Let’s dive into French men’s fashion! As we all know, France has always been regarded as the fashion capital of the world. Long before Louis Vuitton invented their iconic logo or Hermès wove their first silk scarf, French aristocracy were setting the standard of fashionable attire for all Europeans. Today, it is still regarded as the birthplace of couture and luxury fashion. People everywhere look to France for a definition of what it means to be stylish. In this article, we break down French men’s fashion, including male fashion icons, the elements of a french men’s wardrobe, and where to shop to get that coveted Parisian style.
French men’s fashion icons
Alain Delon was a popular French movie star during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Although he was a successful actor, he is perhaps most known for his distinct style. If you think James Bond but French, you get Alain Delon. His style was defined by perfectly tailored suits, and mixing casual pieces with more formal attire. One of his most iconic looks was crisp trousers paired with an open, rolled-sleeved button down à la The Talented Mr. Ripley. Delon always managed to tow the line between the slick, put-together style of the 50’s and the looser, more effortless look of the 60s with a unique French flair.
Photo by Eye Of Faith
Yves Saint Laurent
As the 60’s turned into the 70’s, French men’s fashion became more experimental and adventurous. This moment in Paris men’s fashion is perhaps best exemplified by the French designer Yves Saint Laurent. While most of Laurent’s fans kew him as a designer who revolutionized women’s fashion, the young sartorialist was a men’s fashion icon in his own right. His safari suits, silk scarves, and thick-framed glasses were as cool as they were nouvelle for French men’s fashion at the time.
Photo by Ape to Gentleman
Simon Porte Jacquemus
Simon Porte Jacquemus first set the fashion world abuzz with his flawless execution of sexy yet laid-back ensembles for women. Off the runway, his work takes on their masculine equivalent as reflected by his personal style. His outfits are an elevated casual-cool. Jacquemus is frequently seen wearing relaxed-fit suits paired with a casual T-shirt and white trainers. Otherwise, you can probably find him sporting one of his hoodies and a structured denim jean. Like many designers, Jacquemus has found his uniform: a go-to look that’s identifiable and doesn’t waste any time.
Photo by CR Fashion Book
Achieving French men’s fashion sense: the basics
A chesterfield coat
If you want to replicate French men’s fashion for yourself, there are a few basics you can add to your wardrobe that will quickly elevate your style. One staple piece you’re guaranteed to find in every French guy’s closet is a chesterfield coat. A chesterfield is a formal, knee-length coat that is usually made in a darker color. Many will also feature a velvet collar for an extra touch of detail. The coats are designed to be layered over suits during the fall and winter months. Although the coats were invented and popularized by the British during the 19th century, they have become a cornerstone of French men’s fashion and a must-have for every French man’s closet.
Photo by Elle Germany
A tailored blazer
It probably goes without saying, but a tailored blazer is perhaps the most essential piece of the contemporary man’s wardrobe. In France, a tailored blazer is an absolute necessity. They are worn for work with trousers and are also paired with more casual attire like a fitted pair of jeans or chinos for everyday wear. It is imperative that the blazer is properly tailored to meet French standards. For a more detailed guide to styling blazers, among other things, follow Bonne Gueule the wikipedia of French men’s fashion written by French men dedicated to menswear à la Parisian!
Photo by He Spoke Style
A pair of dress shoes
In France, a good pair of dress shoes is paramount. They are worn with trousers or jeans and ground the outfit. A well-made dress shoe stands; you can always tell when someone has invested in their footwear. However, if you know what to look for, you might be able to find an affordable pair of dress shoes that look like their more expensive counterparts. Make sure your dress shoes have a 100% leather upper-part. Leather is malleable and will mold to the shape of your feet over time for a much more comfortable wear. Another tip? Check the soles of the shoes and make sure they are stitched rather than glued on to the upper part. They’ll last way longer.
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A pair of well-fitting denim jeans
We all know shopping for jeans can be a chore, but with the right info it can actually be fun. It’s important to be aware of your measurements, especially your inseam and waist measurements as these will always be used to determine which size you’ll need at any given store. We really love A.P.C Denim because they have a huge range of fits and styles. They even have a size assistant app available on their online store. If you’re shopping in-store, their trained sales assistants can pick jeans and recommend which sizes and cuts will work best on your body.
Photo by MenOption
Current trend: a full beard
Personal style doesn’t stop with clothes. For men, the question of how to wear facial hair has been determined by changing trends for centuries. A full beard is definitely à la mode in French men’s fashion and doesn’t show any signs of falling out of style. We’ve also seen a proliferation of French businesses offering treatments and products for facial hair such as soaps, sculpting tools and moisturizing aids. At Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, you can get a full salon treatment for your beard that includes trimming, sculpting and shaving using leading products and accessories. Go ahead and treat yourself to some pampering!
Photo via Galeries Lafayette Haussman
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French men’s fashion brands: luxury options
This brand has rocketed to fame after only having presented at Paris Fashion Week just two years after its launch. Jacquemus focuses on the basics. His women’s department exclusively makes dresses, shirts and coats while his men’s department produces shorts, trousers, T-shirts and a small accessories collection. The designs are compelling without being overly complicated. His lookbook seems to be grounded by a desire to flatter the body and give off an air of unstudied coolness. At just 29, this designer is one to watch.
