French Men Style: How To Dress Like A Parisian Man
You may have heard reference to what is being called “French guy style”; the new name given to any gentleman with a basic understanding of how to adorn their limbs.
French guy style is about more than just the pieces one wears; it’s about how one wears them, and the styling choices made in the pursuit of the perfect outfit.
Paris, being the fashionable epicenter that it is, has left little room for a man who can’t dress to be out and about in public. Consequently, walking the city streets can be a little distracting — in the best possible way. You’ll see what I mean.
Denim on Leather
Whether the French or the Americas donned the denim on leather look first is a simple case of the chicken and the egg. What truly matters is who did it better, and in this case the French win by a long shot.
Perfectly fitted denim jeans, and a leather bomber, make for a look suitable throughout autumn, winter and spring. There is no window of opportunity when it comes to this specific Parisian look; it is suitable to wear so long as there is even the slightest chill in the air.
Blue jeans work fine, but you’ll find most Parisian men opt for the black jean duo, keeping a monochromatic aesthetic by adding a crisp white t-shirt under the jacket, or all black from head to toe with a black turtle neck shirt instead.
It’s very easy to achieve the sophistication of a Frenchman by investing in a few statement pieces that’s serve the rest of your wardrobe year round.
Layering is a big part of the Parisian look, so having a range of quality scarves and hats is a fashion must. It’s common misconception that the beret is an accessory for Parisian women only; this is untrue, and every true Parisian knows that the beret is, in fact, a unisex delight.
Most trendy Frenchmen wouldn’t be caught dead with jewelry such as a nose, eyebrow, or lip ring. However the French are partial to a statement ring, bracelet or even odd understated earring (this is very much dependent on the rest of your outfit, though!).
Sunglasses are a necessity when navigating the streets of Paris. Keep them dark (frame and lens), and never attached them to those chains that hang around your neck! In the summer, abandon thick scarves for patterned silk ones that tie neatly (air hostess-style) around one’s Adam’s apple.
A Well-Tailored Suit
Even Parisian men who don’t buy into the dos and don’s of French fashion will agree that no man’s wardrobe is complete without a suit (ideally three piece) that is perfectly tailored to the body of the wearer.
For decades, French fashion houses have been in pursuit of the perfect suit for a man, and consequently the best minds for the job now reside in Paris, dedicating their days to kitting out people from far and wide with a custom-tailored garment to last a life time.
What you need to know is this: wearing a suit on the stress of Paris is no less common that wearing sneakers, track pants and a hoodie. A suit is a uniform in the French capital, and there are no implications as to why one may be wearing one. Perhaps he is headed to a serious meeting, yes. Or perhaps en route to a deceased loved one funeral. He could also be on a quick mission for a croissant; or even just out for a walk between museums.
A suit is suitable… all day, every day.
The Perfect Shoes
There is perhaps no part of a Parisian man’s outfit that is more thought about than that of his shoes. Shoes say a lot about a person in France; they act as a window into the world, and social status, of the individual in question. Which is an extremely judgmental bubble in which to live, yes, but fortunately good shoes aren’t that hard to get right.
If you want to dress like a true Parisian, it’s best to opt for two pairs of shoes that travel around with you; one black, and one brown. They should be well-made out of quality materials; name brand is not as important as structure.
Similarly, one should have a pair of understated sneakers on hand as well. Parisian’s do value comfort, and acknowledge that there are instances when a good sneaker is necessary. Avoid those bright, obnoxious colors that Americans like to wear; in Paris, a sneaker should be neutral or monochromatic.
Designers Over Logos
This particular point carries through to women’s fashion in Paris as well: logos are a no go!
Yes, Parisians love a big name designer to have made their clothing; they appreciate the art of fashion and the creative process that occurs in order for these garments to be brought into existence. That being said, Parisians feel no need for others to know who made their clothing with juts one look.
Most French designers include very small labels on each garment where their branding is vaguely presented. You’ll very rarely find fashion houses like Dior or Hermes overtly printing their logos down the front of their garments.
Chanel are probably the only Parisian brand that get away with announcing their fashion house on actual garments. In the eyes of most Parisians, Chanel can do no wrong.