Tag Archives: Breton stripes

My Inner French Girl

Ever since I was a little girl I have been enamored with all things French.  In elementary school I bought French picture-book dictionaries with my allowance money and wore berets to school until my classmates made fun of me (kids can be SO cruel!).  I took French language classes from the 6th grade through high school, and I even sat for the dreaded AP French exam, even though we all knew we were going to bomb it.

Then in college I took five French language courses, even though a minor only required four.  The classes ranged from French Literature to Business French and everything in between.  For my fellow accounting nerds out there, did you know that in France their balance sheet is flip-flopped?  (Assets are listed on the right!)  I have always dreamed of visiting Paris, and eventually was able to take a trip of a lifetime to France last summer for our honeymoon, which I’ve traced below for you on the map below.


I dream about returning to France, for more than just a vacation. Paris & Bordeaux would be great cities to live in, but I loved Brittany and Cannes. too!  But because I can’t move to France, I try to picture myself there by reading as many French books and travel memoirs that I can get my hands on.  You can see some of them listed here.

One of my favorites style books is Ines de la Fressange’s Parisian Chic.  Not only does her gorgeous daughter model in the pictures, but she gives so many tips and tricks to achieve your own inner French style from clothing and makeup suggestions to teeth cleaning tips. A smile is your greatest accessory, after all!   But she’s not just about personal style and fashion; she has a section in the book about home decor, restaurants, hotels, cafes, hair salons, museums, bookstores and more!

Sadly, I have no current plans to return to France anytime soon. So until I do make some plans, I will just have to channel my inner French girl here in the States with my Breton stripes, red lipstick, and all my beloved French books.

A bientôt! 

Breton Stripes


My love for stripes is no secret. And if you look in my closet you will see that I have more striped shirts and dresses than any other color/print.  Pink stripes, red stripes, black stripes.  I own them all and think of them more as “neutrals” than anything else!  But my favorite shirts are the classic navy and white Breton or marinière stripes.  Once the uniforms for the navy seamen in Brittany, France, the Breton striped shirt is my new uniform.  And for the best of the Breton stripes you must turn to Saint James, the iconic brand that dates back to the 1850s and is still made in France today.  The original Breton striped shirt featured 21 stripes—one of each of Napoleon’s victories!

saint james

Clockwise from top left:   Black / Navy / Socks / Red / Bright Blue / Light Blue

All these nautical stripes are making me long for France.  Or maybe a nice hot summer day on a boat!  Spring come fast!