Julia Leach: Take a Chance

The ultimate striped T.


The striped sailor T has long been a wardrobe basic for the innately stylish, sported by everyone from Jane Birkin and James Dean to Pablo Picasso and Patti Smith. “It represents a sense of simplicity and adventure,” says designer Julia Leach, whose new line, Chance, was inspired by a particularly perfect version of the garment, which she spotted in a Paris vintage shop. “I saw it as an anchor for a whole brand.” Named after Peter Sellers’s character in Being There—a man whose sense of optimism Leach finds refreshing—Chance is filled with Eurocentric classics that evoke the good life: espadrilles, chambray button-downs, gauzy linen scarves, and, of course, striped T’s, which Leach, who was the creative director at Kate Spade for more than a decade, has reimagined in an array of cuts and colors. Worn with wide-leg jeans and wedges, the shirts look as right today as they did on Birkin back in the Seventies (

Leach: Raegan Glazner; shirt: courtesy of Chance