La Marinière (The French Sailor Shirt)

Here’s to an eternal classic. It’s a personal favorite that I make sure to have in my closet. Today, I want to give you little tips on how to rock this wardrobe staple. Don’t you just love L’Armoire De Lana’s style tips? I have to admit that every single time I compile such a post, I get so excited (hahaha). Now, let’s get back to our subject.

I think you all already know how much I’m in love with fashion history and how I like to look for the story behind every fashion staple. “La marinière” or the French Sailor short is a horizontal-stripe shirt that is comfort-able, layer-able (definitely a travel necessity) and fashion-able!

Now, you may ask yourselves; how did this item ever become a classic or every lady’s wardrobe? Well,  thanks to my all-time inspiration, the unique Coco Chanel. In fact, back in the early 20th century, Chanel saw fishermen on the beaches of Deauville ( a commune in the Calvados département in the Basse-Normandie region in northwestern France) wearing the striped shirts. After seeing them, she simply began to wear them herself. Because she was Coco Chanel, and a visionary (what an incredible woman!!!), the shirt worked its way into the wardrobes of Parisian society, and a classic was born. Now, how awesome is this story?!

Coco Chanel wearing a marinière with black pants and a belt to draw her waist. Got to love her!!!

Coco Chanel wearing a marinière with black pants and a belt to draw her waist. Got to love her!!!

Let’s now go around few tips to keep in mind in order to style your marinière. First, you absolutely must keep in mind that it’s not just a summer staple. Contrarily to what many people think, the sailor shirt is all-year/all-seasons kind of item.

In my opinion, the key advice to succeed at styling this print is to actually think of it as a COLOR. The more you think about it as a print, the more difficult you will find to actually style it. When you think about it as a color, it becomes easy for you to wear it in the most versatile ways.

Go elegant and style your sailor shirt with classic navy blue wide legs pants and your favorite kitten heels. Or clash it with another print and wear it with floral skinny pants, nude ballerinas and a metallic clutch. Another nice idea would be to wear your marinière with a pencil skirt in a bold color (like fuchsia or red) and add a huge statement necklace to strengthen the top. In winter, I would wear it tucked in with high waist jeans, a black blazer, black ankle boots and an oversized purse. The ideas could go on and on.

All you need to know is that you’ve got Coco Chanel’s approval to go all crazy yet elegant in styling your sailor shirt.

Fashionably yours,

Lana xx

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