Ah, the humble Breton top. A style classic, wardrobe staple and perennial buy that just never gets old. Even when you have a stash of about thirty in your collection, there’s always room for more. Like a good cup of tea or your fave pair of slippers, this striped wonder is achingly easy and comfortable and on those tricky ‘nothing to wear’ days, breton tops never let you down. But where to start when nearly every high street store, boutique brand and designer label offers their own take on the breton top? It’s a stripe-minefield out there, and that’s why I’ve edited down the ultimate style finds and new launches hitting stores, the ones every fashion editor is secretly snapping up.

Whether the traditional sailor, slogan decorated or embellished finish is for you, there’s so much choice out there when it comes to breton tops for autumn/winter 2016. Boden – the queen of breton – will always be a safe bet. I’ve gone through countless of their striped wonders over the years, the quality is great and they wash really well. Currently selling around 2000 units of their Long Sleeve Breton a week – now that’s a lot of stripes – the most popular colours include denim marl and classic navy. “The internal pops of colour are very unique to us and one of the things our customers love about the style,” – Team Boden. They know breton design inside out, and have been are the forefront of striped tops for years. Keep an eye out for extra special details like lace up shoulders, glitter spots and this Christmas bauble-adorned style, coming November.

Gap is a dead cert for breton perfection. The fabrics are always light and fluid, or sturdy and cosy for ultimate comfort. You can find longer (bum-covering) lengths, plus tall and petite fits, alongside the regular range.

Head to Joules for hard-wearing, traditional breton tops you’ll cherish for years to come. The design team puts a huge emphasis on luxurious fabrics and cut, meaning you’ll always get the most flattering shapes and toughest (yet softest) fabrics. Each season you’ll find fun injections like metallic additions and contrasting piping on offer, these little suprises will elevate your breton look in seconds.

Of course when discussing breton it wouldn’t be right to ignore the go-to French brands. Petit Bateau’s classic navy and red Marinieres are often tweaked with the addition of buttoned shoulders, contrasting colours and kitsch logos.

La Redoute will always come up trumps in the fun stakes – this Merci Beau Coup breton t-shirt being a prime example. Check in regularly for striped updaters that’ll instantly pep up your collection.

How To Style Your Breton Tops

Keep things off-duty cosy with relaxed denim and a statement cardigan. Extra chunky knit finishes, cocoon shapes, bold tones and longer lengths will really elevate a breton.

Layer a thermal vest underneath (or even try a polo neck when it’s really chilly) to autumn-proof your breton. Clashing a leopard print accessory with these red stripes creates great contrast.

Lovers of stripes, have you got a striped shirt in your collection too? Here’s why it should be your next purchase.