I finished the book How to be Parisian Wherever You Are a few months ago (I actually wrote a blog post about it, as it was the second book I finished for the empty shelf challenge), and I promised a follow up entry. Because it’s just. That. Good.
So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite tips that these four fascinating, Parisienne women gave:
- Wear a black bra under your white blouse, like two notes on a sheet of music.
- Don’t follow trends. (Trends follow you.)
- Go to the theater, to museums, and to concerts as often as possible: it gives you a healthy glow.
- Make it look easy. Everything you do should seem effortless and graceful.
- A Parisienne never hires a babysitter who is pretty, always finding the less attractive one to be far more competent.
- If you believe that tears are a vibrant sign of you vulnerability, think again. Forget the notion that they are heart-wrenching in any way. Crying is not a weapon, it’s little more than noise and needlessly wasted energy.
- Your look should always leave one thing left undone–the devil is in the details.
- 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.
- Never wear you glasses, especially if you’re nearsighted. That way you won’t have to acknowledge people you know. You’ll have that aloof look, the one that seduces men (but annoys women because they see right through you).
- When meeting someone for the first time, never say, “What a pleasure,” but rather “What a pleasure to meet you.” (You never know what the future might hold).
- A Parisienne always has a good reason to be sitting on a bench (Like when she wants to read a book and be seen reading a book)
- She is alarmingly honest and answers “terribly” when asked how she’s doing.
- Beauty in France is epidermal–nobody cares that much about makeup, it’s what’s underneath that matters.
- The Parisienne retains her little imperfections, cherishes them even (the gap in her smile or her slightly crooked tooth, her prominent eyebrows or strong nose): these are the signs of a certain strength of character and allow her to feel beautiful without being perfect.
- It’s her personality that sparkles like nothing else: the signs of intellectual wealth.
- Age should never be an excuse to go to bed early.
- Too much cleavage leaves too little to the imagination. It’s like serving dessert before anyone has even touched their appetizer. It tries too hard, shows its hand too quickly, and betrays a certain lack of self-confidence. Like a girl who talks so incessantly there’s nothing left to ask.
- Be your own knight in shining armor.
And then my favorite sentence in the whole book: She concludes that you can indeed by orphaned by a fantasy and feel abandoned by a perfect stranger.