Boasting an exceptional microclimate (which includes a glorious 316 cloudless days a year), Menton is one of the warmest parts of southern France.
A range of mountains shelters the city, ensuring that it is left untouched by the occasional frosts and violent mistral winds that affect gardens throughout the rest of Provence. Combined with the radiance of the sun, this gentle climate has an impact on almost every aspect of life, and none more so than how the residents dress.
The amount of sun and warm days have made linen a preferred textile for Mentonites, as it allows the body to breathe while still being durable and luxurious. In general, the local clothes are light, rather delicate and breathable. The colours of the garments are generally toned down, as darker shades absorb the energy of the light and make them hold the heat close to the body. The sun has an additional superficial effect too, as clothes exposed to light have been faded over time.
This blend of sun, sand and salt water creates a resulting faded and dusty colour palette that is inextricable from the location. As rain rarely falls, the dusty feel is a common look of the French Riviera, which makes the clothes appear authentically lived-in, never artificially aged or distressed by hand. All the buildings of the old part of Menton are seen in the same dusty colours, as they have been under the heat of the sun for several hundred summers.