The Leopard. Plein Soleil. The Yellow Rolls-Royce. How many of these films have you seen? Un? Deux? Nul?
If it’s the latter, it’s a shame. Because each of these French-language films stars a legendary actor named Alain Delon. Born in an upscale Parisian suburb in the mid-1930s, Delon became one of Europe’s most acclaimed actors during his career, starring in the titles listed above and many, many more.
On screen and off, he became an icon. Because, while worldwide audiences may have struggled to follow the subtitles, Delon spoke the crisply-pressed, buttoned-up language of timeless style. Here, we’ve dipped into the Riviera-chic wardrobe of the star to discover — just in time for summer — how to dress like Alain Delon…
Perfect that nonchalant French look with a linen shirt...
Linen shirts — in all their well-ventilated, lightweight glory — were made for the Riviera. And Delon knew it. Perhaps the actor’s most famous button-up was the blue linen shirt he wore in Plein Soleil — or maybe the bright white example seen above in Purple Noon. Whatever his favourite, we’ve found three options soon to become yours…
There’s Turnbull & Asser’s take on the style; so thin it’s almost gossamer. Similarly, fellow Jermyn Street shirtmaker Emma Willis has perfected that elegant-yet-relaxed cut that exemplifies the style. Or, for that Purple Moon look, New & Lingwood’s bright white shirt has a spread collar and soft shoulders made for a cool French shrug.
Turnbull & Asser Linen Shirt
Emma Willis Linen Shirt
New & Lingwood Linen Shirt
Embrace the classic look with a navy jumper...
The navy jumper is an ‘essentiel’ for a reason. And Delon knows this. The actor pulled off the pullover with stylish aplomb — and it won’t look out of place in your Riviera wardrobe. Quite the opposite, in fact: a navy jumper has certain nautical undertones that make it the perfect beachside style choice, whether that’s by the Mediterranean, the Hamptons or just good old Salcombe.
Aurélien has pulled out the navy-hued stops with this extrafine navy v-neck; in the brand’s trademark Cashwool material. Connolly‘s navy crew neck is the ultimate choice for a classical look, with a ribbed hem and slim cuffs. Or there’s Artknit: with this relaxed fit and subtle vintage touches.
Go for Delon's Riviera aesthetic with a pair of pale chinos...
Chinos are easy-wearing trousers. But Delon, who was rarely snapped out of a pair of these lightweight, light-coloured strides, managed to take his trousers to even higher heights of cool and composure. Buy the below, and you’ll be able to do the same (yes, even if you’re an Englishman).
Ralph Lauren is unfailingly reliable when it comes to chinos, and the American brand’s slim fit pair are crafted from Italian stretch cotton. Sunspel‘s light stone trousers are perfect for strolling along a boardwalk (French or otherwise). And, from Sir Plus, this tan brushed cotton design will keep you snug on even the coldest Mediterranean evening.
To perfect insouciant look, you'll need the perfect pair of sunglasses...
He had an outstanding sunglasses game, did Alain Delon. These important, stylish frames are another key aspect of gentlemanly dressing — and Delon’s trick was to keep his sunglasses simple. Effortless and elegant, we’d recommend you do the same…
The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear has just the pair; exceptionally lightweight and fitted with stylish grey lenses. Oscar Deen‘s smoke-coloured pair are inspired by vintage frames from the 1970s, and Cubitts‘ Herbrand design has a round shape and keyhole bridge to keep things stripped-back, pared-down — but in-style.
The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear Vicuña Sunglasses
Oscar Deen Carril Sunglasses
Cubitts Herbrand Sunglasses
Complete the effortlessly chic ensemble with a stylish pair of loafers
True, Delon may not be wearing loafers in the photograph above. But we’d stake our custom-soled, tassel-fronted, suede slip-ons on it. These shoes are everything the unfailingly stylish Delon stood for. And, in the below, you too can stand chicly (and comfortably) alongside him.
Scarosso‘s beige loafers are the ultimate summer shoe; their smart-casual style making them the ideal Delon-approved foundation to any outfit. Aurélien‘s navy yacht loafers, too, are a must-have for any summer weekend, and Crockett & Jones has excelled once again with the Solent: an unlined loafer, complete with tassels and crafted from the very finest snuff suede.
Scarosso Ludovico Beige Loafers
Aurélien Navy Yacht Loafers
Crockett & Jones Solent Loafers
Looking for grooming tips, too? Here’s how to get Cillian Murphy’s Peaky Blinders’ haircut…
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