How to be Parisian wherever you are

The only upside to having a stomach flu is that you can finally catch up on all your favorite shows and read some new books. When you’re not crawling your way to the bathroom, that is. Number one on my reading list was ‘How to be Parisian wherever you are‘. Before I bought this book I read some disappointing reviews, but since I rarely rely on other people’s opinions on music, books or movies, I had to read it myself. I totally get the confusion, because if you’re looking for a style guide on effortless dressing etc., you got the wrong book. Yes, it does include a few useful tips on how to dress like a true Parisienne (if such a thing even exists):

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.

But it’s mostly a very entertaining book written by four French women who like to poke fun at the stereotypes of the ‘Parisienne’, while discussing topics such as: motherhood, love, style and the city itself. Mind you, it’s all very tongue-in-cheek, so a sense of humor is definitely required (which some reviewers seem to be lacking). But if you just want to have a fun read, you can appreciate a little sarcasm here and there and you’re interested in all things ‘Parisian’, you will enjoy this book. The chapters and sections are short and you can easily flip through it and start reading wherever you like. What I like most about it, is that it finally breaks down the Parisian cliche. There’s no such thing as the perfect woman. Even the Parisienne has bad habits and has to deal with imperfections, just like the rest of us. But what makes her different is that she accepts those flaws and embraces who she is, which most likely explains her confidence. So maybe that French je ne sais quoi isn’t so difficult to explain after all, hmm…

Despite all these routines, 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.