Hand wash or dry clean. More garment care instructionshere
Item code: CH-CC-BRTN-ECRU
This is our take on the classic Breton Stripe sweater, a style that dates back to mid 19th century France. It was originally created for the French navy and made out of jersey cotton to provide it with durability. The original design had white and blue stripes, and featured a boat neck and 3/4 length sleeves, enabling the shirt to be easily removed and used as a signalling device if a sailor fell overboard.
Ours is a luxury version of the Breton Stripe sweater, made up with an exquisite mix of almost half cashmere and the other half cotton. The very high percentage of cashmere in the fabric mix gives the sweater a luxuriously soft hand feel - you will be hard pressed to find a Breton Stripe or any other spring/summer top as soft as this. All the while, it retains that sporty robustness and resilience that came with the original jersey cotton Breton Stripe through our use of high quality Egyptian long staple cotton. Many Breton Stripe sweaters nowadays would be made in cotton or possibly other synthetic mixes - none will have as high a level of cashmere in its composition as our version, and very rarely made start to finish by the best knitwear craftspeople in Scotland - something that makes this sweater one of a kind and truly an heirloom piece.
The cashmere cotton yarn is a 3-ply yarn, developed and produced by revered Scottish yarn mill Todd & Duncan. Both the cashmere and cotton used are, as always, the world's very finest of their kind, enabling the resulting garment to soften and age beautifully with each wear, and last decades.
The design of our Breton Stripe features a closer crew neck line for a more elegant look, compared to the wide boat neck of the original, although it does retain a slight boat neck shape, in homage to the traditional sweater. The sleeves are also normal full length, rather than 3/4 length like the original, again to make it more of a contemporary piece and more easily worn with clothes in a modern wardrobe. We would hope the wearer of our Breton Stripe no longer needs to take it off at sea to catch attention when thrown overboard serving in the French navy! The shirt is medium in length, making it appropriate tucked in or let out depending on the way you want to wear it, and it is finished with straight hem and cuffs in keeping with the original features.
This timeless shirt holds a special place in the cultural history of the 20th century, having first been adopted by Coco Chanel on vacation as a chic, luxury French fashion item, paired with wide legged trousers. It was then adopted by groups as wide ranging as the Beatniks in 50s America post WWII as a symbol of the rejection of traditional values held by the prior generation, and in 60s England where Mick Jagger would have had it as a staple in his wardrobe and on stage, further solidifying its rebel aesthetic.
The endless ways this shirt has been adopted, from a working man’s uniform to the catwalks in France to its rebellious days in the 50s and 60s is proof that this style is a truly versatile piece. Wear it tucked in or let out, with almost any conceivable bottoms that can be found in your wardrobe - shorts, swim trunks, jeans, trousers, chinos - all will be equally at home with the Breton Stripe. It can be styled also with a shirt underneath or on the outside, or simply worn with a blazer or harrington jacket for those cooler summer evenings.
Please see size chart at the bottom of the page to determine which size is best for you. Other aspects:
This style runs small. We recommend that you take one size up from your usual size
Slim modern fit but has a small amount of natural stretch and moulds to body over time
Body of sweater tapers slightly from the chest down to the hem to give a more fitted look by minimising excess fabric often found around the waist of sweaters
Smaller armhole compared to traditional "baggy" sweaters, without being overly restrictive
The round neck opening is a slight boat neck shape in keeping with the original Breton Stripe design, but cut fairly close to the neck for an elegant look
Model wears size 42/L. He measures: chest circumference 40" (102cm); height 6"1 (186cm).
We are confident in bringing you the world's finest knitwear because we only use the very best at every stage of manufacture:
Quality of fibre: 47% cashmere from fibres of the highest quality sourced from inner Mongolia. Fibre diameter is c. 15.5 microns and length is c. 38mm, making the fibre the world's finest and longest, which means the softest and most durable.
53% cotton, consisting of high quality long staple Egyptian cotton with a superior hand feel and durability. The cotton fibre is measured in micronaire which is the measurement of micrograms per inch. For our cotton, the micronaire is 4.0 with a length of 35mm.
Quality of yarn: 3-ply cashmere cotton yarn especially developed and produced by spinnersTodd & Duncanat their Loch Leven Mill in Kinross, Scotland, industry heavyweights who have been spinning yarn for 150 years - world renowned for their consistently high quality and strong yarns. Quality of knit: knitted, hand-finished and washed by fourth generation heritage knitwear specialists in Hawick, the Scottish Borders, a region whose expertise in the trade is without compare. Garments are knitted tightly to minimise gaps and to ensure longevity.
Quality of finish: there is a high degree of hand-finishing. The sweater is "fully-fashioned", as signified by the faint-dotted lines along the sleeve-head of the jumper. This makes the garment more well fitted, much like a bespoke suit. Individual pieces of the sweater are “hand-linked” - a meticulous process by which each tiny knit-loop at the end of each piece of the sweater is linked together by hand, ensuring the seams are the straightest and strongest.
Quality of wash: the finished product is carefully washed in pure Scottish waters with the precise balance of minerals, so that the garment is given its famous soft handle without compromising the integrity of the fibres. Scottish knitwear may feel a little stiff to begin with but will soften naturally with age.
Find out more about the quality of our garmentshere.
Sizes for this style run small. We suggest taking the next size up from your usual size. The measurements of the garment are set out below. To ensure you have the correct size, you may wish to take a measuring tape to one of your existing jumpers with the best fit and compare measurements. Measurements are approximate, but any variance is minimal and will not impact overall fit given that knitwear has stretch:
Chest width (cm)
Body length (cm)
Sleeve length (underarm) (cm)
If you would like to discuss sizing or any other aspects of the garment, please feel free to contact us.