair. It’s just shrinkage.
*Marinière comes from ‘marin’, the French word for sailor