Seams Plausible: The French Connection



A semi-regular column answering
questions about clothing.



Reader Françios S. writes in to ask, “What are men wearing in Paris this season?”

What a timely question! Turns out, I’ve just returned from a trip to the continent – Paris, France, to be exact – where I had a chance to observe first hand what the guys are wearing. Here are my  observations, so adjust your summer wardrobe purchases accordingly:

Shirts: yes! Men were wearing shirts. French shirts had a collar, two sleeves and buttons down the front: but not every shirt had French cuffs! Note one important difference: the French called a shirt “un chemise.” I’m still not certain why.

Pants: yes to these also! Much like our American pants, these had two legs, pockets, belt loops and a “fly;” but not every pair had a French fly! (I asked.) Pants were referred to as “pantalon,” and again, I’m not sure why this was the case.

Shoes: “Chaussure” is what they called them, but they sure looked like shoes to me. You know, it seemed that they had a different word for everything. Even French fries were something else, although I couldn’t quite catch what it was. (And if you ever go to France, watch out for what restaurants call “escargot.” It sounds like a nice fancy cheese, but it’s A PLATE OF SNAILS! I learned that one the hard way.)

Scarves: half of the men I saw were wearing scarves, though the temperature was in the 80’s and really humid. (Sidebar: I was told that the temperature was in the high 20’s according to something the French call “centigrades.” I need to look this up and learn a little more about these centigrades because my Weather Channel app said it was in the 80’s, plain as day.)

Accessories: Socks, and plenty of them! (Some men were wearing TWO socks at a time!)

Berets: no. No one was wearing a beret except two tourists.

This concludes my in-depth report from the continent. I hope it’s helpful as you consider summer fashion options!

You’re welcome.

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