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Best Breton tops: striped designs for effortless style and class

A Breton top is an easy-to-wear style staple you’ll turn to again and again. From fitted to oversized and classic to colourful, we’ve rounded up the very best for you to choose from. 

By Roanna Day | Last updated Aug 3, 2022

best breton top

Who can resist the lure of a great Breton stripe top? Not us! It’s not so much a question of which of these classic stripe tops to choose. But, rather, which one not to choose.

A good stripe top is universally flattering. Something about the iconic design of a bold stripe means it looks instantly cool, no matter your style. A Breton stripe top looks equally as good with loose fit boyfriend jeans as it does clashing with a leopard print skirt. 

There’s a huge range of different Breton tops on the market. You can opt for the iconic sailor top by Saint James for a truly fashionable look. Or go for a fitted style by Jaeger to flatter your shape. If you fancy livening it up a little then you’ll love the printed and embroidered designs we’ve found. 

We’ve scoured the high street and read hundreds of reviews to narrow it down to just 12 favourites. Here are the very best Breton stripe tops to buy in 2022.

1. Best overall Breton top: Boden Long Sleeve Breton Top

Boden breton top

Price: £32 | Buy now from Boden

“Surely Boden is the spiritual home of the Breton top? I have bought loads there over the years. The quality can be variable in terms of the thickness of the fabric though, but they wear and wash well.” (Brand recommended by Mumsnet user caperplips)

Our forums are filled with recommendations for Boden’s Breton tops and we can see why. The British brand has perfected the classic stripe tee while also prioritising a great fit and high quality. 

This firecracker ombre version of the fashion staple will add a joyful burst of colour to your wardrobe. We love that the top is designed to reach the top of your thighs too, making it a flattering choice for everyday wear. 

This cotton top will wear well and be a go-to choice for years to come. 

Pros

  • 100% cotton fabric
  • Fun ombre colour
  • Long fit length

Cons

  • No stretch in the fabric

2. Best budget Breton top: Regatta Fernanda Coolweave TShirt

best breton top

Price: From £8.95 | Buy now from Amazon

Regatta’s take on a Breton top makes the perfect affordable addition to your wardrobe. 

This design, in a deep khaki green, is simple and stylish. The top is made with the brand’s signature ‘Cooleweave’ cotton fabric which will help keep you cool on busy days. 

We love the flattering fitted shape of this Breton top too. Its tapered sleeves and tailored fit are small details that will boost your confidence every time you pull it on. 

Pros

  • Made from breathable, cooling cotton
  • Affordable price point
  • Gorgeous green colour

Cons

  • Not designed for an oversized fit

3. Best embroidered detail Breton top: Joules Harbour Breton Top

best breton top

Price: From £18.95 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have two that I'm particularly pleased with. One (yellow and white) is from Joules.” (Brand recommended by Mumsnet user Vanillaandorange)

Joules have added their signature playful twist to this Breton top with a smattering of embroidered stars. While colourful and fun this all-over star detail is stylish and subtle enough to mean you still wear this top with everything. 

This cotton top has been designed with a classic no stretch fit. Style yours with boyfriend jeans and sandals in the summer or try tucking into high-waisted jeans and pairing with trainers come winter. 

Pros

  • Embroidered star detail
  • 100% cotton 

Cons

  • No stretch fit isn’t everyone’s style

4. Best short sleeve Breton top: Levi’s Perfect Tee

best breton top

Price: From £12.05 | Buy now from Amazon

This short sleeve option from Levi’s means you can carry on wearing your favourite Breton stripe all through summer. 

This simple t-shirt has a statement contrast colour and a classic black and white stripe. It’s a cool nod to androgynous style too. Try pairing yours with a denim pinafore dress or clashing with a printed skirt to style yours with flair. 

High quality and made from 100% cotton, this top will become a trusted staple in your wardrobe. 

Pros

  • Fun contrast colour
  • 100% cotton

Cons

  • Short sleeves will need layering in winter

5. Best Breton top for a flattering fit: Jaeger Striped Crew Neck ¾ Sleeve Top

best breton top

Price: £45 | Buy now from M&S

“I got a lovely one. It's Jaeger.” (Brand recommended by Mumsnet user Whoateallthestuffingballs)

Jaeger is recommended time and time again by Mumsnet users thanks to its high-quality fabrics and chic designs. 

This gorgeous Breton stripe top has a stylish contrast stripe detail to the cuffs. We think this simple change of stripe adds a chic, designer edge to this classic design. 

We love this top’s fit – it’s made with a soft, super stretch viscose blend. The viscose is breathable, helping to keep you cool, and the addition of elastane means this top will fit your body well, highlighting your shape. 

Pros

  • Stylish cuff detail
  • Stretch fit 

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than other options 

6. Best organic cotton Breton top: FatFace Organic Cotton Breton Top

best breton top

Price: £29.50 | Buy now from FatFace

“I have a lovely one from FatFace. It’s stretchy cotton and incredibly soft. It’s my favourite to the point where as soon as it comes through the wash I wear it again!” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user NooneElseIsSingingMySong)

We love that this Breton top by FatFace has been made with organic cotton. The easy-to wear-grey marl design also comes with a fun twist: an embroidered detail saying ‘dare to dream’. 

This top is super easy to style with a relaxed fit, a tiny bit of stretch and a boat neckline. Simply pair yours with your favourite jeans for an easy feel-good outfit. 

