I did a good thing today. A really good thing.
No, it wasn’t exercise (maybe tomorrow…..No, must do some today!!) No, I didn’t bake a cake for my children (I would have just eaten the remainder when they went to bed) and it wasn’t clean my kitchen (thank you Lysol wipes for gracing your presence over my kitchen counters and lifting any cleaning guilt off my shoulders. Job done!!). Today I achieved a major milestone in my journey on the road to a Capsule wardrobe. Drum roll please………… Today I parted with some stripes. Yep, you heard me, I actually removed some striped tops from my wardrobe and gave them a little pat on the shoulder and said goodbye. This was by no means, an easy task. I catergorically have an addiction to stripes. Jeepers Creepers, I got a little hot and bothered to tell you the truth. It’s one thing to assess the H&M stripes, the Zara stripes & the Gap stripes. But as soon as you enter Pettit Bateau and Chinti & Parker land then that is another territory for stripes altogether. But, alas it was a job done. The only interruptions being when the cat came in and promptly lay on the ‘don’t know’ pile and then my youngest, the Wayne Rooney one, came to show me that his Teddy was going to help with the task. Cue ratty tatty (but oh, so so so special) Mr Ted with a pair of homemade scissors!!
The strike stripe rules were:
Mishapened – I hate it when the seams twist in the wash. This has happened to me with both cheap and pricey tops. But look so silly when wearing a stripe. Ta Ta;
Stained – any stripes with red wine spots that missed the wrath of my faithful Resolve oxi-action spray (I only have myself to blame here! A terrible habit of mine is laughing really hard with friends whilst still holding my wine glass);
Too bloody small stripes that are a little snug reveal the Tum(mies);
Too bloody big stripes that I wore in my maternity wardrobe clearly need to go to another maternity wardrobe. Get over it; and
Doesn’t quite hit the spot – the stripe is too big, too small, doesn’t look right on me, too cropped, too long, too stripey (is there such a thing?? Yes there is!!).
So, with the help of Mr Ted and his homemade scissors I managed to part with 10 striped tops. They either went in the garbage bin, charity donation bag to the ebay selling bag.
My inner stripe goddess wants to look more like this……..
And try to look less like this………
The history of the Breton stripe is a fascinating one. A little visit to Wikipedia and I’ve discovered that navy and white striped knitted shirt was introduced in the 1858 Act of France as the uniform for all French navy seaman in Brittany. The distinctive stripe pattern made it easy to spot the (drunk?!?) sailors overboard in the waves. Note to self, I must pack a Breton if ever going on a boat or cruise with a free bar!! The original design featured a stripe for each of Napolean’s victories, 21 in total. “The Saint James Binic sweater was released by Saint James in 1889 in lower Normandy”.
Next, Coco Chanel introduced the Breton design to the fashion world via her nautical collection in 1917 after she was inspired by sailors following a visit to the french coast. This iconic top became a symbol of haute-bourgeois loveliness during the pre war Riviera years. Originally a working class garment, the Breton became a featured item in the upper class wardrobes. Coco Chanel designed the piece to be paired with long flared trousers – a contrast to the heavily corseted Belle Époque fashion of that time. Nice one Coco!
The Breton then later became popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s within the Alternative and Beatnik culture. It was worn by the likes of; Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso, Brigitte Bardot, Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Audrey Hepburn & Jean Paul Gaultier. It was first worn in the Hollywood film The Wild One (1953). Then James Dean wore the Breton Striped top in Rebel Without a Cause (1955). The iconic, lovely Audrey Hepburn wore the Breton in Funny Face (1956). One of my personal favourites is Debbie Harry from Blondie.
Saint James still produce their infamous unisex nautical Breton top. They are still made in France (bravo, bravo). They have made successful collaborations with the likes of J Crew. Clearly doing very well as they are currently on back order on the US site until August this year. Grrrrrr…….. I know, I know, minimal wardrobes have little room for more shopping, but c’mon, it’s a Saint James after all. Cut me some slack here!!
So there we have it. No wonder we all love a good stripe. A magnificent history and a fabulous fan club to boot.
Stripes I love in the shops at the moment
Saint James for J.Crew – slouchy tee $108
Saint James for J.Crew – slouchy short sleeve tee $89
I have this one and love it! Zara organic cotton tee in stripe $9.90.
Zara organic cotton 3/4 sleeve top $17.90.
So to conclude after the historic mammoth stripe exodus from my wardrobe. I am now just left with couple of stripes that I am undecided on. I don’t feel I can quite get rid of them as I really like them and I know that once I have lost my ‘Winter Coat’, they will look perfect. You see, like my lovely cat, Winston, I feel I too develop a Winter Coat. It is bloody cold during Canadian Winters. We’re talking -40 freeze your tits off. Just as you need your winter Sherpa lined boots, thick warm duvet coat and multiple scarves and mits. I also find myself needing curries, chips, beer, red wine & hot chocolate. As soon as Spring hits, then I begin my annual panic (I don’t see Winston panicking?!?) and eat salads, drink lemon water and hit my Elliptical trainer with Netflix. By the time Summer decends, then all is well with the world and Winston and I have both shed our winter coats. Yet, I will hopefully be the one with significantly less fur!
So alas, I have three stripes that will only see the light of day once I have blown the cobwebs off my Elliptical Trainer. Will keep you posted on that one.
What I’m wearing today….. #OOTD
Today had to be a stripe day, you know that! It’s a bit chilly so wearing my beloved scruffy real straight jeans in extra long so I can get a good sized cuff on them. I love this stripe top I got in Madewell’s Spring sale. It’s a heavy weight one – so perfect for nippy days.
Madewell Gondola stripe top (love the grey chambray pocket)
Gap real straight 1969 destructed jeans in Arrow
Converse in ecru