Friday, 19 March 2010

French Dressing

I see that once again, Britain has been voted the worst dressed nation in a European web poll. Quelle surprise! But I don’t think it is so much what we wear (nylon tracksuits aside), but the way that we wear clothes. How often have you left the house with your coat hanging open? The French take fastenings very seriously and if a coat has buttons or a belt they will be secured and tied as designed, and the whole ensemble will look neat and tidy. It’s not a matter of spending a lot of money on designer clothes – even the cheapest outfit will be styled with a jauntily tied scarf or the addition of a stunning brooch (and I’m generally talking about women here)!

French men also have ‘the knack’ – have you ever seen a Frenchman with a jumper tied around his waist? Non. If he has to carry a spare jumper it will be draped casually over the shoulders and have the two sleeves folded into each other at the cuffs. I think there must be a secret school where they learn how to do this, with another lesson on how to tie their winter scarves so neatly!

Tourists in France are instantly recognisable by the fact that they like to wear as few clothes as possible as soon as possible. At the first sign of sunshine (or a temperature in double figures) the British will immediately don shorts, t-shirts and sandals. The French will continue to wear polo neck jumpers, trousers and jackets until mid-end June in case there is a danger of a sudden cool breeze in which they might catch a chill.

Now, just don’t get me started on Americans and their fashion sense…. (two words I never thought I would find in one sentence!)

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