How to dress like Alain Delon

Tap into your inner French movie star with these lessons from the style icon...

29th July 2020

Tap into your inner French movie star with these lessons from the style icon

Chances are, unless you happen to be pretty clued up on your mid-century European cinema, you’re unlikely to be able to name an Alain Delon film (for future reference we recommend checking out The Leopard and Plein Soleil). But we’ll forgive you for your cultural faux pas because, likelihood is, you’re more than familiar with Delon’s unfailingly chic image – and, for our purposes, that’s what counts.

Yes, Delon may have become a Swiss citizen in 1999, but he never lost that signature French touch when it came to style. Nonchalant, chic, effortlessly cool – this is a man who made black during a blazing summer look completely acceptable. Here are the style lessons to take away…

Keep it classic

alain delon

The Breton top. The black roll neck. The cigarette. There’s a reason why so many tables of French style have stuck around for decades; they are, quite simply, timeless. Delon more than knew how to make the classic look cool – just take a look at hime in 1963’s Any Number Can Win making a navy crew neck sweater look like the most covetable jumper ever made. Channel the look in Artknit Studio’s cashmere jumper paired with New & Lingwood’s beige chinos and a pair of white sneakers from Scarosso.

Summer shirting

alain delon

Step away from your T-shirt draw. When it comes to emulating Alain Delon’s holiday style, there’s only one item you need: a great lightweight shirt. Rough roll the sleeves, unbutton it just so and finish with your favourite shades. These designs from Turnbull & Asser, New & Lingwood and Emma Willis will do the trick.

A new spin on your office wardrobe

If your suit and white shirt staple is beginning to feel a bit, well, stale, may we suggest you look to Alain Delon for a little inspiration. From red carpets to the silver screen, the star had quite a way with the suit – and luckily it won’t take much too make yours feel fresh again. Delon’s favourite trick? Simply swap your white shirt for a navy one, add a matching pocket square et voila. Emma Willis’ indigo shirt is the perfect match for Thom Sweeney’s navy jacket and trousers and Turnbull & Asser’s pocket square.

emma willis indigo

Emma Willis

Indigo Linen Shirt


Buy now
thom sweeney suit

Thom Sweeney

Checked Navy Suit


Buy now
trunbull asser pocket square

Turnbull & Asser

Piped Silk Pocket Square


Buy now

European elegance

alain delon
Image courtesy of Getty Images

We’re going to admit, it takes a certain level of style nous to pull off this particular look but, as long as you feel as confident as Delon looks stepping off this Lufthansa flight, we’ve no doubt you’re up to the challenge. It’s also going to call for the embrace of a few continental style quirks. The sockless loafer for starters (Scarosso’s are more than comfortable enough to accommodate). The zip-up leather jacket too (although who could say no to this Hugo Boss number). If all else fails, we guarantee you’ll wear Rubinacci’s tailored trousers time and time again.

scarosso loafers


Stefano Moro Loafers


Buy now
hugo boss jacket

Hugo Boss

Leather Jacket


Buy now
rubinacci trousers


Tapered Pleated Linen Drawstring Trousers


Buy now

Off duty casual

alain delon
Image courtesy of Getty Images

Time off work doesn’t mean time off looking good – as Delon well knew. Even when walking his dogs he made sure to look great (well, when you’re an international movie star, cameras are everywhere). While the paparazzi might not be watching your every move, your weekend wardrobe could definitely benefit from an injection of Delon style – and for this you should turn to Sunspel. Pair its classic white T-shirt and navy knitted blazer with your favourite jean and a pair of Aurelien’s suede driving shoes for a look that is at once put together and supremely comfortable.

sunspel t shirt


Cotton T-shirt


Buy now
sunspel blazer


Merino Wool Milano Blazer


Buy now
aurelien loafer


Grey Suede Driving Shoes


Buy now

These are the French style icons to channel this summer…