Armor-Lux was founded by Walter Hubacher in 1938 under the name "The Hosiery d'Armor." In their early years they specialised in the production of underwear, but business came to a bit of a standstill with the outbreak of World War II. They got things moving once again in 1945 when materials became more easily available and changed direction into clothing for sailors and fisherman, made from both cotton and wool.

The breton shirt as we know it today was introduced prior to the 1858 Act Of France, which introduced the navy and white striped top as the uniform for French Navy seaman in Brittany. Originally known as marinière or matzot, the shirt featured 21 stripes, one for each of Napolean's victories. The shirt later became a general working mariner garment throughout France, as the stripes made it easier to spot in the waves.

The shirt was first introduced to the fashion world by Coco Chanel in her nautical collection in 1917 and was later made popular by Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Andy Warhol, Audrey Hepburn, and James Dean.