Cannes: The Dos and Don'ts of Daytime Pants and Bling for Men
A guys' guide to non-jean options and high-impact accessories for festival meetings and photocalls.
They're known as "odd trousers" in the menswear trade — a throwback to the 1920s, when men first wore unmatched jackets and pants. But there's nothing odd about them for guys heading to European locales like the Cannes Film Festival. "I would not wear jeans in Cannes," says THR contributing editor Andrew Weitz, a style consultant for Tom Brady and Ari Emanuel. "It just tags you as the American."
Weitz recommends tailored linen trousers, and this season there's a great selection from Isaia, Etro, Boglioli and Prada. "There are lots of different colors and they look chic with an espadrille or loafer, and a polo or button-up shirt," he says. "Throw on a blazer to dress it up when you need to."
Stylist Michael Fisher, who's outfitting Cannes-bound actor Adam Driver for Jim Jarmusch's entry The Dead Don't Die, adds that wearing trousers instead of jeans “instantly gives you a style update that recalls the golden age of the 1950s leading man." A step above "just khakis," some styles even sport a drawstring waist, says Fisher: "It’s almost like an elevated sweat-pant, and you don’t need a belt”; pair with loafers or a luxury sneaker.
For guys who just can't give up their jeans, Weitz suggests a five-pocket pair in a non-denim hue: "It offers the same look and fit, but in a much more European way."
As for shorts, keep them for poolside or casual outings only. "Never wear board shorts or baggy cargos," says Weitz. "But a mid-length tailored short, above the knee, with a polo or shirt with the sleeves rolled up, for dining out or shopping, is a very elegant look."
Stylish and Smart in Men's Bling at Cannes
Standing out amid the over-the-top glamour of Cannes is no easy feat, but this year, luxury brands are helping out with men's accessories that are forward-thinking in both aesthetic and workmanship. Swiss designer Roland Iten crafts gold and titanium belt buckles that are exceedingly intricate and fetch five figures; brand fans include Sylvester Stallone and tennis great Rafael Nadal. "People who understand Swiss watches get what I'm trying to do," says Iten, who takes a high-tech approach to everything from cufflinks to credit-card holders.
Festival attendees also can make a statement with sapphire cases, among the top timepiece trends at the most recent Baselworld, the annual Swiss watch fair. And now watch enthusiasts can extend their fandom to their shoes, as Christian Louboutin's latest collection features a distinct metallic heel — inspired by the Milanese bracelet of a men's watch. — LAURIE BROOKINS
A version of this story first appeared in the May 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.