Introduction

Paris Fashion Week has officially ended; no more planting two kisses on the cheeks of strangers, no more being swarmed by street style photographers and no more collections from the European capital of cool. Until next season, our dose of va va voom is back in storage.

However, fear not. The end of show season doesn’t mark the end of your personal style and today we look towards our French counterparts for some much needed inspiration. We’ve previously covered Berlin grunge and Monaco elegance – now it’s all about Parisian chic.

Casual tailoring is paired with slacks, boots and overcoats for a laid-back yet polished look. The key is to keep things classic. Don’t ever overwork your look or go with novelty trends; they’re about as Parisian as my Doncaster-born aunt Margaret. Simply incorporate clean cut lines, concentrate on understated elegance and you’re halfway to sartorial victory…

Get The Look: Parisian Chic
Parisian Chic Lookbook

Before we start, let’s take a look at some recent campaign images and lookbooks that epitomise the type of aesthetic we are looking to create today:

Men's Parisian Chic-Inspired Lookbook & Outfit Examples

ami ss13allsaints ss13balmain ss13ami ss14ramsey onyx aw12louis vuitton pre fall 2013Gieves & Hawkes ss14louis vuitton pre spring 2014Berluti aw12drykorn ss13ti for men ss13he by mango ss13
The Overcoat

Whether it’s a Burberry-esque trench coat or a coloured blazer, Parisian style centres on the art of layering.

For spring/summer, I think we can all agree that the pea coat is just a little too thick; yes, British weather is temperamental but sweating is not chic in any capital city. Ever.

Pair muted tones with precision stitching, upturned collars or top buttons fastened. It’s all about crafting the perfect silhouette that subtly shows your style credentials. Parisian sartorialists always look crisp, well-turned out and full of confidence. Ensure sleeves are perfectly fitted, with just a peak of your bottom layer for extra points – it’s the small details that make any outfit.

  • Topman Stone Trench Coat Topman Stone Trench Coat
  • Topman Navy Poplin Single Breasted MacTopman Navy Poplin Single Breasted Mac
  • Selected Trench CoatSelected Trench Coat
  • Reiss Southall Loose Mac StoneReiss Southall Loose Mac Stone
  • Jean.machine J.m-4 Slim-fit Overdyed-denim JacketJean.machine J.m-4 Slim-fit Overdyed-denim Jacket
  • River Island Stone Triple Button Patch Pocket BlazerRiver Island Stone Triple Button Patch Pocket Blazer
  • Reiss Fielding Merino Wool Blazer NavyReiss Fielding Merino Wool Blazer Navy
  • Asos Slim Fit Tweed Blazer With Shooting PatchAsos Slim Fit Tweed Blazer With Shooting Patch
  • Uniqlo Men Linen Cotton JacketUniqlo Men Linen Cotton Jacket
  • Uniqlo Men Dry Light Weight Jacket+Uniqlo Men Dry Light Weight Jacket+
  • Easy Classic Harrington JacketEasy Classic Harrington Jacket
  • Rag & Bone Falmouth Textured Cotton And Linen-blend JacketRag & Bone Falmouth Textured Cotton And Linen-blend Jacket
The Shirt

Your base layer can speak volumes about your outfit choice (and subsequent style knowledge). For a combination that is incredibly simple yet effective, opt for a plain white shirt with a beige or navy over layer.

The white shirt (whether Oxford cloth, linen or cotton) is an absolute essential that belongs in every man’s wardrobe. Although this may seem like an obvious assumption to the regular FashionBeans reader, the amount of men who go without is incredibly surprising.

Pastel colours are alternative, summer-appropriate options that will inject a shot of life into any tired look. Mint, sky blue, lilac and even grey all pair incredibly well with a muted over layer and convey a real sense of subtle luxury.

However, keep branding and labels to an absolute minimum – a huge Ralph Lauren logo is an immediate give away.

