la marinière

Going to the library on Saturdays has become a family ritual. They have a great selection of DVDs so I watched a few films this weekend. One of them was Coco Avant Chanel (2009), starring Audrey Tautou. It was only available with Dutch subtitles, which have little meaning to me, so I simply enjoyed it in French, understanding maybe every 50th word while taking in the mise en scène. The film is pretty straightforward and if you know Coco Chanel's story there is nothing in it that surprises you.

I also watched To Catch a Thief (1955). I was under the Ada-of-Classiq influence, as I call it, when I borrowed that one. She once wrote a post on the costumes of the film, with beautiful photos of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, and I've been meaning to watch it again ever since.

These two films have something in common. Okay, they have a lot in common, amazing clothes, beautiful scenery, etc., but I'm talking about the Breton shirt – la marinière as the French call it. It's an essential piece in one's wardrobe, you simply cannot go wrong with it. You may not know that the marinière was originally created for the French navy, before the fishermen and sailors began wearing it. It was then Coco Chanel who adapted the look and made it classic.

So, the next time you find yourself trying on a top that becomes out of style almost the minute you walk out the shop, abandon the idea and go get yourself a classic marinière instead. Choose one of good quality because you'll be wearing it for years!