Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Ode to Breton

I have always been partial to a stripe. One of my earliest memories donning the horizontals was the summer of my 9th Birthday. I spent the whole six weeks off school wearing my father’s discarded rugby shirt and a pair of denim cut offs.
It was impossibly big, and a fetching shade of putrid green and maroon, but I loved it. I felt like a wayward pirate, empowered by my audacity to wear a man’s shirt. By the end of the summer my mother practically had to peel it off me in order to wash it, which sadly resulted in what I can only describe as a ritual style burning. Fast forward 14 years and it would appear that, that tragic shirt had more of an impact on my life than I had ever anticipated.
The iconic T-shirt, made famous by Coco Chanel in the 1930s, later to be adopted by the likes of Alexa Chung, Kate Moss and Jane Birkin had become a staple in my everyday life. The unequivocal chicness of those blue and white stripes never failed to enchant. As my collection grew it would seem I had developed an insatiable appetite for the stripe, wearing it dressed up or down didn’t seem to matter as it became that magical item of clothing that will never let you down. That go to piece that will never make you feel fat or inadequate. You see it is not simply a t-shirt, it is a piece of history, a statement; Something I can only explain as an innate love for all things romantic and chic, every time I wear a Breton it instills within me a sense of empowerment, reminding me that the likes of Chanel changed the very idea of style and a woman’s place in society by simply adapting a quintessentially ‘male’ item of clothing and making it her own.
The way, in which a simple t-shirt can transform any outfit, transcending seasons and constant trend changes is a feat not often achieved within the fickle world of fashion. Call it an obsession, nostalgia or style choice; whichever it is, it would seem that fashion fades but style is forever.

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