Each summer there are certain de rigeur items you see on people that play over and over and over. It’s the flipflop. The leggings. The off the shoulder come hither top on too many women. The white sneaker… If you walk around NYC enough you’ll catch most every trend there is. You can reject them all and go naked, or you can parse your way through and settle on what works for you. Just use a bit of imagination…
I look for the unexpected. French sailor shirts are the perfect example. They have become so ubiquitous that you can find them at the Gap, Uniqlo and on the lines of almost every self respecting sportswear line on the planet. It’s a good shape that works on everyone. The bateau neckline cuts straight across from shoulder to shoulder with horizontal stripes contrasting a solid ground rest on a generous boxy shape that looks good loose or fitted depending on the body.
What I like best is to find the most unexpected stripe that makes you stop and think. Red, navy, white and black get lots of play. The shirts that stopped me dead were Meridien Moderne in a bright green stripe on a cream ground and a taupe stripe on a black ground from the French company Saint James. Saint James is the grand daddy of sailor shirt makers. For all intents and purposes they’re the originator and it’s therefore logical that the advances in the development of the ultimate sailor stripe would come from them.
Saint James’ sailor stripes cost a bit more than most but are well worth it. When other versions of lesser quality have shrunken and faded with time, these shirts transcend fashion. When you look closely you can see they’re much more about style.