Men In Speedos


Last year, I wrote about men in spandex.  Well, with the warm temperatures, people are showing more skin.  You gents are no exception.  I’ve seen a fair bit of y’all.

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You’ve seen men in spandex.   With the approach of summer, I bring you another cultural difference, men in Speedos.  This swimwear is rather foreign to us.  Unless you are a competitive swimmer, you just don’t see this in the US, where most guys wear boardshorts or some other type of swimsuit short.


Michael PhelpsRyan LochteCullen Jones, and Jason Lezak all wear them, but then again they are also wearing goggles and swim caps.  Sometimes, they don’t even wear them, opting instead for those fancy new super fast getups.  I think they are called the Speedo Endurance Jammer.


Anyway, in the US, non-competition swimmers just generally don’t wear Speedos.  You don’t see them at the beach.  Department stores don’t usually even stock them.  As you can see from the above photo, in France you have many options.



The only thing to say is “wow,” this style is definitely another cultural difference.


Breaking The Law In France


It looks like your average vacation shot, but apparently, this was illegal activity.  Just like the Judas Priest song, I was “Breakin the Law.”  I’ve done it too (but the photos are just too bad to post). It wasn’t intentional.  I didn’t have drugs, wasn’t intoxicated or carrying stolen goods.

The problem is what the girl on the left is wearing.  In 1799, post-Revolution France enacted a law banning women from wearing pants in Paris, the French capital.  Female renegades wore (gasp) long trousers to show their to the wealthy who wore fashionable knee-length culottes.  This began a political movement named ‘sans-culottes’ (which translates literally to no underwear).

For women, wearing any form of menswear in public required government permission in order to be legal.  Often, obtaining permission required a medical reason.  I’m guessing that “I didn’t feel like shaving my legs this morning” just wouldn’t have passed muster.  Ironically, the law didn’t seem to stop Parisian fashion houses from starting the military look, suits or menswear fashion trends every decade or so.


Another Cultural Difference…Men In Spandex

We’ve reported on the fashion in Europe and in Geneva, but never on workout wear.  Spring is here and people have taken off a couple of layers so you can actually see their workout attire.

Runners here wear a lot of spandex.  More specifically, male runners here wear a lot of spandex.  I’m not saying that we don’t wear spandex.  I’m guilty of it on occasion.  We both wear bike shorts when cycling.  However, most male runners in the US don’t wear spandex.  If they do, they usually wear shorts over them.  It is definitely something we aren’t used to seeing.

We’ve had great weather and I’ve been running along the lake.  On one run, I counted 29 guys running in spandex shorts (I had to entertain myself somehow).        If you come to run in Geneva and forget to pack your spandex, don’t worry.  You can buy them everywhere.

We spotted these puppies at the auto show. You can get them everywhere.


What Trendy Ladies Are Wearing Over Here

While I was home, a friend asked me about fashion trends in Europe.  I didn’t have a good answer at the time.  I’ve looked at what ladies are wearing on the Geneva’s streets, thought a bit about it and here’s my best guess:  

Daisy Dukes (or at least shorter jean shorts) over tights. Since I was around when the Dukes of Hazzard originally aired, I will not be wearing them.  We saw a lot of this look in London.

From Accessorizeblog

From Two Firey Fashionistas
From Two Firey Fashionistas

Colored and/or patterned tights
The Maltese Muse Blog

From Fashion Cookie Jar

Also knee high boots worn with visible woolen socks

From Live Originally
From Runway Daily
From Awkwardly Chic
From Airwar

Sometimes, I’ll find myself gazing wistfully at someones cute heels, but you definitely don’t see as much of them.  They are lunch for cobblestones and people tend to walk more here.  In winter, you see cute, comfy boots everywhere.  I think the prevailing style varies from city to city.

From YouLookFab

I loved wearing wellies when I worked in my garden. When I came to visit, it rained so much that I brought a pair. I see a lot of other people wearing them on rainy days.  He hates them, but he can kiss my wellie. My feet are staying dry.  Due to their warmth, you also see a fair number of moon boots.

From Fashionassist
Lady J in her moon boots – She writes from Switzerland at Lady J’s Musings

He’s a much larger fan of the leggings trend.  

From That Petite Girl
From Fashionassist

The skinny jean…still popular.

From Mama’s A Rolling Stone

Just about everyone here wears scarves.  Gents too (The Swiss Watch Blog’s post on man scarves).

From YouLookFab

In addition to the “it” bags, I see a lot of Louis Vitton and Longchamps.

From YouLookFab
These fold up bags are everywhere – From Madmoizelle

One visitor remarked that you don’t see women wearing huge wedding rings as much as you do in the US.  They tend to be smaller and a bit more discreet than Kim Kardashian’s boulder.  Come to think of it, most things are a bit more discreet than Kim Kardashian here.

At least in Geneva, the fashion seems to be lots of black and neutrals.

From YouLookFab

Leather bombers or motorcycle jackets (when its warmer), fur vests and shiny puffy coats are common.  

From Embracing Style
From Golestaneh

He wonders why she’s wearing sandals if she’s cold? – From Silly Messy Chic

Fortunately, I haven’t seen the leggings – From Flights of Fab

I don’t know much of anything about fashion (except for maybe a few tricks to make myself look taller).  To see what one expat has been wearing, check out Lady J in Geneva.

The Man Scarf

It seems to be a commonly held belief over here that letting your throat get chilled or exposed to a cold breeze causes colds.  This helps to explain the prevalence of scarves with both men and women.

In an attempt to look more European, he got a scarf. Unfortunately, he’s unsure how to wear it.  I told him that there is no one right or wrong way, but he remains skeptical.   I suggested putting it out on the blog and polling people.  He thought is was a great idea even though it would give those with Photoshop additional fodder (you know who you are).  Here are your choices:

Which one is the winner?


Fall Fashion Trends

We had a request from the man with four first names to put more of him in the blog. In response, I have decided to start having him model European fall fashion trends here.  Enjoy!

David Beckham | beanies | hats | celebrities | fasion | stars | latest | gossip
David Beckham in a Slouchy Beanie from Now Magazine

Doesn’t he look just like Brad Pitt or David Beckham in his slouchy beanie?  

The man scarf is a particularly popular trend here.  Being a practical person, I am on board with it if it is for warmth. I am generally opposed to it when worn with a short sleved shirt.  That goes 2x for him.  Although, this guy seems warm enough… Please feel free to weigh in on this, or any other cutting edge issue.

I’m not sure that this trend is going to catch on.  If it does, you saw it here first.