Serge Gainsbourg

Our latest Suit Fit Guide has everything you need—and then some—to achieve the perfect suit for your taste and physique:

1. Options to shop by three Fit categories—Classic, Trim, and Extra-Trim.
2. A video (above) that breaks down which Fit is right for you.
3. Tips on measuring, to ensure you order the right size.
4. An introduction to owning Made-to-Measure suits (even if you’re a 6′-11″ NBA center).
5. There’s even a comprehensive infographic, defining every detail from construction terminology to common fabrics and patterns. (Know the difference between glen plaid and herringbone? If you didn’t before, you do now.)

Of course, all that minutia adds up to one thing: looking good. Below are some outtakes from our video shoot, featuring our favorite suit of the day—an extra-trim peak-lapel in windowpane-plaid wool, made in Italy by Neil Barrett. (Curious about the backdrop? That’s Seattle’s Melrose Market, where sustainable sandwiches, vintage vinyl, and hard liquor all collide under one roof.)





SHOP: SUITS & SPORTCOATS

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Speaking of suits, here’s a man who always knew how to wear them well: Parisian musical genius Serge Gainsbourg, seen here wooing Jane Birkin in the 1969 film Slogan.

For more Gainsbourg, read our recent post—and to shop all things French, visit our limited-time French Fling Pop-In Shop before it’s au revoir.

 
 

[Still photos by Robin Stein; see more of his work here.]

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French singer, songwriter, poet, composer, artist, actor and director Serge Gainsbourg was kind of like the Kanye West of his time—you know, a creative genius. A jack of many trades. A genre-hopping musician, both in the spotlight and behind the scenes. His lyrics utilized styles of wordplay that would make most rappers (and even self-described word-nerd copy editors—we checked) scratch their heads. (Mondegreen? Spoonerism? Check Gainsbourg’s Wikipedia page for definitions.)

Gainsbourg also managed to sweep some of the best-known bombshells of the 1960s and ’70s off their feet. Check out his 1968 ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ duet with then-ladyfriend Brigitte Bardot above, for example. The song is based on a poem entitled The Trail’s End, written by Bonnie Parker herself just weeks before her Depression-era crime spree with Clyde Barrow came to a grisly end. Gainsbourg’s apparent fascination with American culture is interesting—especially as we find ourselves paying homage to all things French, with our limited-time French Fling Pop-In Shop. (And, as Monsieur West is zealously requesting croissants and collab’ing with minimalist French label A.P.C.)

Below, find some favorite photos of Gainsbourg and guests—all via the essential repository for all things vintage and jaw-dropping: The Impossible Cool.


Perhaps he was not classically handsome. And legend has it that he passed out drunk after taking Jane Birkin to some questionable venues on their first date. But what Gainsbourg lacked in other areas, he made up for in his keen ability to wear a suit like he was born in it. Check out those fitted shoulders, wide lapels, and devil-may-care shirt collar.


Brigitte Bardot, Gainsbourg’s partner in crime in the song above, cleaned up pretty nice, too.


…But who wore it best? Invented in England, perfected by the French—Gainsbourg makes a trench coat look almost as good as Bardot. Note his expert use of accessories: gloves, smoke, icy stare.


Not a bad run: After breaking up with Bardot, Gainsbourg rebounded with English singer/actress Jane Birkin—but’s that’s a whole other story. Here, he rocks the “jacket-as-cape” look about 40 years before the current crop of street-style stars attempted it.

 

SHOP: FRENCH FLING POP-IN SHOP
READ MORE: FRENCH-THEMED ARTICLES

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When we interviewed AG Jeans Creative Director Sam Ku a few months ago, we noticed his favorite style icons were all of a vintage nature. From rough-around-the-edges antiheroes like Steve McQueen and Paul Newman to infamous ladies’ man Serge Gainsbourg, it was clear that Ku’s inspiration draws largely from the past—which provides a logical context for the latest lineup from AG Jeans.

Dubbed ‘AG-ed Vintage,’ the collection utilizes AG’s modern jean-crafting expertise in an ode to time-honored treasures discovered at a rare vintage shop. Each style is labeled with a number of years—the higher the number, the older the inspiration.

