The Parisians, those high priests of effortless cool have always known how to dress. They forever look so suave and debonair strolling down those long, wide boulevards, their step assured, their shoulders upright, their heads held aloft towards the sky overhead.
The beauty of their dress sense comes in its simplicity. There is none of this over the top branding, or garish, peacock-esque colours; no one feels the need to stand out from the crowd, instead they let the shape of their clothes do the talking.
One such brand who personify this elegant style are Sandro, a mother and son collective who, with their understated yet elegant collections (just how French can you get) are becoming a byword for classic style mixed with contemporary cool.
Like most brands, the women’s division of Sandro was very much part of the style aristocracy long before the menswear collection arrived on the scene in 2008 but it hasn’t taken long for the male species to realise what they were missing out on and the mens range is now stocked in some of the most prestigious department stores, boutiques and e-commerce websites throughout the world.
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The clothes themselves are very French in their design – there is nothing flashy about the brand, if anything it is awash with a monochrome palette interspersed with splashes of reds, blues and a variety of understated prints which bring it in line with modern fashion.
The current collection looks like a wonderful mix of musical genres thrust into the contemporary world with punk, 60’s rock’n’roll and British Mods all coming together to forge a world where black and white is anything but dull. Brothel creepers and boxy leather jackets, models with crisp sharp haircuts or long tasselled manes, trouser hems cut high on the ankle, shirts so fresh they look like they have only just been pulled from the packaging.
The fusion of time-honoured tailoring with modern cuts (high hem trousers, oversize coats and t-shirt, brother creepers with skinny suits) enables the brand to cover a diverse market, from quintessential Parisian gents to East London hipsters, thus making it one of the hottest brands not only in France but across Europe and beyond.
Unfortunately for myself and many others, to own a slice of this exclusive brand doesn’t come cheap – by the time I’d saved for a pair of the brothel creepers they’d probably be sold out – but there are plenty of alternatives to ensure you can still carry off this look with some aplomb.
Here’s how you can get the Sandro look – please be aware, whilst we can direct you towards the clothes, finding the boulevards to swagger along you’ll have do yourself.
LOOK 1: Add a dash of seasonal colour to your wardrobe with a red knitted jumper offset by an otherwise black colour scheme. Teamed up with a sturdy pair of winter boots, black slim jeans and small black beanie and the look is complete. And don’t forget a good black leather belt and wallet if you really want to impress people.
LOOK 2: Brothel creepers have had something of a fashion resurrection in the last year or so and brands such as Sandro have been leading the way. Worn with a pair of tailored suit trousers, a crisp white shirt – worn out for a casual look – and a bomber jacket and once again you’ve got yourself some classic items of clothing made for the modern gent. Add a leather jacket for that rebellious rockn’n’roll look and the attitude will be resplendent as it marches into the bar.
LOOK 3: Nothing quite says smart like a coat and Sandro combine the elegance of the classic coat with modernity perfectly. With a pair of smart brogues and front pleated black trousers, add a monochrome print shirt to give the outfit a youthful feel. For the braver man out there, why not go the distance and add a statement hat to the assemble.
There are a host of great French brands from the past and present doing their utmost to continue a fine tradition of famous Gallic style but for me, Sandro are simply a cut above the rest at present.
Fashion giants such as Lanvin and Saint Laurent may hold the historical power and hip, new designers such as Ami and Christophe Lemaire may hold sway in the fashion cliques but Sandro, well, they appear to be a fine amalgamation of the two.
It’s rare that a brand manages to combine distinguished nobility with rock’n’roll attitude but Sandro have managed to succeed where many others fail.