Round 2 for Paris fashion – this one’s for the boys! Parisian guys in their 20s dress pretty similar to guys in Seattle, but there are a few tweaks that are pretty “French.” Like I said, there isn’t any way that I could all encompass everything a city of millions wears, but these are the trends that I’m noticing while I’m walking the streets of Paris on a day to day basis. So here we go, gentlemen!
1. Scarves: Guys and dolls alike all rock scarves in France. Whether it’s a earth tone neutral, a subtle print or a pop of color, the scarf is something you hardly ever leave the house without. There are several ways one can tie a scarf, gentlemen – for further instructions, though, I refer you to one of my personal favorite websites: The Art Of Manliness.
2. Shoes: As far as shoes goes, the key is to make sure they’re of good quality and well made. Whether they’re a sneaker, a dress shoe (oh my word – there are some beautiful dress shoes in this country) or a pair of leather boots, just make sure they’re in great condition (that doesn’t mean new, it means shined, oiled etc.). Grubby is not the way of the Parisian man.
3. Shirts: Graphic t-shirts are acceptable, if you’re mixing them with some nice jeans, but the print needs to be a high quality and have some kind of illustrative narrative. Use your intuition when you’re choosing these tees! Make sure they aren’t screaming for attention, but are commanding it nonetheless. Remember: “Try your best without looking like you ever tried.” *You get extra points if you grab one with an “ironic” American flag on it.
4. Sweaters: Sweaters are a staple of your wardrobe that you’re able to wear year after year. Not only are they a trendy choice, but can add some patterns to your wardrobe. Don’t look for your Bill Cosby inspired soulmate, though (as charming as that might sound) – grab that pattern in a neutral charcoal or beige. Another great option is a pop of color such as a solid red or turquoise.
5. Turtlenecks: Yep. It’s on here. You knew it was coming. French men are not afraid of turtlenecks, and they wear them proudly. Whether this lightweight style buddy is standing alone as your outfit top, or it’s matched with a sweater over it, you’ll be well on your way to dressing like a Parisian with a couple of these in your wardrobe.
6. Button-ups: First things first: Grab a pink one. As with the turtleneck, you must not be afraid to sport the pink shirt if you’re going to rock the Parisian style. Other great button-ups can include denim, and smaller prints and patterns.
7. Coats: Peacoats right now are pretty popular, the key is to have them fit like a glove. Oversized is not an option. Colors are generally dark blue, black or gray. The leather jacket (of course) is a must have for your wardrobe, but we’re not talking biker tasseled vintage model. Again, you might have to throw down some cash to get the right fit, but the nice thing about leather is that once you commit it’s until death do you part.
8. Blazer: Tastefully mixing business wear and casual wear is a trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. The “tasteful” part means making sure your pants, jeans though they may be, are fitted and pull together your outfit, rather than distracting from it. And speaking of pants…
9. Pants: Go ahead and stick with a jean, but why not try a pop of color with that jean!? Red? Turquoise? Green? One of each? Colored jeans are definitely a thing, although I’m seeing them a little less now, while they seemed to be more popular a few months ago. If you’re not up for the colored jean, you can grab a dark wash pair but it is going to need to be fitted. And if you’re REALLY daring, grab a pair of skinny jeans – no, not paint on tight, but just a bit tighter than a straight leg. You’re not trying to mimic your high school emo days.
10. Bags: Messenger bags, canvas or leather are THE thing to have. Parisian men carry bags a lot more than I’m used to seeing in the U.S., but why shouldn’t they!? Men have things to carry, right? So why not have a great briefcase style handbag or crossover bag to carry them!
Notice some other Paris mens trends that I’ve missed? Write them below in the comments box!