Champions: Saint James Striped Pullover

saint james striped pullover

If you had to build a wardrobe of timeless classics, a nautical striped sweater from Saint-James would have to be in that closet. They are to Breton stripes as Sperry is to top siders and Bass Weejuns are to penny loafers.

The company started around 1850 in Saint-James, a commune in on the border of Normandy and Brittany in France. The striped Breton shirt (aka the marinière or matelot) was actually introduced as and act of law in 1858 to help in the identification of French sailors and Saint-James specialized in making these sweaters for sailors. Coco Chanel popularized this working class garment with her 1917 Nautical Collection. By the 1930s the sweater was a staple of the San Tropez set and later became synonymous with artist such as Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.

In short, this style of pullover has entered the clothing canon.

I found my Saint-James pullover a couple of years ago at the Value Village. And even though nautical looks are usually associated with summer, I wear mine all year-long. It’s comfy and chic and I’m pretty sure it will last forever.