This summer, nail the simple, laid-back elegant style of the Côte d’Azur
As practical as it is good-looking, Riviera style remains as relevant today as when it first took shape almost a century ago. Emerging as one of the first modern resort areas in the late 18th century, the list of those who visited the French Riviera reads like a who’s who of stylish cultural taste makers (F. Scott Fitzgerald and Pablo Picasso were particular fans).
From the 1920s onward, Europe’s most affluent flocked in their droves to cities like Nice, Marseilles and Cannes, as well as Portofino and San Remo on the Italian equivalent.
Riviera style itself began as a means of translating European elegance for a hotter-than-average locale where daily activities included little more than sunbathing and maybe some yachting for those feeling energetic. While fashion has changed over the years, the fundamentals of men’s Riviera style have remained the same.
Of course, you don’t just have to be on the Côte d’Azur to channel this simple, laid-back style. Its been a huge inspiration for the Club 826 collections so whether you’re keen to cut a debonair figure on the coast or just recreate a little of the Riviera back home, here’s what you need to know.
Club 826 have all you need in our latest Style Release
Accurately channeling the Riviera aesthetic is as much about the sensibility as it is ensuring your wardrobe is appropriately stocked, and colour plays an integral role.
At the core of the Riviera palette you’ll find light neutrals like white, beige, stone, tan and grey, all of which, helpfully, look their best in sunny weather and combine easily with most other hues while keeping you cool by reflecting rather than absorbing light.
For interest, nautical reds and blues are worth adding, as are pastels like turquoise, sky blue, pale yellow and lavender, which provide the perfect accents to a low-key base.
THE POLO SHIRT
The polo shirt is an indisputable Riviera must-own. Coming collared – unlike a T-shirt – it protects your neck from exposure to direct sunlight while providing a solution to looking refined in the heat.
Transport yourself to the glamorous Riviera of the 50’s and 60’s to nail movie star cool in the Club 826 Saint Martin fine linen knit polo shirt. An easy going classic with great versatility. Build your smart casual looks around this classic polo shirt and wear with everything from turned up chinos to under a linen blazer. A comfortable, versatile and reliable addition to your summer wardrobe.
Traditional cotton pique styles are unarguably classic and will serve you well for years to come. Although we prefer the light weight coo of our Saint Martin linen knit polo. Super light and breezy and head turning cool.
Alternatively, keep an eye out for unusual textures, which hark back to the mid-century style icons who first made the destination famous, and toweling, which is especially useful for wear post-swim. Find your Saint Martin linen knit polo in the Club 826 Ultimate Voyage Pack.
THE BRETON TOP
There are few items of clothing as quintessentially French as the Breton striped top. Once the uniform for all French navy seaman in Brittany – each with 21 stripes to mark Napoleon’s victories – now a year-round wardrobe workhorse on any soil (or sea).
You’ll find plenty of long and short-sleeved T-shirt versions on the market, Choose a lightweight cotton example featuring navy, black or red stripes to enhance your summer wardrobe.
Whether or not you plan on boating, this maritime staple lends any Riviera get-up some understated nautical charm. However, to avoid looking like you’ve set sail for a fancy dress party, steer clear of pairing it with items like, you know, a sailor hat. Instead, keep the rest of the look simple, with crisp, bright white hues on your lower deck. The Club 826 black and white Martinique T-shirt can be found stylishly lounging in the Laid-Back Pack
LIGHTWEIGHT, UNSTRUCTURED TAILORING
A few pieces of lightweight, unstructured tailoring pieces will allow you to look sharp without the need to accessorize with a sweat towel.
A lightweight cotton/linen mix blazer is a great wardrobe addition. It’s here that fabric choice becomes extremely important. Lightweight cotton, linen and blends of each all make for sound summertime tailoring, being breathable and easy to wear.
To maximize ventilation without skimping on style, look for a cut that’s slim enough to flatter your form, but not so restrictive as to compromise airflow. We designed our Club 826 Havana Blazer in French Grey to do just this. It’s the hero piece in our Ultimate Voyage Pack
TAILORED SHORTS AND CHINOS
Denim shorts might be an acceptable choice for a night out in Tenerife, but this stretch of the Mediterranean coast requires something more streamlined.
Well-cut shorts (ending just above the knee, slightly tapered through the thigh) will save you from looking sloppy when you need to bare your legs. A similarly cut pair of chinos (either cropped or rolled at the ankle to give of a sock less look is also a good stand-in.
Fabrics like cotton and linen are favourable. You should keep colour choice conservative (think white or navy) to maximize the mixing-and-matching potential. However, if that’s not a concern, opt for a pastel shade or subtle print to stand out from your fellow sun-worshipers.
Check out the Club 826 CasablancA Chinos and Rio Oyster White linen shorts to expertly master your Riviera cool
Although the only way to do the beach is barefoot for optimal Riviera insouciance, there will be times when you’ll need to cover up on the shore (especially if you’re hitting the pebbles in Nice!)
Classic leather sandals in black or brown work well, teaming effortlessly with the rest of a Riviera wardrobe, while espadrilles offer a good alternative for men who don’t rate sandals but still want to keep things relaxed and refined.
For bar-hopping or grabbing a bite to eat, sub in a timeless pair of tassel loafers or driving shoes, preferably in suede for an additional flush of luxury that’ll mark you apart.
No Riviera look can ever truly be considered complete without a few judiciously styled debonair touches.
Given that even the glitterati would deem ties to be unnecessary in the summer heat, swap yours out for a silk pocket placed neatly in your blazer’s breast pocket. Or if that leaves your neck feeling naked, sub in a loosely knotted neckerchief to fill the void.
Other worthwhile additions include a straw fedora or Panama hat (partly for instant style points, partly for sun coverage) and a pair of Club master sunglasses to add some final polish.
Shop the Club 826 Ultimate Voyage Pack for all your Riviera looks