Pam over at over50feeling40 and I read the book by Ines de la Fressange, Parisian Chic and we decided to have some discussion questions for each other and post an outfit with French dressing in mind. Sort of like Book Club-a-la-Blog. I’ve always been fascinated by French dressing—hey who hasn’t? And as part of my heritage is French, I’m always hoping somehow I can find out what their secret is to looking great.
To give you a little overview, “Parisian chic” is offbeat chic. Chic being quality, classic clothes and offbeat is the mixing of casual with dressy--expensive with not-so-much. It’s a great way to extend your wardrobe. I had a bit of trouble as my wardrobe is full of things the french aren't too keen on. Prints. Bright colors. Leggings. Mini-skirts. I put together a black skirt--probably a staple in the french wardrobe. A luxury fabric silk top. And the quirky part? Flat sandals with a straight skirt. Oh, and boleros for those over fifty are a no-no too. oopsey.
So the questions~
1. Ines writes that a Parisian, "seeks chic and demands quality. Her definition of luxury? A brand that guarantees good taste, rather than an all to obvious price tag." Do you agree?
Absolutely agree! I wonder if people even know how to look for quality now—most people here buy for a name or a price, without knowing why. I love that Ines’s idea of French style is never to display too much bling. Just real, genuine quality. I think we should all have a few items in our wardrobe of true quality.
2. Please tell us a couple of things you do not see yourself ever doing.
She recommends shoes styles—ballet flats, black heels, riding boots, and loafers—don’t get the loafers. Way too conservative for me.
And then there is the mini-skirt thing. She feels, as most stylists feel, that women shouldn’t wear mini-skirts over a certain age. No mutton as lamb—as she says. And I break THAT rule. Oh, and there is a no-no for neon colors. OOPS again. And leggings are out, according to Ines—and they are an intregal part of my wardrobe. So, for now, I don’t see myself not breaking those rules.
3. Do you have the magnificent seven in your wardrobe? Do you see yourself making this happen if it does not already exist?
Magnificent seven are: man’s blazer, trench coat, navy sweater, tank top, little black dress, jeans and a leather jacket.
I do have the magnificent seven. Actually, duplicates of the magnificent seven. With one possible exception—the little black dress. Its not black.
4. You are a pretty colorful lady...what do you think about the idea that she mostly is promoting the neutrals...black, gray, white, khaki, and navy?
I understand that the French want that classic yet quirky style—and quirky is not wild colors. But that concept is very practical and neutral colors provides many combinations. But for me? No, too many neutrals and I die inside. Could not just stick to neutrals.
5. What do your perfect jeans look like?
When I traveled to Europe back 30 years ago, there I was in my baggy, sloppy, hippie jeans and the French girls were looking oh-so-sexy in theirs. Now, my perfect jeans are better fitting. I go for a high rise and either skinny or boot-cut legs. I only do denim. Ines says the French way is to have jeans also in black and white. White--no--black--maybe.
All in all I think its a great book--it gives you insight into Frennch dressing, shopping and home decor. I think her guidlines are sound and easy to understand. What did I find most valuable? Parisians feel they will never go out of style. I like that attitude!