While organizing my closet this weekend, I developed a whole new self-awareness of yet another obsession.... The nautical stripe. I have approximately 12 nautical striped tees. So, there you have it- I am a sucker for nautical. If we were ever to have a boy I was set on a nautical room- wide navy and white stripes, boat prints, nautical knots-- you name it. I always knew that I loved this maritime gem, but this got me to thinking.... so did my mother. I guess this anchor didn't fall very far from the boat.
So, I know I am not alone in my love for this perennial favorite, but how many of us know the history behind it?
In 1858, the Act of France introduced St. James' Breton Stripe as the official uniform for the French Navy.
After many visits to France (and an alleged affair with the Duke of Westminster) the very avant-garde Coco Chanel brought the shirt main-stream in the early 20th century.
Originally the shirt had 21 stripes. One for each of Napoleon’s victories. It was also believed that these stripes helped to locate a sailor if he falls into the sea. As you can see Picasso was a big fan.
The Saint James Company has been located in Lower Normandy, close to Mont Saint-Michel, since 1889. All the pieces are still made in France. As many of you know, some of their items are now being sold at J. Crew.
Over the last century and a half, the nautical stripe has won the hearts of many. This is a timeless pattern that will have you looking ship-shape. There are many options to fit your particular style. And if you feel like going overboard, bring a little nautical stripe into your quarters! Check out the items that made it onto Kiki's List:
1. Striped Knit Blazer- $368
2. Striped Canvas Espadrilles- $95
3. Striped Rug- $168-$594
4. Striped Cotton Jersey Top- $145
5. Karen Bag- $295
6. Pont R Sweater- $190
7. Girls' Kelly Striped Mini Dress- $49.50
8. Striped Pouch Set- $95
9. Hamptons Tee- $23
10. Scarf Rayee- $50
11. Nautical Striped Pilllow- $36
12. Striped Sweater Top- $13.50