They wear coats.
I know you may think it's silly for me to tell you this is a "France Fact," but, to me it is. The other day on the metro I saw a man wearing this coat pictured (blurry from Gina's iphone) with a colonial looking white scarf and black rimmed glasses. It was quite a site.
After that spotting I ran into coat after coat made of all sorts of colored velvets on the streets of Rennes. Today at the farmers market there was a woman decked out from head to toe in velvet. Hat, coat and pants.
As a disclaimer, I have nothing personally against velvet in particular...just don't think I'll be purchasing such a coat while here and most certainly won't be going on any dates with French men in long black velvet coats with colonial scarves.