Photo via Another Man Mag
For suits and formal wear, De Fursac is a great option. The brand has operated in Paris since the 1980s and is still housed in their first store located in the 2nd arrondissement. Their collections are inspired by various French men’s fashion movements and are united by an intense attention to cut and sharpness of form. Today they have stores all over France with several locations in Paris. Their stores can be found at 112 Rue de Richelieu, 34, avenue de l’Opéra, 11bis, rue Marbeuf, 122, rue de la Pompe, 146, boulevard Saint-Germain, and at 95, avenue Victor Hugo 75016. Their pieces are also carried by major department stores like Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.
Photo via Very Good Lord
Perhaps the best suit in the game is made by Dior. In fact, the late Karl Lagerfeld was rumoured to wear nothing else and their tuxedos grace just about every red carpet you can think of. Nowadays, Dior Homme is much less regimented. Their 2019 Spring collection mixes military silhouettes and streetware elements with classic button downs and suits. Their looks are suitable for the corporate man on and off the job. Visit Dior’s flagship on Avenue Montaigne to see the beautiful window displays that change every season. But if you’re planning on a shopping spree of different brands, we recommend hitting a department store like Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.
Photo via Culture Box
Berluti is best-known as purveyors of quality footwear, offering both dress and street shoes. Many love their moccasins, a dignified loafer made from super high-quality cow leather. Their Gravity sneakers are also popular, rivalling the ever-present Balenciaga Triple S which has spurred a seemingly never-ending list of copy-cats. Berluti offers a timeless antidote to such trends and is sure to remain a well-respected men’s footwear label. You can find their shoes and more at their boutiques all over Paris. Their tailored shoes can also be conveniently found at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.
Photo via Fashion Network
French men’s fashion brands: high street options
Le Slip Français
For more casual attire, Le Slip Français offers high quality basics that will round out your wardrobe. They also have a strong accessories department that offers everything from scarves to swimwear. Le Slip is a French brand that creates clothing that’s 100% made in France. They’re all about giving you that just thrown together look that’s so closely associated with French men’s fashion. This is another brand that is now available at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann and BHV Marais. Dedicated stores are located at 137 rue Vieille du Temple, 46 rue des Abbesses, and 20 rue du Vieux Colombier.
Photo via Instagram
Maison Kitsuné is a concept store that produces both ready to wear clothes for men and women and also owns and operates a record label and two cafés in Paris and Tokyo. The brand merges French and Japanese style to produce playful, structure clothing that is not afraid to be different from the crowd. Kitsuné flagship stores are located at 52 Rue de Richelieu, 75002 Paris and 18 Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, 75011 Paris and at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.
Photo via FootShop
Last but certainly not least is a longstanding French favorite, Sandro. Sandro is a staple of French men’s fashion, a label that is endemic to Paris. Their men’s artistic director is the son of the original founders, making Sandro a second-generation Parisian brand. Their menswear collections are made for the chic, non-conformist who wants to create a balance between mature distingué and youthful edge. There are Sandro stores located in every districts in Paris and available at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.
Photo via Sandro Paris
Best places to shop for French men’s fashion
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann men’s section
Top of our suggestions is Galeries Lafayette Haussmann. They have recently overhauled their menswear department and is now offering a wide selection of men’s clothing, accessories and shoes. They have a great range of denim brands and have dedicated the entire 3rd floor to luxury brands where you can have pieces tailored and customized for the perfect look and fit. Probably the best thing about shopping at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is the direct tax refund that shoppers can get in the department store (when spending 175,01€ you can get a VAT refund of 12% on your total purchase). No more waiting in line to get your tax refund at CDG!
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann – The New Homme floor guide:
- Ground floor – Essential men’s accessories
- 1st floor – Urban wear & Denim including brands like Ami, APC, Kitsuné
- 1st floor – Shoes
- 2nd floor – Casual wear including brands like Sandro
- 3rd floor – Luxury and tailoring including Dior Homme
Photo via Fashion Network
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is located on 40 Boulevard Haussmann 75009 Paris and is open daily until 8:30pm (8pm on Sundays).
Le Marais is Paris’s high-street shopping district and also the best place for vintage shopping in Paris. The area has a huge selection of stores including brand name favorites and local Parisian gems. You’ll also find a bevy of stores on popular shopping streets like Rue des Francs Bourgeois and Rue Vieille du Temple where you can check out A.P.C. and find your perfect pair of jeans. If you’re planning to hit up this area, take a look at our Le Marais map for a complete neighborhood guide where we share local spots like restaurants and bars!
While in Le Marais, be sure to check out Arty Dandy‘s selection of curated accessories and trendy, high quality pieces. Everything at Arty Dandy has been hand-picked. 95% of the products carried by Arty Dandy are European and many of their items cannot be found anywhere else in Paris. Locals love the friendly atmosphere of the store and are often assisted by the store owner himself who is at either of the 2 shops in Paris on most days.
Photo via Call Me Ivan
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French men’s fashion concept stores
Want to know how the locals shop for French men’s fashion? Be sure to check out some concept men’s stores while you’re in Paris. We highly recommend The Nines, a store that offers a minimalist approach to menswear with superior quality. There’s also Zach et Sam in SOPI, a luxury thrift store or dépôt-vente that aims to provide a highly curated shopping experience pulling from a wide variety of menswear brands. See our complete guide to the best menswear shops in Paris!
Photo via Do It In Paris
French men’s fashion shopping tips
Whatever your style, there’s something in Paris for everyone. From top-notch tuxedos to cool casuals, the city’s got it all. Spend an afternoon wandering from shop to shop in Le Marais or do it all in one fell swoop at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann for the easiest tax refund in Paris. With our guide, you’re ready to hit the stores for a serious wardrobe upgrade to get that French style you’ve always wanted. For even more shopping tips, don’t forget to download our Paris Shopping Guide!