I’m not saying for a second that there’s anything wrong with what English men wear (although there are some serious exceptions…) Obviously you DO find lots of very stylish men in London. But they usually and predictably work in fashion, are gay, or are very ‘creative/arty’ (*cough pretentious*) types. Few and far between are normal guys who choose to take an interest in fashion and are bold enough to be a bit adventurous with their look (although apparently they’re not a total urban myth, whatever personal experience may have led you to believe!)
But I found on a day to day basis, Paris’s ‘average Jo’s’ (well, ‘average Pierre’s’) were simply a lot chicer than their English counterparts. They just seem to have that ‘je ne sais quoi?’ that the majority of our boys don’t I suppose.
Anyway, before I make myself anymore unpopular with the male population of Britain, here are a couple of my favourite looks…
He was probably my favourite of the men that I photographed. This could be because of the child on his hip (nothing warms the heart like a bit of father-son bonding, eh?) but as I’m not really much of a baby person, I think my appreciation for this man has more to do with his choice of shorts than the little munchkin he just happens to be carrying.
I love EVERYTHING about this outfit! The bold colour combination, the AMAZING shorts, the old-school Ray Ban wayfarers… it’s unapologetically thought through and deliberately styled but in the nicest possibly way. The v-neck/shirt/loafers combo could so easily be sloaney and dull… and an Englishman’s take on the same pieces probably would be… but the orange and green colour combination brings a classic look bang up to date and immediately catches your eye, without seeming to deliberately seek attention. A modern twist on a classic look… parfait.
This jacket/shirt/narrow jeans/loafers combination is simple, stylish and very, VERY French. In fact this formula seems to form the staple look of most Parisian men. And you can see why as it just works so, so well.
The reason this outfit is so chic despite admittedly being a bit dull on paper lies in the cut and quality of the pieces. Every item of clothing is beautifully made and fits him perfectly. Nothing is too small or too big, fraying, stained or missing crucial buttons. Obviously the lovely clothes themselves play a major role in the success of this guys look. But to be honest it is his presentation, attention to detail and excellent accessorising (check out that watch!) which seal the deal for me.
This guy was rocking a much more casual but equally stylish look than the other two… and the fact that he wasn’t exactly unpleasant to look at definitely helps too! What I love about Parisian men’s style is that they are totally unafraid of things that are fitted or slight effeminate. Whereas many, MANY Brit boys would baulk at this v-neck tee, striped, rolled-up shorts combo fearing that it may compromise there masculinity somehow. Maybe the French are just more confident in there sexuality, who knows!
Saying that, a v-neck tee is a slightly difficult look for men. 9 times out of 10 such a top will result in looking sleazy or overly body-obsessed (there is NOTHING less attractive than a gym-freak!) and is extremely unforgiving to even the slightest hint of a ‘paunch’ or the dreaded ‘man-boobs’.
But he suffers from neither of these common male afflictions so overall this is just a lovely summer look. The laid-back shorts, t-shirt and flip flops are perfectly complemented by his luxe accessories ( check out that EVEN MORE gorgeous watch!) and his tan… not to mention the petit chien he was walking when I waylaid him with my camera…