  • Topman Vito Asune ShirtTopman Vito Asune Shirt
  • Uniqlo Men Extra Fine Cotton Broad Cloth Long Sleeve ShirtUniqlo Men Extra Fine Cotton Broad Cloth Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Maison Martin Margiela Washed-cotton ShirtMaison Martin Margiela Washed-cotton Shirt
  • Reiss Drive Small Collar Slim Fit Shirt MintReiss Drive Small Collar Slim Fit Shirt Mint
  • River Island Pale Blue Linen Long Sleeve ShirtRiver Island Pale Blue Linen Long Sleeve Shirt
  • American Apparel Washed Oxford ShirtAmerican Apparel Washed Oxford Shirt
  • Reiss Laurence Long Sleeve Jersey Shirt EcruReiss Laurence Long Sleeve Jersey Shirt Ecru
  • American Apparel Pinpoint Oxford Long Sleeve Button-down With PocketAmerican Apparel Pinpoint Oxford Long Sleeve Button-down With Pocket
  • Allsaints Redondo ShirtAllsaints Redondo Shirt
Key Pattern: Breton Stripes

Is anything more French than a traditional Breton stripe? For years, this Parisian staple has permeated fashion worldwide and has become a classic in its own right.

Whether in t-shirt, jumper or shirted form, a Breton stripe is essential. A long-sleeved number (perhaps with a granddad collar if you’re a fan of the workerwear aesthetic) looks great with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of beige tailored shorts whilst a striped jumper works just as well over a plain shirt and dark denim.

The possibilities of the Breton stripe are endless, and their timeless and enduring appeal (see images of James Dean and Picasso below) will set you in good stead for many years to come.

Picasso & James Dean wearing Breton stripe tops

  • River Island Navy Stripe T-shirtRiver Island Navy Stripe T-shirt
  • Allsaints Mirach 3/4 Sleeve T-shirtAllsaints Mirach 3/4 Sleeve T-shirt
  • Merc Shirt With Breton StripeMerc Shirt With Breton Stripe
  • Etro Striped Cashmere VestEtro Striped Cashmere Vest
  • A.p.c. Striped Wool SweaterA.p.c. Striped Wool Sweater
  • Topman Navy Breton Stripe SweatshirtTopman Navy Breton Stripe Sweatshirt
  • Allsaints Mirach VestAllsaints Mirach Vest
  • Denim & Supply By Ralph Lauren Breton JumperDenim & Supply By Ralph Lauren Breton Jumper
  • Ben Sherman Breton Stripe Knitted PoloBen Sherman Breton Stripe Knitted Polo
  • Saint Laurent Breton Stripe Sweater 163006Saint Laurent Breton Stripe Sweater 163006
  • French Connection Breton Polo ShirtFrench Connection Breton Polo Shirt
  • Todd Snyder Striped Cotton-jersey Henley T-shirtTodd Snyder Striped Cotton-jersey Henley T-shirt
The Bottom Half

Decisions, decisions. If you’re a slave to denim, keep it straight or slim leg (not skinny fit) with the aim of crafting clean lines. Parisian chic is about streamlined shapes and good fit, and a drainpipe leg will automatically warp and unbalance your entire look.

Alternatively, there are always straight leg canvas chinos, which look great in classic shades of navy, brown and beige. Roll up the hems a couple of times and you’ll look like a direct import from the Champs-Elysees – what more could you ask for?

Shirts, jumpers and tees should all be loosely tucked in if you’re on the slimmer side and fastened up with a brown (not black) leather belt. Don’t be afraid to flash your ankles either; as we approach summer we are seeing more and more men go sockless in order to fully embrace the warm weather:

  • A.p.c. New Cure Slim-fit Dry Denim JeansA.p.c. New Cure Slim-fit Dry Denim Jeans
  • Reiss Freeport Raw Selvedge Denim IndigoReiss Freeport Raw Selvedge Denim Indigo
  • Jean Shop Rocker Raw Selvedge Denim Straight-fit JeansJean Shop Rocker Raw Selvedge Denim Straight-fit Jeans
  • Asos Slim ChinoAsos Slim Chino
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Cotton Chino TrousersHe By Mango Slim-fit Cotton Chino Trousers
  • Uniqlo Men Slim Fit Chino Flat Front PantsUniqlo Men Slim Fit Chino Flat Front Pants
  • Allsaints Pipe ChinoAllsaints Pipe Chino
  • He By Mango Cotton Slim-fit ChinoHe By Mango Cotton Slim-fit Chino
  • Cheap Monday Slim ChinosCheap Monday Slim Chinos
The Shoes

Brogues or Derbies are, without a doubt, your best choice when crafting your own version of Parisian chic.