Here are a few favorites, from dusted-up greys that would look at home in the driver’s seat of a Mustang, to gently distressed blues for prowling Paris with Jane Birkin on your arm:


AG Jeans ‘Matchbox’ Slim Straight Leg Jeans (6 Years Destroyed)


AG Jeans ‘Dylan’ Slim Skinny Leg Jeans (3 Years Tonal)


AG Jeans ‘Matchbox’ Slim Straight Leg Jeans (7 Year Grey)


AG Jeans ‘Matchbox’ Slim Straight Leg Jeans (24 Year Fade)

 

SHOP: AG JEANS | ALL MEN’S DENIM

 
 

[Video clips © Solar Productions, Fontana Records, and Warner Bros.-Seven Arts. Individuals pictured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

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Serge Gainsbourg: Kind of weird looking. And yet he was a hit with the ladies—including British bombshell/actress/singer Jane Birkin. How did he do it? What he lacked in chiseled features, he made up for with charm, talent, and killer Valentine’s Day gifts. (He also knew how to wear the heck out of a suit.) If you’re still searching for a Gainsbourg-caliber date night for the big day (this Thursday)—read on for tips from some of the most discerning women we know. And if you missed it, check out our first installment of Valentine’s tips from last week.


1. GOOD WINE & GOLD CHAINS
Courtesy of Laura O. – Men’s E-Commerce Features Writer

GO: “A home-cooked meal—complete with table settings, good wine (Willamette-Valley pinots; Argyle is good) and some great music—wins big points.”

WEAR: “Dark-wash jeans, a nice wool sweater and oxford shoes (and a chef’s apron—you’re cooking).”

GIVE: “One of my favorite gifts was a big statement necklace that he picked out himself. [Shown: Kate Spade.] I get tons of compliments every time I wear it. Another was a travel-sized notebook—my husband had written a little note in the front of it. I carried it around every day until it was used up.”

 


2. PRIVATE PLANES & TRUFFLE FRIES
Courtesy of Simone H. – Digital Creative Director

GO: Little Big Burger in Portland, Oregon. Best little cheeseburger and truffle fries a girl could ask for.”

WEAR: Blue denim, a refined field jacket and Red Wing boots.”

GIVE: “I live on an island and ferry into the office. Romantic, yes. But day-in, day-out, a royal pain in the arse—which my darling husband has to hear me whine about daily. So last year, he chartered a seaplane to take me from Seattle to Bainbridge Island—bypassing the Friday ferry lines completely. We pulled into the harbor, where he was on the dock with my packed Longchamp bag! After a quick drink at the Harbor Public House we climbed on the plane for a weekend on Whidbey Island.”

 


3. FALL COLOR & A PHONE CASE
Courtesy of Kate B. – Designer Collections Site Merchandising

GO: “My husband and I used to escape to The Berkshires in western Massachusetts a couple of times a year. It’s also where we got married, so it’s a very special place, and the perfect Valentine’s retreat. Being recent East-Coast transplants, we’re looking forward to discovering our ‘Berkshires’ of the West soon.”

WEAR: “Matt is a very T-shirt-and-jeans kind of guy, but I love him all layered up. I always find a shawl collar very smart-looking, and this Rag & Bone cardigan will give him versatility for the trip.”

GIVE: “We keep gift-giving pretty minimal for Valentine’s Day, in exchange for a nice dinner out—but I think that this year, my husband Matt will need to step up and gift me a new iPhone case. I’ve had my current case as long as I’ve had the phone, and it’s definitely worse for wear. He teases it constantly, and since I have a penchant for shoe-shopping over tech purchases, he may need to take the leap for me with this shiny number from Jimmy Choo (or for real brownie points…Rag & Bone booties from my wish list).”

 


4. MAYAN RUINS & DADAIST JEWELRY
Courtesy of Brie C. – Public Relations Specialist

GO: “I generally don’t make much of Valentine’s Day because it always falls during the middle of Fashion Week (unless a designer counts as my V-date?), but this year I get a good one: on the beach in Tulum, Mexico, having a romantic dinner with my boyfriend.”

WEAR: “I love a smartly dressed man (read: layers, tailored pants, blazer…hello, Joshua and Travis of Street Etiquette), but beach-casual is essential for this year. If you look like you’re trying too hard on a beach it’s an instant fail, so a casual, collared shirt and shorts is a win. My boyfriend is famous (or rather, infamous) for a pizza-printed T-shirt, and while I find it truly spectacular, let’s hope that one stays in the closet this time.”

GIVE: “Although I tend to resist contrived romance—jewelry never fails. I have my eye on this Marc by Marc Jacobs dress as a gift to myself to wear on Valentine’s Day, but from him, I lust after anything Tom Binns.”

 

NEED MORE IDEAS?
SHOP: VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS 
…And stay tuned for more Valentine’s tips in the days to come.

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