Dear Reader,

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.





Dear Reader,

I really didn’t think I would love this book as much as I did. Or that it would be as quick of a read. But I read it in one night and absolutely loved it.

It isn’t a story of any kind, but rather tips and insights for a Parisian lifestyle. Four French women came together and wrote everything from basic wardrobe and jewelry pieces to parenting tactics to books you should have on your bookshelf to how to make him think you have a lover.

I’ll admit, when I first started reading it, I didn’t think I would enjoy it. I thought so in the bookstore, but within the first few pages, I read about how the Parisian woman is not a role-model, which is a disclaimer they have. But I kept turning the pages and asked myself, “why am I reading this? Why did I even pick this up?” I mean, this woman seemed so stand-offish and self-entitled. And not only could I never become her (I’ve always tried to be polite and kind to others), but why would I want to?

Nevertheless, I continued reading and slowly fell in love. Maybe it was the perfection of the author’s writing or the fact that it made me miss Paris, but I ate everything up. I mean, I stayed until until 2 just reading furiously and taking notes, writing down everything that I loved (I’ll probably make an entirely separate post later sharing them). And then the next day, I shared them with my sister and we marveled at its beauty together.

Still, I can see the beef that some people have with this book. I mean, there’s a section called “The ABCs of Cheating,” and the first rule is deny, deny, deny. Furthermore, the book is riddled with contradictions and startling claims made by these Parisian women. I’ll repeat: they’re not role models.

But there’s something to say about their message. They have many, but the one that most stuck out and resonated with me was their confidence. If the Parisian woman is one thing, it is confident. And I think there’s something admirable about that.

The Parisienne adores her imperfections, and never completely corrects. They’re not against plastic surgery or makeup or anything, but, as they put, “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 before perfect.

More than anything, their beauty is underneath the surface.

“It’s her personality that sparkles like nothing else: the signs of intellectual wealth.”

So maybe I don’t want to cheat on my husband or act like a snob as often as I can, but I want to be strong, confident, and beautiful. In that sense, I want to be Parisienne.



PS. The song for this post is Flawless Remix by Beyonce feat. Nicki Minaj. Love.