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I had planned on posting this before my wisdom teeth surgery a month ago, and even though all the swelling is gone and life has regained a sense of normalcy, I have been putting it off due to a resurgence of warm weather. Thankfully, Kate very helpfully wore the very subject of this RepliKate the other day, which made this post very timely.

At her first solo engagement since giving birth to baby George three months ago, Kate took part in a sports day on Friday in support of SportsAid, her newest charity patronage, which encourages kids to get involved in sports and one day even make it to the Olympics. (Since William, Kate, and Harry were ambassadors for Team GB last year, Kate’s patronage makes a lot of sense.)

Kate wore a Breton stripe top, a classic style that goes all the way back to the French navy in the 1850s. Sailors in Brittany (hence the name “Breton stripe”) would wear striped sweaters because the pattern would be easy to spot amongst the waves if one of them fell overboard. It spread to other mariners in Brittany, and then to the workers. Coco Chanel introduced it to her fashion line in 1917, creating a style staple that continues to be popular even today.

I found my top at Forever 21 for $10. If this particular variation doesn’t float your boat (no pun intended), they offer a few other versions.

Kate paired her top with a navy blazer and skinny-fit navy trousers. I’m wearing mine with American Eagle Artist cropped jeans (normally out of my price range, but they were having a sale) and a black blazer which I got at Sears. (This one has a slimmer fit than the Mossimo blazer I’ve worn in previous RepliKates.) And since Kate wore her standby cork wedges (and played volleyball in them), I am also wearing mine. (For the record, I can barely play volleyball in sneakers – unlike Kate, I am not very sporty.)

Kate can be seen here wearing virtually the same outfit to see Zara Phillips compete in Show Jumping during the 2012 Olympics. Photo by 木木 曉儀 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Photo by me.

Breton stripes are effortlessly cool and extremely versatile. I like to wear mine in a preppy style, but that’s because I’m a preppy person. A quick search online offers as many looks as you could wish.