The mystery of the Parisian woman is investigated in this stylish and light hearted book written by four Parisian woman who have all excelled in their chosen careers, lived in Paris and have been friends for ages. The not so serious look at the different aspects of the Parisian woman’s code of living makes an interesting and lighthearted read.
This code can be emulated wherever you are…
With quirky but stylish photos the book is divided into five main sections: Get the Basics; Own Your Bad Habits; Cultivate Your Allure; Dare to Love and Parisian Tips. Ideas appear random in each section just like a conversation with friends that jumps about but still manages to make sense to each other. The authors share their ideas on the typical French woman whilst still being able to take a laugh at ‘the French way’.
The Parisienne as seen by a Parisian Man; A Mother with Flaws; 24-Hour Look; Less is More; The Ideal Man; Spending Time the Parisian Way and Setting the Table are some topics covered within the main sections. Love and lovers, as a subject, is also explored.
I have picked a couple of the ideas covered in this book’s diverse array of true and suggested ideas for a closer look.
You don’t have to spend a decade’s worth of salary on your wardrobe, or flaunt designer brands the whole time. All you need is one signature item: the one you wear when you need to feel strong.
How do you feel about this statement? I agree that looking and feeling fabulous is important for most people and also that spending a fortune on your wardrobe does not necessarily assure you of happiness. Life is so much more than what we wear and have, so less quantity but quality is the way to go. A signature item is one that you spend more on, that definately flatters and accunuates your natural attributes and make you feel strong and beautiful whenever you wear it.
The signature item is a gift that a women gives herself depending on her age, her taste and the size of her purse. It is a symbol of independanece and freedom, which states, “I bought this for myself. I earned it and it makes me happy.”
When you watch these films, You’re in Paris
The films that make you feel like you’re in Paris, according to the authors, are diverse and worth a watch. I am half way through watching these featured films. We all have our own favourite films that personally transpose us to the City of Dreams. These are my favourites …
Midnight in Paris…. directed by Woody Allen with Owen Wilson as Gil Pender is a romantic American French comedy (2011). The magical interweaving of modern day and historical Paris is done well. This film is filled with references and images of famous Paris locations and personalities such as Maxims, Deyrolle, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Dali, Pablo Picasso and many more.
Le Divorce… shows the divide between a wealthy French family’s attitude to family honour and acceptable social behaviour and an American family’s desire to protect their inheritance whilst maintaining a strong family bond. This slightly political film (2003), based on the novel by Diane Johnson, highlights contrary French and American standards. Classic French locations and clever costume design make this movie for me.
Amélia … this modern 2001 romantic French classic with actress Audrey Tatou and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, honours and applauds the life of everyday Parisians derviving satisfaction and purpose in the everyday small, simple joys of life. Many of the film locations around Montmartre have now become tourist destinations, even offering film related merchanise for the traveller.
This section of the book has a collection of simple and fresh Sunday recipes perfect for all that fresh produce you’ve just picked up at the market. Simple and quick allow you to enjoy more of your Sunday reading that classic you bought at the antique store, or watching that foreign film your girlfriend recommended.
Recipes I like are Asparagus with Parmesan and Baked Apple. I am still undecided about the Pea and Carrot Soup recipe.
Whilst this book with its seemingly random ideas, lists and quirky photos may not appeal to all, I think adding this book with its lighthearted attempt to make sense of the Parisian women is a great addition to your bedside table for that last minute night time read. If it doesn’t make you want to get up early the next day to show off your adopted new Parisian nature, at least it will help you dream sweet dreams of Paris… and hey that’s never a bad thing!
This post How to be Parisian: Book review first appeared on a french collection.
Looking for some holiday reading or Christmas gift ideas? Then check out these other book reviews
Like what you read and see? Join us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tell your friends to visit ‘a french collection’ and join in the conversation with us. This post was linked with #IBOT hosted by the lovely Kylie Purtell. For more books on Parisian chic and stylish living check out our Amazon suggestions and also our affilate disclosure further below. Happy reading!