Book Review: How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are

Very, very funny.  While reading, I actually felt chicer, wittier, and tres Parisienne.  I was laughing out loud by the end.- Plum Sykes, author of Bergdorf Blondes

As a longtime admirer of Parisian style, I finally picked up a copy of How to be Parisian Wherever You Are.  I absolutely LOVE it!  The book was written by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas who are all of course Parisian and have been friends for years.  They’re all insanely chic and have careers in music, film, fashion and publishing.

The authors at a cafe in Paris. 

In the book, the authors break down everything you ever wanted to know about what makes the elusive and mysterious Parisian woman tick.  They talk about everything from raising children to how to look natural to how be in a relationship.  And of course they include a checklist of the essential items that every chic Parisian has in her wardrobe.

Caroline de Maigret, one of the book’s authors, has become something of a fashion icon.

One of the things I liked best in the book was a list of Parisian Aphorisms.  Here are some of my favorites:

1. Don’t be afraid of aging.  As the saying goes, don’t be afraid of anything but fear itself.

2. If you own only one sweater, make sure it’s cashmere.

3. Go to the theater, to museums, and to concerts as often as possible: it gives you a healthy glow.

4. Make it look easy.  Everything you do should seem effortless and graceful.

5. Your look should always have one thing left undone- the devil is in the details.

6. Be your own knight in shining armor.

7. Either go all gray or no gray hair. Salt and pepper is for the table.

Caroline at a cafe exemplifying rule no. 4.

Reading the book was like sitting down with one of the authors at a cafe and getting to ask them everything I ever wanted to know about how the Parisian woman remains so effortless all while leading such an interesting life.  If such a conversation were to occur, we would certainly have discussed what not to wear (the book has a lengthy section on this).  The authors insist that logos, sweatpants, blingy jeans, Ugg boots and fake bags are all no no’s.

When it comes to what to wear, they break down the essentials of the Parisian’s look:

1. Jeans

2. Men’s shoes 

3. The bag

4. The little black blazer

5. Ballet flats

6. A small silk scarf

7. The white shirt

8. A long trench

9. Basic oversized sunglasses

10. An oversized shirt

1. Zara black blazer // 2. Karen Walker Sunnies // 3. Madewell Tote // 4. J.Crew white shirt // 5. Dior Addict Lipstick // 6. French Sole NY Ingrid ballet flat // 7. J.Crew High-Rise Crop Jean

This book is a must read, if you love Parisian style!  I hope reading it will make me become as effortless as the four authors!

Images via Vogue & Harper’s Bazaar.

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