Kate Middleton Showcases the Everlasting Appeal of Breton Stripes

The French staple is a classic for a reason.

Kate Middleon wears a Breton stripe sweater and a Barbour rain jacket.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Since her coronation in 2011, Princess Catherine has established herself to be quite the fashion icon. Her stunning wedding dress created by Sarah Burton for Alexander Mcqueen is destined to go down in fashion history. Then there are her more casual looks, which are some of Kate Middleton’s best fashion moments: sundresses teamed with relaxed blazers and elevated tee shirts paired with dark-wash denim. And if anyone knows a thing or two about looking as put together as possible while in jeans and a sweater, it's her. Case in point: Middleton just wore a striped sweater and dark-wash denim as an accessible yet timeless fall outfit.

The royal wore the minimal and laidback outfit while attending a “Dadvengers” meeting, a community that supports fathers and their sons. She paired her navy and white striped Erdem sweater with dark-wash jeans by Mother and brown Chelsea boots by Reiss. She layered the look with a waxed cotton rain jacket from Barbour (a long-time royal favorite), accessorized with dainty gold hoops, and dressed up her hair in beach-y curls.

Kate Middleton wears striped Breton sweater and Barbour rain jacket.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Now, Kate’s sweater isn’t just any sweater; it’s a Breton stripe sweater whose popularity dates back to 1858. You might ask, “What’s so special about a striped sweater?” In that case, you’re in for a bit of fashion history: The Breton stripe began as a part of the uniform for the French Navy. Traditionally, there are supposed to be 21 total stripes in a blue and navy colorway, a nod to Napolean’s victories. Then, in the ‘50s, the top really took off when worn by the likes of Brigitte Bardot. Now, it’s a core essential to French fashion, an everlasting aesthetic we all know and love. 

There are about a million different ways to style the striped top. With a mini-skirt and knee-high boots, jeans and loafers, trousers and ballet flats—the styling opportunities are endless. But first you’ll need to invest in a striped sweater. Thankfully, they aren’t going out of style anytime soon.

Although the Erdem sweater Middleton wore is sold out, we’ve found almost exact options from brands like Toteme and La Ligne, both brands known for their solid knitwear selection. Plus, with the upcoming holidays, they make for an excellent gift for the fashion lover in your life.

Shop our Kate-inspired Breton stripe sweater picks, below.

Shop Kate Middleton's Striped Sweater

Kaitlin Clapinski
Fashion Writer

Kaitlin is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer specializing in fashion, beauty, and culture. Her work is also featured in Editorialist, The Everygirl, Bustle, The Zoe Report, and i-D Magazine.