Between the Lines: The Story of Our French Sailor’s Shirt

The French sailor’s shirt began as a tribute. The original design boasted 21 blue and white stripes, one for each of Napoleon’s victories. Initially, only sailors stationed in the Brittany region wore the shirts but when they discovered that the stripes made it easier to spot men who had fallen overboard, the entire French Navy adopted them in 1858.

French Sailor's Shirts

So simple, yet so distinctive.

Over the years, this nautical shirt has become a true classic. We first introduced our French Sailor’s Shirt in 1966. Over 45 years later, we continue to offer the original design in long-staple Peruvian cotton. During that time, we’ve updated the fit and added more styles and colors along the way, but always carefully maintained the classic elements of the original.

L.L.Bean French Sailor's Shirt

Whichever style you choose, you’ll love these shirts, season after season.

Our customers love the timeless designs and nautical appeal of these shirts, giving them a five-star rating in over 1,000 customers reviews. The flattering styles and mariner stripes span generations, making them popular with mothers and daughters alike.

French Sailor's Shirts from L.L.Bean

We guarantee you’ll love these shirts, season after season. Which style is your favorite?


Comments (12)

  1. Carol Ardis | March 4, 2014 | 11:25 pm

    really, really, classy casual shirt for almost any event. How much?

  2. sherril h. | March 8, 2014 | 1:48 pm

    these shirts are great. I also liked the zippered hoodies. Will you be carrying them again? They all wear well, are made of soft, durable material, really are my favorite hoodies.

    • Laurie | L.L.Bean | March 10, 2014 | 10:51 am

      Hi Sherril – Thanks for sharing your comments. No plans to offer the French Sailor Shirt in a hooded version, but I will share your request with our product developers. Thanks ^LB

  3. Rita Fierro | March 17, 2014 | 4:48 pm

    Hi , I have several of LLBeans sailor shirts . The fabric is substantial and a very good quality . I am packing these shirts for a cruise . They look great with denim . I do wish they were a bit longer .

    • Laurie | L.L.Bean | March 19, 2014 | 9:23 am

      Hi Rita – Thanks for sharing your comments. I’ll be sure to share your request for longer shirts with our product developers. Best, ^LB

  4. Genie | March 19, 2014 | 7:34 am

    My high school cheerleading squad wore this sailor’s shirt with maroon strips to go with our maroon wool skirts in 1966. I still have it!

    • Laurie | L.L.Bean | March 20, 2014 | 11:16 am

      Hi Genie – What a great memory! Thanks for sharing. :) ^LB

  5. Allyson | March 21, 2014 | 7:44 pm

    Do you have any plans to bring back the regular crew neck, long-sleeved version of the French Sailor Shirt?

    • Laurie | L.L.Bean | March 24, 2014 | 1:36 pm

      Hi Allyson – Thanks for sharing your comments. I have forwarded your request for a crew neck, long sleeve version of the French Sailor Shirt to our product developers. Best, ^LB

  6. Patricia Cousins | March 24, 2014 | 5:26 am

    I love the colors and can’t wait to try one on!

    • Laurie | L.L.Bean | March 24, 2014 | 1:35 pm

      Hi Patricia – Thanks for sharing your comments. ^LB

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