Barbour freshens up the Breton T-shirt

Barbour-Atlantis-heritage-t-shirtLong before street fashion started wafting upward like tendrils of heat from summer concrete, the nautical workwear of fishermen bubbled up from the murky waters of Brittany into the haute world of Coco Chanel. Jean-Paul Sartre‘s coterie brought the tee to the streets of St. Germain, and Lee Marvin is credited as the first actor to brandish the stripe in a Hollywood movie. He did so in 1953’s¬†The Wild One, and his stripes gave him an even harder edge than co-star Marlon Brando‘s famed white tee rolled up with a pack of cigarettes.

Barbour serves up their Atlantis Heritage T-shirt in two classic color schemes (white-on-navy and navy-on-white), and, as is more common on Breton-striped sweaters, lines the left shoulder with three buttons. Stylish but conventional, the Breton t-shirt is for outsiders as well as tongue-in-cheek insiders. And it always looks good near a body of water.

Here are five examples to aspire to, from left to right: Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Lee Marvin, James Dean, Cary Grant.


Barbour Atlantis Heritage T-Shirt — $89

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David is Wingtip's storyteller. In addition to editing the Modern Gentleman's Blog, he has written for Wax Poetics, The Source, SF Weekly, and the East Bay Express, and others. His inspirations include Rumble Fish, Paul's Boutique, and Balzac. He studied English at the City University of New York at Hunter College and journalism at the University of Southern California. He lives in Berzerkeley with his wife and daughter.

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