RL Style Guide

RL Classics - The Nautical Stripe
RL Classics - The Nautical Stripe
RL Classics - The Nautical Stripe

Declared part of the French Navy’s standard issue by the 1858 Act of France, the navy-and-white-striped shirt made it easier to spot sailors who fell overboard. In the century since, the so-named nautical stripe has exhibited some survival skills of its own. Its simple design has a beauty and a utility that make it the perfect contrast to more luxe statements—next to bolder hues and jewelry, the stripe is practically spare.

RL Classics - The Nautical Stripe
RL Classics - The Nautical Stripe

The nautical stripe has become synonymous with legends as diverse as Pablo Picasso and Brigitte Bardot. Black-and-white photos of Beat poets and Left Bank starlets imbue the striped shirt with chic insouciance, and, of course, its ubiquity on yacht decks connotes jet-set glamour. But it is not just the province of the globetrotting avant-garde. Emblazoned on swimwear, handbags and, as always, the simple cotton tee, the nautical stripe evokes a sporty, all-American elegance that works year-round, at sea or on land. Preppy with a blue blazer or boldly inventive on an evening gown, it is timeless yet modern. It is a testament to the nautical stripe’s enduring appeal that season after season it reappears as bright as ever, making it a true RL Classic.