Make Your Own Basics: The marinière

Make Your Own Basics: The marinière

Close your eyes and picture every layout you’ve ever seen in a fashion magazine under the heading “10 Pieces Every Wardrobe Needs” or variations thereon. It’s always the perfect jeans, black ballet flats, a white shirt, a trench … and a marinière. Also known as a “Breton,” it’s a version of the original French Navy tee from way back: boatnecked, three-quarter sleeved, blue-and-white striped. While the official marinière hewed to exacting specifications with regard to the number and spacing of the stripes, modern interpretations vary. But perfectly authentic or otherwise, it’s true that no closet ever suffered from the inclusion of a striped tee!

TOP: For sewing your own, Liesl Gibson’s Maritime Top should do nicely — all you need is the right fabric

BOTTOM: If you prefer your marinière knitted, Jared Flood’s Breton pattern is just the thing


PREVIOUSLY in Make Your Own Basics: The tank top (knitted and sewn)

13 thoughts on “Make Your Own Basics: The marinière

  1. I love these sweaters, but I shy away from them because of broad shoulders and large bust – pretty sure the horizontal stripes and boatneck are not the most flattering – suggestions anyone?

    • I have heard that if you vary the stripes (thinner stripes in the middle, larger stripes on the top and bottom) that it creates more of an illusion of a shaped body. But, I’m also wearing a striped polo right now and I don’t think it makes me look too much plumper than I already am.

    • I love a boatneck on a larger bust. A V-neck or scoop can sometimes be too cleavage-y, a crew neck can sometimes look a little dowdy. The boatneck is a perfect midpoint.

  2. I’ve been wanting to sew a Breton tee for a while, but I keep stumbling on finding fabric. My platonic ideal shirt of this kind is made of a *substantial* cotton knit, with a touch of spandex for recovery. To me, it’s just not a Breton tee if it’s lightweight, slubby, “tissue knit”, rayon-alicious, and/or fluid-drapey (and I’ve managed to avoid polyester in my RTW purchases for ages, so I am loath to sew with it. No shade — I know there are “good polys” out there, it’s just not for me).

    And of course the fabric needs to come in an appropriate stripe. Preferably not black (my dark neutral of choice is navy). While I’m dreaming here, I’d also love it if I had color options beyond navy, like cream and gray-brown, gray and white, pale blue-green and white, etc.

    Sadly I keep coming up empty handed when I go on this fabric quest (as a knitter who’s used to being spoilt for choice when it comes to yarn, with the option to mix and match colors and fibers however I want, I admit I find fabric shopping frustrating!).

    Anybody have any pointers or ideas?

  3. Pingback: Make Your Own Basics: The blue jeans | Fringe Association

  4. Pingback: Make Your Own Basics: The t-shirt | Fringe Association

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