The Saint James « mariniere », a timeless wardrobe
Picasso, James Dean, Andy Warhol, Karl Lagerfeld, Johnny Depp, they all worn the iconic French Saint James striped top or “marinière”.
St. James is one of the oldest French fashion brands. For over 125 years Saint James has been making some of the favorite garments of professional sailors to fashion conscious consumers, from Tokyo to New York, and all around the world.
Saint James has a great history going back to the 19th century. At the time, the Breton Fisherman Sweater was designed to protect fishermen from the elements during long days and nights at sea. It became the trademark apparel of the sailor.
The Saint James marinière became an official uniform of the French Navy in 1858. According to old lore from Brittany, the 21 stripes each correspond to a naval victory of Napoleon’s French fleet against the British. Another legend says that the stripped pattern was designed to help spot an overboard sailor.
Renowned for the quality of its garments as well as the attention paid to every detail, the company’s reputation was earned thanks to the careful attention given to every step of the manufacturing process, as well as the time spent transferring each craftsman’s know-how to a new generation.
Still today, the production is made in France, in the small village of Saint James, which is located just by the famous Mont-Saint-Michel – the symbol of the brand.
So how to choose your Marinière? Here is a little guide to help you, but don’t worry, each marinière is iconic.