Thursday, February 19, 2015

How to Be Parisian. The Book Review.

I went into Barnes & Noble the other day and, like usual, I can't leave that store without buying a book. And there it was, sitting pretty on the shelf looking right at me saying, "Take me home, take me home!"  So take it home I did. 

I came across How To Be Parisian somewhere on Instagram, probably searching #FrenchStyle and it totally grabbed my attention. All the pretty photos of the book from people who bought it and the inspiration it brought to many. 

Authors: Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, Sophie Mas and Anne Berest. 

How To Be Parisian was written by four stylish and intelligent French women (Sophie Mas, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Anne Berest). These four friends share their tips on attitude, beauty, love, food and fashion, among other things, of the typical French woman. The book is a funny, fresh and totally chic take on what it means to be Parisian, wherever you are. 
When it comes to style, culture, food and drinks, the French are without a doubt kings. Thus as a lover of anything French, I was immediately drawn to this book. 


One of my favorite pages is The Essentials, where it tells you the clothing staples every French women has in her closet. (the pieces mentioned in the book can be found in my closet, so it's safe to say I'm on the right track to being Parisian). It's basically the dos and don'ts of timeless fashion. (LOVE.LOVE.LOVE)

Here's an exclusive extract. 

The Essentials: 
Jeans.anytime, anywhere, and any way. Take a Parisienne's jeans out of her closet and she feels stark naked.

Men's shoes.Simply because everyone says these chic flat shoes aren't meant for women but you're a contrarian by nature. In fact, that's the very essence of your style.

The bag.It's not an accessory, it's your home. It's an indispensable shambles where you're just as likely to find a shrivelled up four-leaf clover as an old electricity bill. If it's beautiful on the outside, that's just to keep up appearances. And so that no one ever wonders what's inside.

Ballet flats.Your equivalent of slippers. You don't choose between comfort and elegance; for you, it's all or nothing. Nobody ever saw Audrey Hepburn wearing carpet slippers.

A small silk scarf.It has more than one function. First, it adds a touch of colour to a dark outfit without running the risk of a fashion faux pas. Then, when it rains, you wear it over your head like Romy Schneider. And, on occasion, you can even use it to wipe your child's nose when you've run out of tissues.

The white shirt. It's iconic and timeless. 

A long trench. of course, for warmer weather. You know it doesn't keep you as warm as a down jacket. But when you put on a down jacket, you feel like you're voluntarily adding extra love handles.

A thick scarf. Precisely because you don't own a parka. And despite pretending otherwise, sometimes you get cold

The oversize sweater.that slips off your shoulder. You wear it the day after a party, as if you'd snuggled up in a quilt. It's as soft as a teddy bear, as calming as Xanax, as wide as a screen, perfect for days when you feel your hips too much.

Basic oversized sunglasses. Every day, even when it's raining, because you always have a reason to wear them: too bright out, a hangover, tears running down your face, a desire to be mysterious... 

An oversized shirt. You always undo one extra button so it doesn't look too serious. In general, you borrow your boyfriend's. You'll never return it and you may even one day wear it in somebody else's arms. Love can fade, but some fashion lasts forever.

The very simple but very expensive T-shirt. This contradiction guides your life like Liberty Leading the People: you're perfectly happy to give into the most common trends, as long as you can add a mark of luxury. As a result, you spend hours searching for the perfect T-shirt, whose finely woven and slightly transparent thread make it feel like cashmere.


Another part of the book I loved was the food & recipes section. I mean, come on? who doesn't love food? Plus the recipes are easy and delicious! (yes, I might have tried a few already!) 
"A Parisienne loves her classics. But should her culinary skills fail her, she has a few tricks up her sleeve that she never shares with anyone." 

The book gives you a few classic French recipes such as crêpes and Ile Flottante as well as Sunday "...easy, light and delicious recipes", "these are quite simple recipes for Sundays- as you have plenty of things to do, you don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen!" (How to Be Parisian). 

The book also tells you how to behave as well as be "mysterious and sensual, look natural, make your boyfriend jealous, and how they feel about children, weddings, and going to the gym."

"Letting you in on their(the authors') secrets and flaws, they also make fun of their complicated, often contradictory feelings and behavior. They admit to being snobs, a bit self-centered, unpredictable but not unreliable."  Most importantly they know solitude can be a luxury and from time to time they like to go "OFF THE RADAR". 


How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are is definitely a book worth reading. It's fun, bold and full of surprises. It will make you laugh and will make you travel to Paris for a day, the week and the weekend! (and you'll ;)

Buy it today! 

other places to buy: Amazon
                                Anthropologie (Online & In-stores)

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