Savoir-vivre: Yes, you too can feel like a genuine Parisian – or at least become part of the mythology of French women. What do you have to do? Just take a look at the book ‘How to Be Parisian Where Ever You Are’ by model and muse Caroline de Maigret.
Admittedly the ideal of the French superwoman has often been taken to extremes lately. The typical Parisian is slim and willowy (baguette, macaroons and Camembert notwithstanding), her grasp of style is outstanding at all times and in all respects, and men succumb to her charm in droves. But is such idle talk reality? Do the laissez-faire hair, the constant dates at Café de Flore correspond to the everyday life of every Frenchwoman? Hardly. Even the seemingly carefree undone look demands more than a simple shake of the head, and a French girl has to work just as hard for the perfect figure. Yet exactly that is the best thing about Caroline de Maigret’s first work, as the impudent Frenchwoman tells true stories of love, style and the famous nonchalance à la francaise. In cooperation with her girlfriends Sophie Mas, Audrey Diwan and Anne Berest, and always with a wink. An amusing collection about the self-image of the French woman, which makes us smile while feeding our passion for the Parisian attitude.
Some of the worldly wisdom and tips from the book ‘How to Be Parisian Where Ever You Are’ are just too charming – here are our ‘French Five’:
1. Being able without having to: ‘The secret to making a man know you need him: Of course you can open a bottle of wine by yourself. But let him do it. That’s equality, too.’
2. Black: ‘If her wardrobe is made up only of black, it’s not because she’s in mourning. Quite the contrary. Black is the colour of celebration, the colour of nights that never end, of women who pull the blinds to shut out the dawn.’
3. No accessories: ‘There’s no point in accessorising your hair. Avoid hair clips or headbands if you’re over 18.’
4. Understatement is king: ‘Never wear logos. You are not a billboard!’
5. Foresight is better than hindsight: ‘Never engage a babysitter who is too beautiful. The less attractive one is far more competent.’