Men's Style Guide: How to Pack Like a Pro for Cannes

Packing for Cannes - H 2016
Brigitte Sire

Look your best whether on the red carpet, a yacht or closing a deal as style consultant Andrew Weitz shows how to compete when, as one industry exec notes, "Everyone's bringing their A-game ... what you wear has to live up to the challenge."

When asked what he packs for Cannes, Jamie Patricof, producer on Un Certain Regard selection Captain Fantastic, quips "a tuxedo and a bathing suit." There's more than a grain of truth to those twin poles of dressing for the festival, from black tie for gala premieres to beachwear for the posh hotel pools. For the former, style consultant Andrew Weitz, a onetime Hollywood agent who caters to industry executives through The Weitz Effect, says that this season's archetypal tuxedo is the Tom Ford O'Connor, with its slim peak lapel, aka "the James Bond cut."

To vary nighttime premiere looks, Canali's ivory dinner jacket with satin shawl collar pairs well with tux trousers: "It's a great option: white, South of France, Cannes Film Festival — you can't go wrong." Cannes veteran Edward Walson, a producer of this year's opening-night pick, Woody Allen's Cafe Society, brings at least three tuxes to the fest, where he typically stays up to 10 days. Tuxedo jackets do double duty with jeans for parties. "It's really the most important part of your wardrobe there," he says. Shoes-wise, Weitz prefers a slim Ferragamo patent leather slip-on, which "tends to be a lot lighter to pack than lace-ups," he says.

At the other end of the sartorial spectrum, Weitz counsels men against "long, baggy board shorts," or to at least "make sure it's a 2016 version that's slim and comes above the knee." One good choice is a Retromarine seersucker that can double as a walking short. Combine it with a terry cloth polo and a Bottega Veneta slip-on sneaker in jute canvas for a yacht-worthy vibe.

By day, suits and sport coats are the rule for meetings, lunches and photocalls. Sylvain Corbeil, a pro­ducer on Xavier Dolan's It's Only the End of the World, indicates there should be a formality even to casual events at Cannes: "It has a longtime tradition of being unmatched, so it's more conservative in looks." Rather than a typical navy blazer, Weitz suggests one "with more pop," like a Mediterranean-blue sport jacket from Canali in a "traveling wool" that's water-resistant to withstand a downpour and so wrinkle-free, you can ball it up. It mixes easily with khaki trousers, blue jeans or "a white cotton jean — a great look," says Weitz. As for suits, an option from Isaia in a subtle plaid in super-140s wool is "a three-in-one," says Weitz. "You can wear it as a full suit, or the jacket with a pair of slacks, or the pants with any solid shirt or jacket."

CANNES CANVAS: Bottega Veneta natural slip-on; $480, at Bottega Veneta, Beverly Hills; SEERSUCKER PUNCH: Retromarine swim trunks/shorts with SPF 50 filters; $165,; PERFECT SHIRT: Tom Ford polo in cotton terry cloth; $650, at Tom Ford, Beverly Hills; FRAMED UP: Barton Perreira “Ronson” shades; $610, at Optometrix, Beverly Hills

BLUES TRAVELER: Lanvin waxed linen sneakers in storm blue; $490, at Lanvin, Beverly Hills; LUXE LOAFER: Prada brown shoe; $595, at Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills (Ribbed cotton-lisle socks; about $18,

BLUE’S CRUISE: Weitz, photographed April 22 at the Mondrian hotel in L.A., adjusts a Canali Mediterranean-blue water-resistant wool blazer, $1,595 (with white cotton/silk trousers, $375); at Canali, Beverly Hills. Isaia cotton/linen button-down sport shirt in pale pink, $545; at Isaia, Beverly Hills

A leather loafer that easily tran­sitions from a suit to jeans in what Weitz calls "the perfect shade of brown when wearing blues and grays" can be found at Prada. (The Neon Demon director Nicolas Winding Refn seconds that: "Just remember to always wear Prada to Cannes and you can't go wrong.") For a more casual shoe, Weitz recommends the Lanvin cap-toe sneaker in a blue waxed linen. And for that European elan, Weitz likes a no-show invisible sock, like those by Calvin Klein.

IVORY COAT: Canali off-white wool and silk dinner jacket with satin shawl collar; $2,050, at Canali, Beverly Hills;TOP IT OFF: Tom Ford narrow bow tie, $250; lavender cotton formal shirt, $770; silk pocket square, $165; at Tom Ford, Beverly Hills; DELUXE TUX: Tom Ford wide bow tie, $250; white cotton formal shirt, $825; narrow pocket square, $165; black superfine-wool “O’Connor” tuxedo with peak lapels, $5,460; at Tom Ford, Beverly Hills; PATENT PENDING: Salvatore Ferragamo black slip-on formal shoes in patent leather with grosgrain ribbon inset; $695, at Salvatore Ferragamo, Beverly Hills. Says Weitz: “The detail of grosgrain ribbon elevates them so they’re not plain, and the shape goes elegantly with any kind of tapered or tailored tuxedo pant.”

LAUNCH PLAID: Isaia suit (trousers not shown), $3,795; polka-dot tie, $150; pocket square, $95; at Isaia, Beverly Hills. Ermenegildo Zegna dress shirt, $395; at Ermenegildo Zegna, Beverly Hills

SOUND ROLLING: Tumi four-wheeled Alpha 2 extended trip garment bag in heavyweight nylon, with exterior compartment, zip pockets and removable interior zip pouches, $975; at Tumi, Beverly Hills

Weitz's pick for packing it all in (one client told him it was "life-changing") is the Tumi Alpha 2, a sleek nylon garment-bag hybrid on wheels that's great for trips that last for more than four days. Garments hang in both directions to double up on space in a zippered compartment that also includes sections for items like shoes, which he prefers couched in shoe bags holding light plastic shoe trees. Attention to these types of details goes a long way. "In Cannes, everybody's bringing their A-game," says executive vp Paul Davidson of film distributor The Orchard. "All the events, meetings, parties and screenings have a more dramatic feel, and what you wear has got to live up to the challenge."

This story first appeared in the May 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.