Pros

  • Organic cotton
  • Embroidered fit
  • Easy-to-wear fit

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than some options

7. Best oversized Breton top: People Tree Christina Breton Top

best breton top

Price: From £26.55 | Buy now from Amazon

We love the statement oversized fit of this People Tree Breton top. A loose shape which flares out to your hips combined with drop shoulder sleeves gives this classic design a modern twist. Plus, it makes it an easy feel-good piece to throw on. 

The classic navy and white colourway will work easily with the rest of your wardrobe. To keep things simple try pairing this oversized fit with some tapered, fitted trousers and a pair of statement flats. 

Pros

  • Oversized fit 
  • Fairtrade and organic cotton

Cons

  • Oversized look isn’t everyone’s style

8. Best fitted Breton top: Tom Tailor Long Sleeve Top

Tom Taylor breton top

Price: From £13.66 | Buy now from Amazon

This Breton top by Tom Tailor will be an instant staple in your wardrobe. Its fitted shape makes it incredibly easy to wear, especially when paired with your favourite boyfriend jeans.

In a classic blue and white colourway this long sleeve top takes the effort out of putting together a stylish look. The cotton and elastane blend is breathable but has enough stretch to ensure a flattering fit. 

Pros

  • Stretch fabric
  • Classic blue and white colours

Cons

  • Not everyone loves a stretch fit 

9. Best designer Breton top: Commes Des Garcon Play Heart-Embellished Cotton-Jersey T-shirt

best breton top

Price: £95 | Buy now from Selfridges

This gorgeous top by Commes Des Garcon Play is the perfect choice for upgrading your casual wear.

While investing in a designer Breton top means spending a little more, when you factor in the cost per wear of this wardrobe staple, it makes a lot of sense.

This pale blue and white stripe top comes with the brand’s signature heart design embroidered onto the chest. It also features a contrast trim to the cuffs, adding a luxurious feel to this classic top. 

Pros

  • High-end quality
  • Heart detail
  • Contrast sleeves

Cons

  • More expensive than some options

10. Best Breton top for a hot day: Daily Ritual Relaxed Fit T-Shirt

best breton top

Price: From £7.41 | Buy now from Amazon

Summer days don’t have to mean the end of your signature Breton look. This lovely striped t-shirt by Daily Ritual is made from a breathable viscose blend, making it cool enough to wear on the hottest summer days. 

This staple top is made with a loose fit which is comfortable to wear and easy to style. We also love the flattering scoop neckline and the chic drop shoulder detail. 

Wear yours with a pair of shorts and chunky sandals or layer under your favourite jumpsuit

Pros

  • Breathable fabric
  • Easy-to-wear loose fit

Cons

  • Could be too casual for some styles

11. Best print detail Breton top: Crew Clothing Breton Stripe T-Shirt

best breton top

Price: £32 | Buy now from John Lewis

We love this heart print Breton top by Crew Clothing. While a Breton stripe is a forever favourite, this quirky design update is perfect for injecting a little fun into your wardrobe. 

The stripe top’s heart print is subtle but effective. And, with a gently flared shape and three-quarter sleeves, this top is easy to wear and makes for an effortless outfit. 

Wear yours with denim culottes for an easy off-duty look to brunch in. 

Pros

  • Cute heart detail
  • High-quality make
  • Flattering shape 

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than competitors 

12. Best classic design Breton top: Saint James Miniquiers Unisex Striped Sailor Shirt

best breton top

Price: £69 | Buy now from Saint James

“Saint James. Soft, hardwearing, wash well, authentic Breton top perfection.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user supportivemyarse)

“I really love the Saint James ones. They wear and wear.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Ruthietuthie)

If you want to invest in the quintessential Breton top then the sailor shirt by Saint James is the one to choose. The heritage brand has been creating their authentic sailor tops since 1889.

This navy and white unisex top is an iconic fashion staple. The classic fit of this top means it also feels slightly boxy on. This lends itself very well to an oversized fit, worn with boyfriend jeans and trainers. 

Not only does a Saint James Breton earn you instant cool points, as one Mumsnet user pointed out, they also wear and wear. So, you’ll be dressing in classic Breton stripes for years to come. 

Pros

  • High-quality construction
  • Classic design

Cons

  • More expensive than some options
  • Boxy fit isn’t for everyone

What is a Breton top? 

Originally worn by sailors in the French navy, the term 'Breton top' has become ubiquitous with a long sleeve stripey top. They traditionally come in a navy and white colourway, but you can also pick up some fun colours and twists on the design too.

What do you wear with a Breton top?

The brilliant thing about Breton tops is how versatile and easy to style they are. Try pairing your Breton stripe with your go-to jeans and some white trainers for an easy, pulled together daytime look. 

Alternatively, layer your stripe top with an oversized cardigan and a pinafore dress for a fun weekend outfit. 

If you fancy a bold look, stripes are a brilliant print to clash with an animal print or floral. You could even try clashing two different types of stripes. 

How we chose our recommendations

We base our recommendations on the honest, trustworthy reviews of our Mumsnet users. We also scour other retailer websites and read through hundreds of reviews to see the products people are loving. That, combined with taking note of the bestsellers and tops and brands loved by industry experts, means we bring you only the best recommendations.

Why you should trust us 

Here at Mumsnet we’ve been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000. Since then we’ve investigated, tried and reviewed thousands of products.

We make sure we provide honest and independent advice that you can trust by spending hours scouring our forums to find the products that real parents rate. 

Along with tried and tested reviews we weigh up value for money and which products feature on bestseller lists before naming our top choices. 

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