October 12, 2021

Luxembourg - Iconic fashion pieces - The basic striped t-shirt

I wrote so many posts about the Romanian Blouse that you might think that is all I wear, but it's far from the truth. Normally if we'd meet on the street, chances are I am wearing a striped t-shirt. Long sleeved, short sleeved, blue and white, white and blue, green, red, orange, coloured, it doesn't matter, really. This year I've discovered the striped dresses and I already own and wear two :)

I've started wearing them almost ten years ago, because I was working on television and striped t-shirts were a big no-no because the TV screen is made of horizontal stripes and the t-shirt of vertical stripes, together they create something which is called the Moire effect. My everyday uniform was a striped t-shirt, jeans and converse, because my other t-shirts were for TV.

My personal favourite are the blue with white stripes, but that design is not the original one. Turns out the Breton Striped T-shirts were invented in 1858 as the uniform for the French Seaman in Northern France, in Brittany. They were made of wool fabric, white with blue stripes and they had exactly 21 stripes, one for each of the Napoleon Bonaparte's victories against the British. Similar to Romanian Blouses, when a sailor would die in battle he was recognised as being French after his striped t-shirt. 

The one who is responsible for turning this uniform into a fashionable item is non other than Coco Chanel. Apparently striped t-shirts with trousers were worn by women at the seaside towns on holidays, and she had a store in Deauville on the French Riviera, but they became fashion items in 1917 when she made a whole collection inspired by this shirt and called it the Nautical Collection. We already know that she helped promote the wearing of pans in women clothing so one could say the striped shirt and pants combo became fashionable from then on and it is still now.  

Over the years a lot of celebrities chose to wear the striped t-shirt in a casual setting or in a more formal one and with just one Google search you can see all the examples. I have chosen just three:

Coco Chanel wearing a striped t-shirt and flared trousers.
Audrey Hepburn in the 1956 movie "Funny Face" wearing a striped t-shirt, blue with white stripes.
To me she will always be the Fashion Icon of my generation, so here she is, Sarah Jessica Parker wearing a striped t-shirt.
Closer to home, here is Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, Maria Teresa wearing stripes. I took the photo from their oficial instagram account  

As I've said, I think stripes are good for any occasion, I dress them up or down, I wear stripes at the office or at parties and you know what, I even find them flattering on my silhouette. The combination stripes with pearls I think it's amazing. I always choose natural fabrics, cotton or linen t-shirts or dresses, I haven't yet found a hemp striped t-shirt, but if you know a good one, send it my way. 
Let's just pause for a moment: when or where would I ever end up together with Sarah Jessica Parker or Coco Chanel on an article? But nonetheless here I am in all my glory, this Spring in a wheat field.
Here I am on our holiday in the South of France in Martigues
Stripes again at the Souleiado Factory Museum
Stripes on my hometown
And again stripes on our weekend in the Netherlands with the tulip fields.

Where to find good quality striped t-shirts? 

Well I have to confess I buy most of my striped t-shirts online from Debenhams (back when they had a decent store for Europe) from M&S or a recent favourite is Seasalt Cornwall. In Luxembourg I found good t-shirts at MonoPrix in the City Centre, from there I bought my blue striped dress in the first picture and IT HAS POCKETS :) but depending on your budget you can find them at Camaieu, H&M, Zara, C&A, Esprit...they all have good quality cotton striped t-shirts.

If you want to splurge and buy a close to authentic striped t-shirt, there are Saint James or Orcival stores, the first advertises itself as the ones producing the t-shirts for the sailors back in 1858, the last sells only striped t-shirts, but they are one in a lifetime items, I would asume. 

And that is it, boys and girls. I don't want to jinx it, but I'm imagining this blog taking a bit of a different direction. So stay with me :) As usual I am more active on Instagram @mademoiselle.ralu


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