Wednesday 23 June 2010

Le Style 'English Gentleman'

I notice that whenever I'm in France these days, I tend to get taken for a Frenchman. This most definitely isn't down to my grasp of the language, as whoever hails me as a fellow frog-eater very soon discovers; I think it's actually because I look so 'English'. Paradoxical? Not really. My style of dress - along the lines, I suppose, of the style the French resourcefully describe as 'English gentleman' - is now far more commonly seen among Frenchmen than les rosbifs. (In Trouville, for the record, I was wearing a white cotton suit and, much of the time, a zinger of a linen shirt, the gift of Mrs Nige.) So, a style that was quintessentially English has become French, while today's Englishman abroad lets the side down by dressing very badly in ugly 'leisure wear' - shapeless tops, hideous colours, ill-fitting trousers cut off at any point from thigh to ankle. Admittedly the French seem to be heading in that general direction too, but at a far slower rate - and at least those old enough to know better do still dress, for the most part, with dignity and style. I even saw quite a few cravats.


  1. Oh dear Mr Nige, if you do ever make it to these shores I fear you might actually pass out at the sheer abundance of hideous leisurewear... wet 'n' windy climate and outdoorsy lifestyle do not go hand in hand with sartorial stylishness. Maybe I need to introduce the Kiwis to your guide to dressing for the country!

  2. Cet été, nous portons les pantalons de jogging gris, comme les gentilshommes anglais.

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