Rounded toes and plenty of leather detailing will be a foot in the right style direction, and there’s guaranteed to be something out there to suit every single budget.

Suede versions provide a more casual approach whilst polished brown leather is undoubtedly classic – it’s all about your own personal preference.

Boots play on the rugged, masculine appeal that timeless ensembles often exude, with Chelsea, brogue and desert boots being the silhouettes you should gravitate towards. Leather versions are hard-wearing and practical, allowing them to be worn all year round, whilst suede helps soften the aesthetic slightly and are lightweight and comfortable for spring/summer.

Although the temptation for a sneaker or deck shoe may seem hard to resist, they’ll only detract from an otherwise strong look – your entire outfit should hit that tricky ‘smart-casual’ dress code, and these two silhouettes will only bring the outfit down a notch.

  • Asos Derby Shoes With Leather SoleAsos Derby Shoes With Leather Sole
  • Topman Morris Suede ShoesTopman Morris Suede Shoes
  • Mark Mcnairy Suede Derby ShoesMark Mcnairy Suede Derby Shoes
  • River Island Brown Lace Up BroguesRiver Island Brown Lace Up Brogues
  • He By Mango Brogueing Leather BlucherHe By Mango Brogueing Leather Blucher
  • Grenson Angus Leather Wingtip BroguesGrenson Angus Leather Wingtip Brogues
  • Allsaints Cabot BootAllsaints Cabot Boot
  • Grenson Declan Suede Chelsea BootsGrenson Declan Suede Chelsea Boots
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Parka Suede Desert BootsPaul Smith Shoes & Accessories Parka Suede Desert Boots
Accessories

If you’re wearing a shirt, a collar pin, a simple pair of cuff links (if required) or perhaps an onyx gold ring could provide the perfect finishing touch – but don’t get too carried away. Blocks of muted, neutral colours and timeless pieces provide all the style credentials you could ever need and hordes of accessories will only water them down.

Try bold socks for a flash of colour or a pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses but zut alors, make sure you invest in these key pieces; I can’t even begin to explain how much low quality, high street pieces will cheapen your look – you would be better off going without.

  • Ray-ban Wayfarer SunglassesRay-ban Wayfarer Sunglasses
  • Cutler And Gross D-frame Acetate SunglassesCutler And Gross D-frame Acetate Sunglasses
  • Garrett Leight California Optical Ashland Round-frame Polarised SunglassesGarrett Leight California Optical Ashland Round-frame Polarised Sunglasses
  • River Island Spike Collar PinRiver Island Spike Collar Pin
  • Together Bonded Silver & 9ct Gold Mens Onyx RingTogether Bonded Silver & 9ct Gold Mens Onyx Ring
  • Lanvin Engraved Rhodium-plated CufflinksLanvin Engraved Rhodium-plated Cufflinks
  • Yuvi Sterling Silver Diamond And Woven Cord BraceletYuvi Sterling Silver Diamond And Woven Cord Bracelet
  • Pantone Pink Crew SocksPantone Pink Crew Socks
  • Asos Waffle SocksAsos Waffle Socks
Parisian Street Style

Who on earth would pull this look off better than Parisian men? Courtesy of FashionBeans’ collective, we have collated a selection of street style photography taken on the streets of Paris, which just goes to show how good this timeless, effortless look can be:

Men's Paris Street Style

Final Word

Yes, there’s something extraordinary about the way our Parisian cousins dress. Whether it’s the floppy hair, the seemingly entrenched nonchalance or their crisp, clean cut threads, it’s a notion that everyone wants to embody.

Forget the Glastonbury ‘festival lad’ wardrobe – this season is all about the sartorialists from across the channel.