This book made it onto my wishlist quite some time ago (after haunting me every time I stepped into an urban outfitters), so you can imagine my joy when I unwrapped it on my birthday. It's essentially a guide explaining you how to be Parisian, written by four Parisian women (or a so called 'girls gang', as described in the book). It is witty, insightful and most of all, a fun book to read! Here are my favourite bits (in no particular order).
1. Signature item (p.30)
This piece was something I expected to find in the book, the signature piece of a Parisienne. 'It is a gift the a woman gives herself depending on her age, her taste and the size of her purse.' I have yet to find mine, but I'm sure that the time will come.
2. The essentials (p.91 &128)
Similar to the previous bit, this is also about clothing (we all know I love my clothes!). But, this time it's about the essentials which you can find in any Parisian woman's wardrobe. Think of jeans, men's shoes, a white shirt and a long trench.
3. On a Parisienne's bookshelf (p. 96)
Next up is a piece about books (surprise, surprise!). The books which a Parisian woman claims she has read, the one's she read in school, the books she has promising herself to read and the one's she has actually read, among many other ones.
4. Save your skin (p. 102)
This piece stood out to me because Parisians care about and for their skin, a lot. It's more important than hair, nails, make-up or anything else, it's all about the skin for them. A girl isn't given the advice to drink less or stop smoking by their mothers, they are given a magnifying mirror which shows the effect on their skin: 'a window on ageing and the passage of time.' A refreshing approach, if you ask me.
5. Women in black (p.106)
The title says it all. I'm a huge fan of all black outfits, so reading that black is actually the definition of a party in Paris makes me very happy. Cheers to that!
6. Take your time (p. 126)
Something a lil' different than clothes or beauty: taking your time. This piece is almost a poem, where you are encouraged to take your time with everything you do in life. 'Take the time to listen and get to know yourself. Take the time to change, to grow, to rest. Take the time to say yes, take the time to say no.'
7. On your mantelpiece (p. 202)
Even though I don't have a mantelpiece, I did enjoy reading this piece. It basically describes all the keepsakes and treasures a Parisienne keeps on her mantelpiece. As a big collector of bits that other people may describe as nonsense, this made me smile.
8. Lighten up (p.206)
Ever wondered how photos of Parisian women always look so elegant, well lit and just beautiful in general? Well, this piece is the secret to their lighting and shares all the tips and tricks for the perfect atmosphere in your apartment.
9. Little big treats (p. 212)
If you know the basics about Parisienne's, then you will know that they love to gift themselves beautiful treasures. From a bouquet of white lilies, to a romantic night at a hotel. They sure know how to treat themselves!
10. Address book (p.238)
Finally, the book comes to an end with an extensive list of places where you can go to feel like the ultimate Parisian woman. Even if you're faking it on a trip to the city of love, you will know where to go for every occasion.
That's it! Besides making me want to go out and buy a new collection of high heels, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a bit of Parisian flare.