the pantalon

At the launch of a new wine, called Anwilka, yesterday. It’s a collaboration between the owner of Klein Constantia and a few very upper class Frenchies, Bordelaise gentry. Being their holiday season, the Continental connection was well represented, including a few friends that just happened to be in the Cape, so they popped in for the launch. As we stood there sipping on our vintage Champagne and scarfing smoked salmon, it suddenly dawned on me – all the French men (and I mean all) were wearing camel coloured chinos. Together with botton-down shirts (mainly blue) and dock-side shoes, they were looking very cas-mal. That’s casual-formal uniform.

2 Replies to “the pantalon”

  1. These bordeaux people are so uneasy outisde their natural environement, that they even have a casual uniform support each other, and make them feel less lost…As they knew the tie would have been offending for their local guest, and offending for their body over 35°, the blue shirt and the beige chinno is been their way to pretend they can be casual too….
    On the otherhand, I made the same conclusion last year at the Wine of the Month Club award annual lunch, 90 of the winemakers, South African, were wearing the same chinno and blue shirt, but for them it was the formal dress code, just under the rented tuxedo which is only for the Veritas dinner….
    So at least the two cultures can mix somehow, the difference would then be the sebago dockside shoes, versus the WPK cellar shoes….

  2. Thanks for the insights, given more weight by your native accent. You remind me that The Chino has become a modern standard, like blue jeans were in the late 20th century. For a while I did not want to wear jeans for this reason (avoidance of sheepishness) now the chino is worth avoiding.

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