Men’s Style 101: How to dress in a sophisticated European manner

With all the trends coming from Europe, there are some classic styles of dress, and attitude that distinguish classic European men’s fashion.

Wear a three piece suit: The three piece suit is a classic European design element. It is rarely seen here on the casual west coast. All three piece suits are made up of the same basic elements: a jacket with buttons down the front (if you insist on using the buttons, only the top button should be used ), coat sleeves, a collar and lapel with a matching pair of trousers.
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Wear European sizes when possible: Tips for dressing like a European male, European sizes run smaller than American sizes. The European sizes, are actually the correct size. It is the American sizes which were inflated over the last 30 years. American sizes were inflated over the last 30 years to accommodate the larger American male. If you want a closer fit, buy European sizes, the fit is better, and if you are in shape, it will show you to your best advantage.

Wear Italian shoes: There is a fundamental difference in shoes that are made in Italy. They know how to craft shoes. When shopping for shoes, flip the shoe over, it will say made in Italy. When in doubt, this is the safest choice. This is men’s fashion 101.

Wear form fitting clothes: This style is a trend that has become the norm in the US. This is the traditional European cut. Look at the clothes in the stores for fall 2009. The short cropped sport coats that are everywhere, from low end French Connection (see the display in the window on Powell/Ellis of a brown very short/cropped sport coat for fall) to Barney’s Union Square. Theses cuts for men were not available a couple of years ago. It has always been very hard for me to find the shorter cut, I use to have to take my sports coats into the tailor and have them cut to size. I can actually buy a sport coat now and wear it off the rack. Fantastic.

Wear a neck kerchief: This is is a traditional European accessory for men, that also has found its way to our shores, the last couple of years. This is very chic. The chic Euro way to wear it is as follows: Fold the kerchief into a triangle, then wear it either on top of the shirt collar or underneath it. Tie the kerchief in a double knot at the front of the neck. This is crucial. This will give you that suave French Riviera look, the women go wild for. Cary Grant wore them like this in the 50’s. It works. Its very Continental. No?

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