To my mind, it's no accident that the best dressed men I've known personally are French. After all, the French aristocracy represented the world's most sophisticated luxury goods market for several centuries. The best-dressed Frenchmen might buy their suits on Savile Row, but they stayed home for shoes, shirts and and accessories with a bit more flair than they could find in London. For most of the twentieth century, Paris was perhaps the world's best place to shop for clothing.
Unfortunately for French menswear, clothing became a global game and the initial success of Pierre Cardin and other French designers in U. S. ready to wear didn't last. After the Italians conquered that market, most of the French makers spent several decades consolidating at home with only a few names, including Charvet and Berluti, enjoying international recognition. That is starting to change.
If memory serves me right, a man could still find Cardin in U.S. department stores when a young Marc Guyot (that's Marc in the photo above) began designing his own made to measure suits as a teenager. Influenced by Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief, Fred Astaire in suits by Frederic Scholte, and the late Duke of Windsor, his efforts struck a chord. Friends began asking him to do the same for them and, after a few years, Guyot left law school to enter the world of fashion. In 1995, with no other experience, he opened his first shop in Paris.
Twelve years later, Guyot's Boutique Cape Cod is filled with clothing and shoes of his own design. It's a look that adds a French point of view to the classics of the golden era of men's clothing. "I like my customers to build a base of good taste and then add some rare items or accessories for a final touch," says Guyot. That might mean a seven fold necktie in a classic dot pattern worn under a made to measure cashmere waistcoat with contrast edging and paired with Guyot-designed shoes.
These are not clothes for serious work. Think of them for a gallery opening, a wine tasting, or a walk in the park on a sunny morning. On those occasions, Guyot has few peers.