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Hello from ‘Yours Truly’ still in France,

Summertime is fabulous! Particularly in Paris. The clothes get lighter, the colors brighter, and everyone’s mood is happy and bright.

French ‘vacances’ are in full swing now, so Parisians are disappearing from the streets only to be replaced by tourists from every country in the world.

I enjoy Paris when the Parisians are around because the French style of dressing is literally breathtaking. For one thing, they are all thin as rails so clothes naturally look great.

So for this weeks blog my focus is devoted to ‘men’ and the way they dress here in Paris. French men are far more concerned about their appearance than the North American or particularly the Vancouver man. It’s strange, it’s not about vanity, but more about tradition. It’s a ‘competitive edge’ and status thing for the French. The more they know about color and how to use it, they more sophisticated they are.

French men love to be in shape too. French Men cycle everywhere, and religiously go to their respective clubs to swim, workout, or play tennis etc. They poke fun at Larry and I any time we’re overweight. Interestingly, we lose weight in France and not gain it.

French men are not afraid of color the way North American men are. They love it! I love it too. In fact I buy lots of color when I’m here, but when I get back to Vancouver, I seldom wear it. I get stared at in Vancouver. In Paris, I’m worshipped and adored (ha ha)

The one thing I’ve noticed is Parisians detest is ‘matching’. Like shoes matching belts or purses, or tie color matching shoes or frankly anything matchy matchy. To them and me it’s totally boring. The real savvy dresser knows how to mix many colors so it works. The more color mixing the better. That’s not to say every color under the rainbow will harmonize. Not at all. It’s all about the harmony and contrast. And what works, and what excites the eye.

I’m constantly staring at people and their color mixes. I’m constantly amazed at what works and try to shelve it away in my memory banks for further consideration.

In fact even interior designers in North America could take a tip from the French, Italians, and Germans in this regard. Too many people opt out for safe neutrals, or greys and taupes, or even more boring the all white approach when designing their interiors.

I’ve included photos below so you can see what I mean. Bear in mind that these shots are from a famous upscale men’s boutique called ‘Berteil’ which is a totally traditional and conventional men’s store. Even they love to mix color!

I hope you enjoy the following photographs and get inspired to use a little (or a lot ) of color in your everyday life.