It’s the ultimate style staple; a timeless wardrobe icon that easily dresses up or down – taking you from work to weekend with ease. And it’s one that’s been worn by everyone from Audrey Hepburn and James Dean to Alexa Chung and Kate Moss. We’re talking about the Breton tee, of course. So, on hearing about a new brand completely dedicated to the Breton top, our interest was obviously piqued. Based in London, Mon Breton makes the best quality striped tees you could imagine, produced by a small family-owned textile factory in Brittany. The British company saw the potential for a “brand celebrating the Breton” and after research into finding authentic Breton craftsmen to create their tees, launched online in August 2015.
So why a brand creating only Bretons? “We love the Breton shirt for so many reasons. It’s versatile, seriously durable (if you go authentic), pan-seasonal, unisex and because of these qualities, it’s stood the test of time,” says Mon Breton’s Charles Heller. “A Mon Breton shirt is a masterpiece in engineering, combining style fit for Audrey Hepburn, and substance fit for a sailor”. And Heller should know something about style – Isla, his other half – and Le Breton’s co-founder – is a former Harper’s Bazaar staffer, after all.
Offering summer and winter-weight Breton tops for men, women and children, Mon Breton’s tees are soft enough for little ones, but feel reassuringly sturdy – they’re designed and made to last, after all. For winter, we have the Bardot – with a classic crew neck, long sleeves and thick woven cotton, while come summer, there’s the Seberg – in the same shape and style but with a lighter knit fabric. And of course, Le Breton is all about classic tones – it doesn’t get chicer than navy, ecru and white, bien sur.
Okay, okay – so far, so classic. But where Le Breton comes into its own is the brand’s truly unique and completely bespoke customisation service. Yes, you can have your name or initials hand-embroidered on your shirt – which also makes for a rather lovely gift. Or you can take things 21st century and even have an emoji adorning your Breton. “We started by embroidering emojis but now we pretty much give our customers free rein,” says Heller. “As it’s all done by hand you can have whatever you want on your shirt. We’ve had dachshunds, Thomas the Tank Engine, the Cookie Monster and even a storm trooper!”
So what’s next for the label? Mon Breton have a few things up their sleeves in terms of future plans – new colourways and even accessories – but the basis of the brand will always remain the same. “Because of the quality and the fit, it stands up as the best Breton shirt on the market even without the customisation,” says Heller. And as the Breton has resolutely remained in fashion for over half a century, we can’t see everyone’s striped favourite going anywhere, any time soon…
For more information and to shop the collection, see Mon Breton’s website.