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Esquire's European Style Guide

Esquire's European Style Guide

Just as cuisines, car designs and dialects alter and adapt as they cross seas and national borders, so too do the clothes we wear.

As international as Europe’s urban environments may be, the sartorial choices we make are as intrinsically linked to the histories, climates and cultures of our cities as they ever were.

From the monochrome minimalism favoured by those long, lean Scandis to the deconstructed suits prized by the Italians, we asked four key menswear commentators to pinpoint the key looks from four of Europe’s fashion capitals. Plus, here’s how to achieve the look yourself.

LONDON by Luke Leitch, deputy fashion editor, The Telegraph
Comprehensibly describing the way stylish London men dress would take a lifetime. That’s because Londoners are highly individual and, when it comes to clothes, enthusiastically promiscuous.

The Brands
It depends who you are. Lamb’s Conduit Street is probably the single best shopping street in London; Oliver Spencer, Private White VC and Folk are highlights, as are the plentiful pubs.

Paul Smith remains impressive and is admired around the world. Christopher Raeburn has a brilliant philosophy and the clothes are great, too.

I also love Jermyn Street and would like to live there, ideally in Turnbull & Asser.

The Look
There’s a zillion different styles in London, from Savile Row suits to Stratford street survival wear. These tribes rub up against each other.

That friction sparks new music, new ideas and new approaches to style.

Where To See Them
Soho’s Golden Square for ad-land creatives; the bars in The City for bankers in beautiful suits; Hackney and Dalston for hipsters with spectacles, fixie bikes and statement sweats; Harlesden for Brazilian beach culture meets Jamaican ‘trading’ chic.

(above) Blue cotton mac, £815, by Paul Smith. Brown cotton blazer, £310; brown suede monk shoes, £299, both by Oliver Spencer. Blue striped cotton shirt, £105, by Hartford. Rose cotton chinos, £390, by Brunello Cucinelli

Paris-outfit

Midnight blue leather jacket, £739; white/navy cotton scarf, £135, both by Sandro. Grey cashmere jumper, £970; teal cotton trousers, £375, both by Hermès. Brown leather ankle boots, £980, by Berluti

PARIS by Godfrey Deeny, European editor, Fashion Wire Daily
“Parisian men’s style involves a hefty dose of demi-monde. Expect a small scarf knotted around the neck and a bit of scruff: a week-old beard and a suggestion they have just crawled out of bed, ideally after some mid-afternoon fun.”

The Brands
“The go-to labels now are Lanvin for jackets and micro-fibre nylon trench coats, APC for jeans, Berluti, the world’s best bottier, for boots and winter top coats, and Hermès for shirts and neat sweaters.

An essential piece is the existentialist black leather jacket, best bought from a second-hand store in Les Halles.”

The Look
“A mix of dandy and intellectual; part Alain Delon, part Serge Gainsbourg. The actor who best defines it today is Romain Duris.

Chalk-striped jackets with slim jeans, high collar white shirts and good boots.”

Where To See Them
“They drink in La Perle, the actors’ bar where Galliano had his appalling rant, otherwise a fine café.

They dine at Les Vitelloni in the Marais, or Racines 2 in the 1st.

They dance at Le Baron and Montana and they down cocktails at Silencio."

Milan-outfit

Navy checked linen blazer, £1,520; grey wool trousers, £360, both by Brunello Cucinelli. White textured shirt, £185, by Emporio Armani. Turquoise spotted silk pocket square, £60, by Ermenegildo Zegna. Brown suede tasselled loafers, £449; red leather briefcase, £1,125, both by Salvatore Ferragamo

MILAN by Matteo Persivale, fashion writer, Corriere della Sera
“‘Shades of grey’ describes Milanese style perfectly. In a business city where it’s often overcast, the grey suit rules. You’ll see handmade shirts, English brogues (John Lobb or Church’s) and Tod’s driving shoes (for the adventurous).

Creativity is found in details such as pocket squares and eccentric ties.

Less conservative work environments encourage a more personal style, with plenty of colour, tweed and corduroy.”

The Brands
“For the older man, A Caraceni (bespoke), Tincati and Corneliani (ready-to-wear). For younger men, the look is more fitted; Dolce & Gabbana dark suits and Ferragamo, Tom Ford and Brunello Cucinelli.”

The Look
“It’s all about carefully curated personal details. Milan is a business city that has became sartorially imaginative thanks to the strong presence of the fashion industry.”

Where To See Them
“Café Radetzky in the Brera district, the Principe di Savoia Hotel bar is popular, as is the Bulgari Hotel and Armani Privé.”

Copenhagen-outfit

Black wool coat, £399; grey checked wool suit, £599; grey cotton T-shirt, £79; burgundy leather boots, £299, all by Tiger of Sweden. Navy spotted cotton scarf, £79, by Sand

COPENHAGEN by Frederik Andersen, fashion director, Euroman
“For years, Scandinavian fashion has been focused on a very slim, minimalistic silhouette. Danish brands like Sand, Bruuns Bazaar, Cottonfield and Won Hundred all fall into that category and are locally considered as the bedrock of classic Danish style.

But there’s also been a reaction to such a clinical approach, with the emergence of designers producing more avant-garde pieces for the young and bold.”

The Brands
“Henrik Vibskov and Peter Jensen are two key designers in current Danish menswear, producing quirky pieces, while Wood Wood, Libertine-Libertine, Norse Projects and Soulland all teeter between high fashion and minimalism.”

The Look
“Slim-fit suits, buttoned-up shirts and scoop-neck tees in monochromatic shades, skinny-fit jeans and ankle boots. We don’t have a long tradition of men wearing suits, so we’ve created our own, more relaxed take.”

Where To See Them
“Kødbyens Fiskebar in the meatpacking district is a good place to drink champagne. Afterwards, head to either Toldboden (located between Amalienborg and the Little Mermaid), or KBIII, where you’ll find the best DJs and the best-looking crowds.”