Summer Style Report: Madrid
Summer temperatures in the Spanish capital top 100 for days at a time, but that doesn’t stop the men from looking stylish.
If you think Barcelona and Madrid couldn’t be all that different, think again. The two cities have different cultures, languages and histories. While many Barcelonans don’t even think of themselves as Spanish and are in favor of Catalan independence, Madrid residents, known as Madrileños, take pride in their rich Spanish legacy. They’re also different in character - noticeably more cosmopolitan, but also gutsy and fun-loving. What’s more, Madrileños love dressing up. While Barcelona is super casual, Madrid casual is a couple of notches up. The men aren’t timid about showing off their style, and even in summer’s 100-degree temperatures, they manage to look cool.
Whether in the hipster neighborhood of Malasaña or chic Salamanca, men ramp up their style accordingly. Businessmen notably are impeccably dressed in tailored suits that look slicker yet on the motorcycles many of them ride to the office. A majority of hipsters and gay men, meanwhile, seem to have jumped on the international beard craze, but after all, this is Spain, and as a visit to the Prado and the portraits of Velázquez can testify, Spaniards have been giving that look for centuries. Below the neck, it’s all about slim-fit, tailored clothes and shorter pant lengths. It’s hard to believe that just a couple of decades ago, no self-respecting Spanish man would have donned shorts, as they’re ubiquitous among today’s young men. Among those who haven’t given in, slim, shorter-length pants are the convention. Also, shirts are tucked in more often than not, which means going easy on the paella.
Another noticeable style feature is the attention to shoes and accessories. As in Barcelona, there are many great locally made shoe styles, as well as belts, Spain in general being known for leather products. In fact, Madrid has many local men’s clothing brands that are worth checking out, especially in the shops of Malasaña, Chueca, and Salamanca. So if you visit, plan on taking advantage of the many stylish offerings at prices rendered all the more appealing by the dollar’s relative strength. American men can afford to take a few pointers from the Madrileños who beautifully illustrate how even on hot summer days one needn’t look like a slouch.