Introduction To French Menswear
Long ago, before the terrible times of drop-crotch jeans and slogan t-shirts, lived a roguish but utterly charming breed that survived on the streets of Paris. Born without the luxury of a silver spoon, these gents always managed to traverse the wrong side of the tracks as they wooed women, ran from the authorities and smoked lots and lots (and lots) of roll-up cigarettes.
Think rugged, think workwear, think understated – and you’re almost halfway there. Nailing the Parisian laid back look requires plenty of simplicity, which is probably why I’m drawn to it so much. For me, in that age old much-discussed brawl, timeless classics always come out on top.
Here are some recent campaigns that have a similar aesthetic to what we are trying to achieve today. Modernised for the current season, you can take inspiration and ideas from both old and new when creating your own take on the look. Also remember that just because the roots of this style are in work wear, it doesn’t mean you can’t smarten the look up with a well considered blazer or a pair of trousers:
So, there you have it, everything you need to know about adding a stylish edge to your Parisian alleycat look. There are plenty of modern interpretations of 60s staple pieces that retain a classic feel, and you don’t need a Rosetta Stone CD to make you feel/look/embody the Parisian working class hero.
I can’t guarantee cheap bottles of red wine, an immediate adeptness at rolling cigarettes or a double crossing femme fatale, but there’s no harm in dressing like these are everyday parts of your colourful life. In fact, quite the opposite; the bad man of the silver screen has always been the cool man.