Coco Chanel first introduced the “marinière” t-shirt in the feminine fashion in 1917 at her shop in Deauville, France. And since then it never went out of fashion. Women all over the world have adopted this chic, iconic look, and designers started re-creating the stripes in different cuts for their runway looks, making from the “marinière” one of the most important trends in the fashion industry.

How to wear sailor stripes?

Even if there are a few rules you must follow when adopting this style, in general you can play with shades and accessories in order to create your own personal style. Stripes represent the special element that will always differentiate this trend from the others. Even if the original top has blue stripes against a white background, along the years colors became more varied, from black and red to more colorful, modern interpretations. Designers reinterpreted the sailor t-shirt in every shape and form including sequins and shoulder pads. The advantage of the “marinière” is that it can be androgynous, feminine or masculine depending on one’s style.

Generally speaking, a sailor t-shirt goes well with a pair of jeans. Take a pair of dark washed slim jeans, ballet flats, gladiator sandals or derbies. Accessorize your look with a vintage bag and sunglasses. If you look for a bit of glam touch, go for red lips or navy smokey eyes.

Rock style. For a rock festival look, wear a sailor t-shirt with denim shorts and wellies like Kate Moss. Instead of the wellies you can wear high-heeled derbies. Add a shoulder bag and you have a great look, easy to wear in any occasion.

Masculine. For a more laid back look, wear it with your boyfriend jeans or with a pair of dark skinny jeans and flashy derbies, and accessorize it with a raffia braid hat.

Romantic look. If you are more the bohème type of girl rather than a boyish one, a navy chiffon skirt will totally match your style. Try a mini-skirt and high-heels, and retro sunglasses. For a more casual, yet sexy look, wear a “marinière” with red stripes, a pair of jeans and high-heeled clogs. Don’t forget to accessorize everything with a shoulder bag.

Classy look. For a more chic and elegant look choose crop pants and derbies. You can also wear a pair of white trousers and still look great.

For a night out it can be easily matched with a blazer, a pair of jeans and high-heels. If you look for a more glamorous style, try the sailor-striped dress, which you can wear it with high-heels and a colored bag.

Brigitte Bardot transformed this sailor striped t-shirt in an icon. So if you want to get a Brigitte Bardot look, wear the “marinière” with a pair of jeans, gladiators and as a final touch put a scarf in your hair.

As for the original “marinière”, which is a bit more longer, this can be perfectly matched with a pair of leggings.

Because it’s a classic piece, don’t hesitate playing with it, and be bold. Try different combinations, such mixing it with other type of prints or squares. Add some dots and accessories in order to complete your sailor look.


If you want to stick to the French look, pick only blue stripes against a white background

Make sure not to wear more than one single item sailor style at a time. You don’t need to go for the overall look.

Sailor striped blouses can be easily matched with a pair of white pants or a white skirt made from a light fabric so you feel comfortable when it’s too hot outside.

A bag in the sailor style can be matched with a striped belt, a scarf or a pair of flats in the same trend.

For a weekend look, wear a sailor t-shirt with shorts and a pair of converses.

For a sensual look, wear a more loose “marinière” top, revealing discretely a part of your shoulder.