Natalie Portman has been quoted as saying “No Parisian ever walks around in shorts”.
In this installment of "Straightening Out French Men" we will debunk such myths and tell you the truth! Or at least our version. One thing Natalie did get right is that everyone (in general) looks very chic.
Firstly, let’s establish the norm.
The average (stereotypical) straight American male is not known to be super chic. Sorry guys. Clothes are not designed to show off the form of the wearer. Their pants will be a rather wide leg, fairly square and not overly shapely. The average (stereotypical) straight Australian male is a little more daring than his American counterpart in the color department. Bright, baggy boardshorts, which might be revealing as they fall off their backsides, or relaxed fit jeans can be worn for all occasions (according to Fosters). The skinny jeans feel reserved for the hipster and alternate crowd, and in American, even skinny jeans aren’t really that skinny.
This is not the case in France. It is almost as though the French are born with the knowledge of how to be chic and well-dressed without much effort, including straight men. It may be influenced by what’s available in store. Bryan had many compliments on the suit he wore to a wedding in San Francisco last year. He was often asked if it was tailored, but it’s just regular, off the rack, European cut, sleek, and chic.
The average French male, straight or otherwise, will wear pants that actually fit him well. You will be able to see the shape of his legs and the curve of his derrière. I’m sure you’ll all agree, that’s not a bad thing. Also, chinos and similar types of pants are commonly worn as casual attire. Its not all about black either. It seems that ever since Uniqlo came to France, men have been experimenting with greens, yellows, and reds on their bottom halves more than ever.
Now for the gays.
Fitted jeans and pants are still very much part of the gay man's wardrobe in France, don't get us wrong. You'll also see some more relaxed jeans when going out in the Marais. We can only assume it makes getting handsy easier.
But there is a surprise variation from the norm and very much where Natalie is wrong (we still love you!). The gays really love their shorts, and we mean shorts. You will see plenty of calves and a fair share of thighs on display, especially in the Marais, once the temperatures turn up in Paris. Sometimes you see a little too much.
The other deviation from the norm, that is also a bit of a shock from the general French aesthetic, is that the gays love their sweat pants. Fortunately, they generally do it with a sense of style and as part of a whole look, but its a burgeoning trend. Think, "I just went to the gym and wanted to show off the results of my squats with these Marc Jacobs sweats."
Once again, France is France. The gays here don't always follow the same fashion as back home (wherever that is), they are often the ones setting the standards. But whatever they wear, they make it work.