Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Et Alors? How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are.

Et alors? This basically translates to “so what” in French. That phrase could sum up the new book, How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are *Love, Style and Bad Habits. Written by four chic, accomplished, perfectly Parisian women, Caroline de Maigret, Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan and Sophie Mas. The book is more like a handbook of how to be cool. It takes a lot of effort to look so effortless, apparently. I read the book in one sitting (it’s not War and Peace) and absolutely adored it.
I don’t think you have to actually be Parisian to adopt these recommendations. Parisians are born and raised with this schooling… The rest of us need this book. What I liked about How to Be Parisian is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously or profess to be the master race… Just kind of. You have to admit Parisienne women do possess that certain je ne sais quoi whether we like to admit it or not.


I know, for a certain fact, that my husband still harbors a little love for his ex-wife on the sole fact alone that she is French… And I am not. No matter what she does… Divorce, accusations, lawsuits, custody battles… He still doesn’t hate her. I mean he does, yet he doesn’t and I know it is because “she is French.” (It’s weird because I’m skinnier, funnier, prettier and much more fucking ladylike.)
I also know, for a certain fact, that my French husband loves his mother more than me. Why wouldn’t he? She adores him and he can do no wrong even if he murdered someone. A few months ago when I was at his mother’s house, as we were leaving, she looked at me and said, “David est un ange.” It took every ounce of my proper upbringing not to roll my eyes and say, “Oh, Really?” Whenever my husband and I have an argument, he likes to go call his mother after and tell her everything and in turn I like to yell at him, “You’re 46 years old!” No matter what I do or how hard I try, my husband will always like his mother and his mother’s vinaigrette more than mine.

What hold do these French women have over not only Frenchman but every man? The answers are in this book…

“As you will discover, Parisienne women spend an inordinate amount of energy trying to spin every episode of their existence into a very good story.”

“Find “your” perfume before you turn 30. Wear it for the next 30 years.”

“A Parisienne woman doesn’t always say thank you, doesn’t always say hi, but will complain about the rudeness of Parisian waiters.”

What you won’t find in a Parisienne women’s closet? “Ugg boots. Enough said.”

“She’s Parisian, which is to say she’s melancholy. Her mood responds to the changing colors of the city. In the early morning she’s the lone figure walking out of the Métro as the crowds rush in. Her hair is a bit disheveled and she is still wearing her jewelry from last night. As she heads home, her heart is breaking, but no one will ever know why.”

“The Parisienne does not stop existing the day she has a child.”

“You don’t have to spend a decade’s worth of salary on your wardrobe… All you need is one signature item: the one you wear when you need to be strong.”

“Au natural” is the fruit of hard labor, meticulously passed down from generation to generation.”

A Parisienne always has a good reason for sitting on a bench… When she is walking out for good and slams the door behind her to show she means business, and then realizes that she has no idea where to go.”

A Parisian faux pas? Asking someone at a party what they do for a living. Overdoing it on the teeth whitening. Being “friends” with your children.

Dichotomy, she is. “She smokes like a chimney on the way to the countryside to get some fresh air. She is an environmentalist but sometimes takes her scooter to buy a baguette.”


How to be Parisian gives the advice you really need and throws in a recipe or two.

Need any more reasons to buy this book? It is an absolute must-read… You can purchase it HERE through the Have Some Decorum Bookstore.


A toute!


  1. I've decided that between Ms Alt of Vogue and the authors of this book I essentially need to buy one outfit that can work almost always. Then again, I'm neither tall nor thin, and the French countryside calls for a pretty informal look....after all, who wants vine mud all over their Laboutins and skinny jeans? Also, my husband feels like that about his previous (French) person, as well. Unfortunately, I am NOT skinnier than she is. :-)

    1. I am not skinnier than my honey's ex but trust me, if they are with us, it is for a reason...

      Ellie, you might have heard of the French expression "L'Arlesienne" for a woman that one chases forever but can never attain. Well, despite that I love the reference to Arles (and there are some truly amazing looking women there), I have often thought that the term should be "La Parisienne"! Talk about je ne sais quoi... ;)

      Bisous and sending much Love, as per daily quota!

  2. This books sound wonderful for any woman Ellie. I am part French at least!!
    The Arts by Karena
    A New Gallery in Town!

  3. Oh, thanks! Now I know how she does it. Yep, got to get the book. Thanks for the heads up. Now, how to become tall and skinny? xoxo Mary

  4. Hello Ellie,
    I've got the book...I love it..and catch myself going back to it and rereading a few chapters...It's lovely for fashionistas and for just your daily dose of feminism!!!
    Hope you are having a good day!! Sending you blessings!!!


  5. SOUNDS Like a fun read............although, I would NEVER make the grade there.TELL ME ABOUT YOUR STORE.DO you make some money if we order through YOU?I will abandon AMAZON and go through YOU if that is the case!
    TO ALL WHO SENT CARDS TO ME FOR ELEANOR..........I DID send them on to her but she has not received as of yesterday!!!!!I am BESIDE I thought I had sent in time, etc...........if any of YOU PRAY will you put this on the tOP of your LIST!

  6. Ellie - your post reminds me of the hilarious movie Private Benjamin. The divine Armand Assante, Goldie Hawn’s French love interest, who cannot get over his former love the Frenchwoman, Claire!

  7. So what is the statute of limitation on being 'French'? There is one French line on one side of my family in like 1573. That counts, right?

  8. Even though I live in Rome, another land filled with the effortlessly chic, there really is something about a french girl. I can tie my Hermes and slip on my Vivier's, but there is always some intangible thing that is missing. Le sigh. (Also, Let's hear it for second wives!)