Stripes are so French. The original breton striped shirt came with 21 stripes on it and each stripe functioned as a numerical totem that tallied Napoleon’s militant victories. Shortly following the 1858 Act of France, the navy and white striped knitted shirt was introduced as the uniform for all of the French Navy. It was't until 1917, when Coco Chanel introduced the design to the fashion world through her nautical collection that the shirt made its first foray into the sartorial vernacular. Then came the Audrey Hepburns and Brigitte Bardots of the world who wore the striped shirt so effortlessly that we all had to have one (or five).