FIMTSO: The Mariner Shirt

Ever since Coco Chanel made it cool to look like a gondolier I’ve been collecting Breton or mariner shirts. A fashion editor in one of my favorite magazines once wrote that women over the age of 30 should stop wearing stripes, especially the horizontal kind. I was past 30 when I read that and stored it in the back of my fashion brain, but look

…so basically, (a) I don’t really listen to advice, and (b) I just can’t seem to get over tuxedo or mariner shirts. Luckily the fashion gods agree with me about the latter this spring/summer. The nautical striped shirts are everywhere you look, at all price points.

And since my entry started with a reference to my favorite French designer, just for fun, the title for today’s FIMTSO episode is Une Semaine à Paris (a week in Paris). It is a capsule of how I would pack around one key item for a trip that involves business and play and multiple weather possibilities.

Test Item:
KORS by Michael Kors black/white mariner lightweight pullover sweater.

Look 1: Since the fantasy here involves Paris, let’s bring out the good stuff. For a business meeting I would pair the top with the Chanel wool tweed skirt from their 09 Moscou Paris collection. Black patent Manolos finish the look.

Look 2: That skirt comes with a matching jacket and if I needed to, I would wear it with the look above. But let’s say my meeting spills over into dinner and I want to not look so Nancy-Reagan-formal–I’d swap out the skirt for a pair of black 7 For All Mankind skinny jeans. But since we are in Paris, I’d keep the heels for dinner (for some reason my French sounds better when I am tottering in cute shoes!):

Look 3: Let’s say on the third day of my trip Karl Lagerfeld announces to the world that I am his latest muse and must immediately make my way to 31 rue cambon before my fantasy expires. After I recover from my fainting spell, I consider putting on my Chanel ballgown, but no, I’m here to represent the All-American casual look. So I’d slip the top under the 09A black tweed tunic and pair it with a pair of white palazzo pants. White palazzo pants? Pourquoi pas? I’m sure to wear my high heels (see what I wrote above) and red classic flap just to add a pop of color:

Errr, if I had four minutes of face time with KL, why would I be wearing a shirt that I’d already worn two days in a row already? Because, dear readers, in one’s fantasy there’s no room for logic or common sense. But anyway…let’s continue with this episode, shall we?

Look 4: On the last day of my week I spend the morning at the musée Picasso followed by an afternoon in old book stores. Sigh, the idea of this is making me drool already. I’d want to dress comfortably so all I need with the top is a pair of my Ann Taylor Loft denim sailor pants. Sidebar: can you believe I only paid $18 for these white jeans? And yes, Imelda here did buy two pairs. An Alexander McQueen chiffon scarf completes my look; I’d probably wear some black sandals or white leather Converse sneakers:

Look 5: If for any reason Paris is chilly and hazy on my trip, I’d forgo the white pants in Look 4 for Hudson jeans instead. My 07A peacoat rounds out my nautical theme. And the red flap is still appropriate for work or play (though I would not wear the red purse with the red suit above):

So this episode begs the question…just what exactly would I wear to meet Kaiser Karl? Maybe we can visit that scenario in a future blog entry. I welcome all suggestions!


  1. larkie

    thanks ladies! these fimtso challenges are quite fun to do. but speaking of the mariner tops, my favorite one from this season has been the $38 grey/white jcrew one. i went back to look for their other color scheme but it’s sold out now. grrrrr

  2. shoogrrl

    Great combination of ensembles, Larkie! I’ve been searching for an updated mariner search for myself too, and I’m well past 30. 🙂

  3. Maria

    L- you are the epitome of class!!!! All the looks work so well together…….now I need to buy a mariner shirt …LOL…….

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