THE BLOG
03/28/2013 03:55 pm ET Updated May 28, 2013

La Marinière, an Eternal Classic

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One of my travel wardrobe staples is the classic long-sleeve, horizontal-stripe shirt, called, in French, "la marinière." It's comfortable, and layer-able (a travel necessity), and, thanks to Coco Chanel, fashionable.

On a small island in France, off the coast of Brittany, I discovered the mother lode of le marinière.

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In the early 20th century, Chanel saw fishermen on the beaches of Deauville, France wearing the striped shirts, and began to wear them herself. Because she was Coco Chanel, and a visionary, the shirt worked its way into the wardrobes of Parisian society, and a classic was born.

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Photo, public domain via
Wikimedia Commons

Store after store in the tiny village of Le Palais on Belle-Île en Mer ("Beautiful Island in the Sea"), sold the striped shirts... in a multitude of sizes, shapes, and colors. They're not just blue and white anymore.

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You don't have to go to Belle-Île to find the famous nautical stripe shirts... there's Saint James, and even J. Crew, but there was something authentic about finding them, as Chanel did, in a place where fisherman actually still wear them.

Il est un grand classique!

FOR MORE STORIES OF TRAVELS, AND A SOURCEBOOK OF PLACES TO EAT, STAY, SHOP, AND SEE AROUND THE WORLD, SEE MY BLOG.

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