By Priya Elan
In a boat shoe and Breton top, you’ll look like either the epitome of springtime style, or an extra in The Pirates Of Penzance
Classic menswear looks tend to have had their sociopolitical undertones smoothed out over the years. Take the Breton top: it was originally a staple of French utilitarian workwear, but it was then co-opted by irony merchants like Andy Warhol, complicated geniuses like Picasso and antiheroes like James Dean. Today, it is about as mass as an item can get, but it still has a flicker of edge for the “dads on the weekend” set.
If the Breton top is still cool, despite overexposure, the boat shoe (which I’m also wearing today) is definitely not. It is, however, omnipresent. With its canvas sole and leather laces, it falls somewhere between a toy shoe and something you’d find in the goodie bag at the Tory party conference.