Mustache, Beret & Baguette: Cliche of a Typical French Man

The strong symbols of being French: Beret hat, Mustache and French loaf. The mustache has lingered on with different kinds of “French looks” through the centuries. But how is the typical French man doing nowadays?


Laurent Garcia, an elegant older gentleman is running an old men’s salon in the heart of Montpellier’s old city center. The witty ad says “Haute coiffure masculin” meaning top barber for men. The salon is like straight from the interior design magazine or a movie: dark wood, huge mirrors and marble flooring. Everything is perfected and radiantly clean. There is a fresh, sophisticated odor of men’s eau de toilette in the air.

Monsieur Garcia takes care of most of the work load. For help, he has a slender and young girl who takes care of assistant work, like washing hair. The moves of the master barber are professional, fast, careful and polite, and even elegant. Even the way to talk has been groomed with a calm pace. The customer can surely feel himself as the Louis XIV of France, known as Sun King. The appearance of the master is also radiating with a pleasant confidence and professional pride.

It soon becomes clear that the customers like him and throw themselves to his knowledgeable care with trust. The salon has become a regular for his loyal customers. And the town hall of Montpellier is situated right around the corner. Laurent Garcia says that maybe there is still a cliche in the world that the typical french has a Beret, Mustache and a Baguette. However there are less mustaches nowadays and beards are getting much more popular.

An orderly customer Monsieur Miellard is a retired journalist. He amplifies that a significant portion of French men still have their mustaches. Mostly amongst the middle aged and retired popularity persists. Still you can bump into men who come to trim and groom their mustache. It is a part of mediterranean culture — especially in Spain, Italy as well as Arabic countries and the middle east they are a strong symbol of masculinity. In the French less so although you might get that picture from old films. The biggest cliche, Napoleon III style mustache style has disappeared completely.

1 comment

  1. It’s true — I also think there are plenty of mustaches still around but it’s big competition for the beard. LOL.

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