Friday, September 10, 2010

oh for a rowboat by the sea

what is it about breton tops that has everyone (including me) so fixated? Whatever it is, I have to say, it's been surprisingly difficult for me to find one I really like, especially seeing as every shop I can think of is doing them!

So what, you ask, could possibly be the problem? Just waltz into Zara/Topshop/Mango/etc. and grab one. But ah... there's the rub - a lot of these tops are either too thick for the climate here (more like thermal weight tees) or too thin and cheap looking. I did manage to pick up two lovely striped tees from the Stella McCartney collection for Gap kids, but cos it was a kids collection the colours are really bright so aren't quite perfect (really lovely texture though!). Oh and then I found a lovely couple of tops from A.P.C, but they were about US$120 each... for a t-shirt!

So I took my search online... now as usual, J.Crew and Madewell have come to my rescue.... they have such a lovely collection of breton tops, it's actually hard to choose only one! My favourite so far are the ones from their collab with saint james, which has been making breton tops for French sailors since 1889! Doesn't get much more authentic than that. Now if only I could figure out how thick these are going to be.....
The pic at the top of this post is one of the saint james ones... the saint james miniquiers 10 tee. It's slightly cheaper than the other saint james piece they have on offer, but I can't quite figure out why. Maybe it's the material? Also it only comes in red and white which is a bit of a pain... I quite like it, but feel like navy or black and white is more classic?

Now this one could just be the perfect piece. Right colour, right degree of slouchy-ness, really cute styling.... :)
Now the trouble with this top, is that once you've seen the other two, you look at this and are kinda "meh" about it. Could also be the grumpy looking model.... it's a whole lot cheaper though! maybe that's why she's grumpy....

Arrgh... I'd completely forgotten how J.Crew's pics are all in bitmap.... and I haven't figured out yet how to post those here, so I guess I'm going to have to just talk about them. Fortunately, there's only really one that isn't similiarly represented at Madewell - their vintage banteau striped top... this has been out a while and I considered it some time back when I first started looking for the perfect breton top, but in the end had to discard it cos it seems to have been made of a heavier knit (can't take any credit for sleuthing here - they actually said so). The thing I'm really trying to figure out though, is whether their st james tee is exactly the same as the Madewell one or not. Cos theirs is meant to be a unisex one, and there's no model pic, but the price and description is exactly the same as the one at Madewell. Now that could take a bit of sleuthing...
Final gripe: if their shipping wasn't so cursedly expensive, I'd probably have bought a few by now to try! Why can't retailers understand that online shopping should have as few barriers to entry as possible? I guess the fact that they're a big bricks and mortar chain has a lot to do with this... ugh.

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