How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits.

The authors: Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas

 My current job is the second French-owned company I've worked for. I work for and with the French all day long (and yet, I still don't speak French. Le sigh.) And although I don't think it's fair to generalize any culture, I do think it's fair to say that a lot of French women have great style that feels natural and effortless.

But I recently got this book in the mail, How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits, where the authors--Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas -- unmarried but attached, with children and friends for years, provide a "how to" to Parisian chicness.  When I read the book, I was amused. For one, French women do actually try to look chic! But the key is giving off the illusion of not trying at all. And secondly, they don't obsess.

You'll definitely roll your eyes a few times but then you'll make a mental note of their advice. You can take away whatever tidbits you'd like but read on for some gem quotes from the book...

1. “Always be fuckable: when standing in line at the bakery on a Sunday morning, buying champagne in the middle of the night, or even picking up the kids from school. You never know.”

2. “Be aware of your qualities and your faults. Cultivate them in private, but don’t obsess.”  

3. “Au naturel is the fruit of hard labor, meticulously passed down from generation to generation.”

4. “Like Coco Chanel, do your utmost to avoid dinners with more than six guests around the table. In Paris, an evening often starts with a bottle of champagne, served with ice. If possible, get the conversation flowing with a controversial political statement [...] While your guests are savoring your chicken, redirect the conversation to a Parisian’s second favorite dinner topic: sex.”  

5. “Even if the Parisian can come across as a little nonchalant, she nevertheless respects the universal principles of femininity: well-cared-for hands and feet.”  

6. “Parisian women never try to appear to be something other than what they are. In truth, more than wanting to look young—which is but a fleeting illusion—they want above all to become the best possible version of themselves, outside and in, at any age.”  

7. “The secret to making a man know you need him: Of course you can open a bottle of wine by yourself. But let him do it. That’s equality, too.”  

8. “Don’t use abbreviations when texting. (And emoticons should be only for your girlfriends.)”  

9. “Take time to take time, because nobody else will do it for you.

Photos via How to Be a Parisian Wherever You Are.


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