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Style coach Roman Medny takes a close look at the differences between French, British and Italian men dress. Who do you like more?
Roman Medny Stylist, style coach
Many guys (and girls, too) are inspired by street style reports made during world fashion weeks. And rightly so: the cream of modern dandyism gathers at such events: here are buyers, fashion bloggers, and stylists - all in one place.
Let's figure out the main fundamental differences in dress habits between Italians, British and French?
For many guys, a scarf in a breast pocket is a ticket to the world of style. Before that, you seemed to be dressing according to the principle of "what will fall out of the closet", and the difference was manifested only in the fact that someone was filling the closet with cheap consumer goods, and someone with expensive branded clothes, but, by and large, these things can completely quietly get along in the same company.
But not a scarf! The headscarf lifts you to cosmic heights, you immediately start to stand out from the crowd, and only another guy with a headscarf is able to understand your sadness!
The Italian's handkerchief, like a courtesan's fan, speaks a hundred languages. If an Italian wants to show seriousness of intentions, he will fold the scarf in a neat cone, for a date he will twist a peony or a rose out of it, etc. etc. Moreover, the scarf is an accent, a bright final touch, it should never be gray!
The Italian scarf adds both to an office suit and to a casual look. Therefore, in Italy you can find a million scarves of different shapes, sizes, from different materials and with original finishes.
But the British are very strict about the matter. Every young gentleman has in his head something like this “How to wear a headscarf” sign:
And nobody is recommended to deviate from these rules. I always recommend starting a collection with eye-color shawls and diligently avoiding tie + shawl sets from the same fabric - this is already considered vulgar even in Britain.
But the French are indifferent to scarves. If there is a scarf, it will be tied around the neck, as a bracelet or stick out of the back pocket. In Paris, you're more likely to meet a guy in a black suit and sneakers than a guy with a headscarf. By the way, about the sneakers.
Now the ability to combine sneakers with a suit or just trousers is a litmus test of taste. If you have coped with this daunting task, welcome to the club. You can cope in different ways. When the sneaker fashion began, Italian brands (such as Valentino, Salvatore Ferragamo, Prada, etc.) immediately launched extravagant models for $ 800.
In order not to look like a parrot in such sneakers, you need to select the rest of the image to match the color of the sneakers. Although, in any case, no one will call you a gray mouse. Pants for such sneakers must be narrow and shortened, opening the ankle. They are worn on bare feet. Even in winter!
You can use the Italians method, but I recommend, so as not to "screw up", choose base colors of sneakers and compose images from neutral, base colors. Then the elegant effect is guaranteed!
The French are more democratic in this regard. Here, the bulk of the crowd wears the running models of Nike and NewBalance (from time to time Adidas is asked to this company, but it catastrophically does not correspond to the spirit of the times). Both brands have limited lines, which fully satisfies the need for exclusiveness.
The British are calm about sneakers. Sometimes they wear sneakers, but still prefer the classics.
Italians are of the opinion that the stability of taste speaks of the stability of the personality, so they can wear a jacket to the holes on the sleeves, and then put neat suede patches on them and continue wearing them. There is even a shop in Milan that sells heavily worn men's clothing and footwear. The right shoes on an Italian dandy look something like this.
In order for the frayed shoes to look organic in the image, the whole image must breathe with carelessness, so initially give up the idea of choosing a bag and belt to match! And the general color scheme should be from undiscovered flowers - as if you were thrown by a wave onto the surf line and you lay there for a day, and then got drunk - and moved on.
The British take shoe issues much more seriously. They, too, love timeless shoes like Churchs, where the foot is more likely to change direction than the shoes are carried. But at the same time, the shoes must be in perfect condition.
Accordingly, it is better to draw inspiration from the image of a dandy, and not from the image of a tramp, complementing bright, beautiful shoes with no less bright accessories that match in color.
For the French, smart-casual is more typical, where shoes act as an accent in the image. All means are good here - you can choose both vintage shoes and an original modern model in the spirit of Paul Smith.
Another accessory that is interpreted completely differently in different countries is the hat. We don’t wear them at all, but Italians “tulle” hats wherever you can imagine. In this case, the hairstyle is done specifically under the hat (if the man does not use it in order to hide the bald head).
The Italians' hat is a striking original detail, and it should stand out. Moreover, it is versatile and suitable for all styles.
But the British believe that the hat is appropriate only with a classic suit and, accordingly, should harmoniously complement the image, echoing with other accessories.
The French do not like hats and wear only original models in rather extravagant combinations.
It is more interesting to observe the Asians in all this. They come to Florence in the guise of vintage dandies, but in Paris and London they look like they were getting there on foot, taking clothes from passers-by. Sometimes with a fight …
It is a fetish for Italians, a taste marker for the British and nothing for the French! The Italians were able to make even the lack of socks an object of panache. International style rules for the selection of successful colored socks take into account both the Italian pursuit of flamboyance and British restraint.
The French don't bother with socks at all. You can even come in different socks, and this will be a bright feature. In such cases, I recommend choosing socks of the same quality, so as not to look with one foot in winter and the other ready for summer.