As with many menswear staples, it comes as no surprise that the Breton stripe also has strong roots in military and working class culture — which has been adapted over the years to become one of the most steadfast summer trends. Nautical stripes were first worn by the French army after the 1858 Act of France made the familiar striped tops part of regulation uniform. Named after Breton, the native Celtic language of the French peninsula of Brittany, the original knit matelot tops featured a 3/4 sleeve, boat neck and 21 navy stripes to signify each of Napolean Bonaparte’s victories against the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. And thus the nautical associations were born. Stripes were forevermore linked to the sea.