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At one time, the French beret was, next to the Eiffel Tour,  the most ubiquitous symbol of France!


Did you know that in 1835 the beret was adopted by soldiers in France who began wearing blue ones to show that they were elite members of the French Army?


Then, in the 1920s, the beret became popular in French fashion for women, as well as for men.  In fact, it became such a cliché that for a while, you didn’t see French

people wear them much, well maybe a little among the older men in the countryside, but hardly ever in Paris.


Recently though the beret is making a bit of a comeback.


Thanks to shows like ‘Emily in Paris” for instance, tourists tend to wear them unabashedly and I have seen more and more young French women don them as well.


However not the men so much.

What is the Frenchman’s Style?


I know nothing about men’s fashion, but I am someone who appreciates a well-dressed man, as long as they are not aware they look good. Know what I mean?


In particular, I think Frenchmen (unlike Italian men — they know they look good!!!) fall into this category.


They dress with unassuming panache, and particularly when I am in Paris, I confess I like to men-watch.


Snapped a shot of this handsome gentleman while I sipped my coffee at a nearby table.


This man was clearly waiting for someone so I just admired his look for a few minutes.


Still waiting…


What I can say with a modicum of confidence is that, in general, Frenchmen know how to work the basics.


They are big on neatness, impeccable fit, and wearing clothes that highlight the silhouette.

They have a way of making it look effortless.


They are more likely to wear designer shoes and often carry handbags.  (I love Paris where men are not afraid to show their feminine side!)

Like French women, the foulard|scarf is an essential fashion accessory.  A French woman friend of mine confessed that she buys her scarves in the men’s department. “So much more styles to choose from!”

On a Frenchman, a scarf looks casual.  (Men, not from Paris, don’t try this at home — you just look like you are trying too hard to look French don’t ask me why?)


Head-to-toe elegance “en bicyclette!” I think a beret would add a certain panache.



I always have my eye out for the man who is a little more fashion-daring.  Unafraid to blur the lines between individualism and bravado.


Is this man wearing a full-body Hermes scarf?



It is possible, however, that the gentleman below may have forgotten to change out of his pyjama bottoms, or perhaps he just got out of jail.


Nice bag!/The Frenchman’s Beret


I admire their courage. Somehow it all just works for them in Paris.

Hmmm…just back from the stables?


Final note – I would be ok if they brought back the beret.


Oh la la!/The Frenchman’s Beret


What do you like about the Frenchmen’s style? Men’s fashion in general? Your man’s fashion sense?

I would love to hear from you.  So, please share your comments at the bottom of this blog where indicated.

Thank you!

Zut! The Frenchman’s Beret works for me!



Missed some of my blogs.

You can catch up by going to Travel Stories on my website by


I also have a few more books that I have reviewed

and added to my Book Club list of

Memoirs by Women about Paris and France.




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  1. Twink on June 28, 2020 at 8:31 am

    My Sunday morning fix. Yeah!
    I like berets. They make the person look coiffed correctly with panache.
    The climate in France can be a bit gripping at times and the beret does the trick. Much like the scarf, style makes the man.

    • Diana Bishop on June 28, 2020 at 1:07 pm

      And let’s keep it that way Twink!

      Yes, I don’t wear hats at all but the beret has always been my favourite hat item. Diana

    • Robyn Poulton on July 5, 2020 at 9:36 am

      Vive le Beret for both Men and Women…wearing a Beret has that “je ne sais quoi”. I love wearing berets sometimes adorned with an interesting or antique brooch or pin

      • Diana Bishop on July 5, 2020 at 9:48 am

        Great idea! I can see how a beret would look great on you. On me – not so much. Best to you and thank you for the comment. Diana

  2. Gretchen Greene O'Brien on June 28, 2020 at 8:33 am

    A jaunty Beret works for me – any colour!!

    • Diana Bishop on June 28, 2020 at 1:06 pm

      Would look great on you Gretchen!

  3. Luci Rizzo on June 28, 2020 at 8:34 am

    When i married Marc(french Cdn) he wouldn’t wear a turtleneck sweater which I just didn’t get. Black turtlenecks were always my own go to and trademark look. My marketing photos capture me in my BT. Once September started i would be wearing mine into the spring. Eventually Marc did adopt my love for the Turtleneck, once we married. I bought him one at Christmas and Voila a new preferred garment was born. Scarfs, well that was a little more challenging. He wears them but not as a Stylish Frenchman in these photos would. Fashion is an ongoing challenge w my Marc. Mr conservative but i will say neat and well fitting clothes are his thing. I think its all good here.

  4. Luci Rizzo on June 28, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Me again. I forgot to even comment on the beret which i see as a french inspired hat no doubt. I have one. Mine is grey and i wear it not as often as i could. Marc forget it! Thats just too much fir me to ask. Lol! Maybe a nice red one for Lily?

  5. Shardie Stevenson on June 28, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    For me , it’s the way the men of Paris wear a scarf that is ooh la la !! And all the better , with great fitting jeans and a casual suit jacket! It seems to me, that it is mostly older gentlemen who sport a beret and yes , they do wear them well . I think we saw a few riding bicycles with a baguette in their wicker basket. 😉
    I do remember sitting sipping our cafe cream and snapping pics on the sly of the attractive men at other tables, and walking along the streets. Such fun ! xoxox

    • Diana Bishop on June 30, 2020 at 10:39 am

      I know! I do love Frenchmen and their scarves. A French friend of mine in Paris says she buys HER winter scarves in men’s shops because she like the variety and textures. A good tip. I wish I was there. Sigh…

  6. Lagatta de Montréal on June 30, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Why did my rather long comment not show up? Perhaps
    I responded directly to you and not to Leave a comment. I’m leaving you all the French wiki page on Béret, but on wikipedia you only have to click on the language list to view it in English, Spanish or other languages.

    As you can see, as well as simple working-class/peasant and later cultural history, the béret was and remains significant in military history.

    Loved these pics of a variety of good looking men of different ages and ethnic origins, all very Parisian.

    I have several bérets, from angora and authentic heavy woollen Basque kinds to cotton bérets made in Toronto by the Canadia firm Parkhurst for mild weather.

    • Diana Bishop on June 30, 2020 at 6:59 pm

      Not sure why either. But I always prefer if people share their comments. Interesting stuff. Thank you so much. Diana

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