What to Wear in Paris, France for Men
In general, Parisian men have a different sense of style than the average American male. Think of the "metro-sexual" trend in the US - that attention to stylistic detail is more common in Paris.
To an American male's credit, it is just easier to have a fashion-forward look in Paris. The number of stores catering to men and the range of available options for men's clothing is staggering compared to what's available in suburban US shopping areas. Unlike women's wear, the European cut of men's clothes in also very different - more tailored at the chest and waist to define the figure. If you're curious, try on dress shirts and a suit in one of the major department stores, and see how flattering the "cut" is - you may end up coming home with a heavy suitcase.
When packing, we advocate being comfortable - you are on vacation. However, if you'd like your appearance to not scream " I am an American Tourist", look at the graphic and follow our tips below.
Men's Fashion Tips
1. Leave the Athletic Wear at Home - The sweat pants, t-shirts, sweatshirts, baseballs hats, and windbreakers that you live in at home aren't seen outside the "home" in Paris. Dress up a tad - sport a black sports-coat instead of a brightly colored vinyl jacket, or choose a polo shirt instead of a t-shirt.
Unlike the US, common places, such as shops and cafes, are often considered part of a Parisian's "home". By dressing up a little, you are showing respect. And, this respect will translate into better treatment in cafes, shops and restaurants.
2. Wear Light-Weight Pants, Not Shorts - In many European churches, showing bare legs and shoulders is a sign of disrespect. This idea must have spread to outside the church, because you rarely see Parisian men and women wearing shorts in public. However, to stay cool, the men do wear capri pants - something you don't see often in the US.
3. Wear Comfortable Shoes, Not White Tennis Shoes - If you want to blend in, leave at home your white/tennis running shoes. We know that these shoes are comfortable and built for mileage, but white tennis shows are the tell-tale sign of "American Tourist". Unfortunately, many unsavory types that prey on tourists also know that this is the case. Don't make yourself an easy mark for pickpockets - leave the tennis shoes at home.
There are many shoes designed for walking (Recommended brands are Ecco, Mephisto, or Dansko) - pick up a pair before your trip. One day of climbing steps up monuments and navigating cobble stoned corridors and you'll understand why these sturdy European brands are so popular among Parisians.
- For classic tips that are relevant for every season, read What to Wear in Paris.
- For tips on what to wear in your 20s/30's/40s+ for your trip to Paris now, read What to Wear in Paris - Spring/Summer 2013
- For photos of what Parisians are wearing on the street last spring, check out Photos from the Streets of Paris - Spring.
You don't buy a new wardrobe every year and neither do the Parisians. Check out our photos from past years for more inspiration on what to pack.
Author: Cheryl Montgomery