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The story of the sailor ⚓

The sailor top is an iconic piece of French fashion. This timeless piece is associated with the maritime world and has a rich and fascinating history. In this article, we...

Illustration of the BLEIZEN sailor top worn by a woman on a boat.

The sailor top is an iconic piece of French fashion. This timeless piece is associated with the maritime world and has a rich and fascinating history. In this article, we will explore the history of the sailor top, its meaning and its evolution.

The story of the sailor

The history of the striped sailor top dates back to the 19th century, when French sailors began wearing striped clothing. At the time, stripes made it easier to identify sailors who had fallen at sea, and helped to differentiate themselves from foreign sailors. So it was a security measure.

Sailors then wore blue and white striped tops, with long sleeves to protect themselves from the cold.

The precursors

The sailor top was then popularized by Coco Chanel , a major figure in French fashion, in the 1920s. In 1917, she was inspired by sailor clothing by creating a short-sleeved sailor top for women, which she presented in her Parisian boutique. This sailor top has become a symbol of avant-garde fashion thanks to its practical elegance. Coco Chanel helped popularize the sailor top by wearing it herself, but also by having it worn by personalities of the time such as Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Brigitte Bardot.

As for Jean-Paul Gaultier, he also contributed to popularizing the sailor top. He is famous for using the traditional sailor top in his designs in the 1980s. His famous collaboration with the singer Madonna, where he dressed her in a sailor top during her Blond Ambition tour in 1990, also helped make the sailor top known. in the world.

Gabrielle Chanel in a sailor top
Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel wearing her sailor top


The sailor top is often associated with maritime life and nautical activities. It has also become a symbol of French culture, representing elegance, simplicity and adventure.

The sailor top is a versatile piece that can be worn in many different contexts, whether for a day at the beach or a chic night out on the town.

In addition to this, it became a symbol of gender equality, as it was worn by both men and women.

Evolution of the sailor shirt

For decades, the sailor top has been a staple of French fashion. It is a garment that has undergone many transformations over the years. But what is interesting is that despite all these developments, the sailor top has remained faithful to its identity as a timeless piece.

At Royal Mer, we have a long tradition of creating striped sailor tops. Our stylists are experts in the art of reinventing this classic model using modern materials and shapes while adopting innovative styles.

Each season, we strive to present designs that bring a fresh touch to the sailor top, while remaining true to its roots.

Overlocking operation carried out in our La Regrippière workshop
Oversized striped sailor top in ecru and navy blue.
Magalie women's oversized sailor top
Briac ML men's classic sailor top
Sarah women's short and loose sailor top

We are proud to offer sailor tops for men and women in different cuts and styles. Our timeless models like the Briac for men and Bleizen for women are still very popular, but we also like to create new models like the oversized Magalie sailor top, the short and loose Macha R and Sarah sailor tops, present in our spring-summer 2023 collection.

Photo of a red and white BLEIZEN sailor top worn at the edge of a quay.

In conclusion, the sailor top is a garment that has spanned the centuries and has become a symbol of French fashion. It is versatile, elegant and easy to wear. At Royal Mer, we are proud to continue this tradition by creating superior quality sailor tops that are both timeless and modern. For a touch of style in your wardrobe, here is our selection of Royal Mer sailor tops .


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