10 Quotes From How To Be Parisian

Written by James Kicinski-McCoy
2:48 pm

Photography by James Kicinski-McCoy

When our copy of How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are, Love Style, And Bad Habits arrived on Friday afternoon, there was an instant sense of excitement and a quick escape to behind closed doors, to read in solitude. By Saturday morning the last page was turned and the book was closed. Finished! Not only could we not put this 246 page-turner down, but when we eventually did, there was a strange sense of sadness (kind of the way we felt once Breaking Bad had ended—kind of) and the desire to start over from the beginning and read it all over again.

The book, written by a quartet of authors—Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Mairgret, and Sophie Mas—is hilarious! For those of you wondering if this read is actually going to transform you into a Parisian, the answer is no. But you will definitely feel like one, while nose-deep within its pages. This isn’t a how-to guide, but more of a raw and honest look into the lives of chic French woman, which include a brief touch on motherhood, which was enlightening and refreshing. It’s genius, divulging French snobbery, wit, charm, and some great fashion and beauty tips along the way—plus a handful of authentic French recipes that made us immediately want to throw an “effortless” dinner party. We definitely felt a little more confident, a little more chic, and a whole lot sexier while reading, and if a book can achieve that, it gets an A+!

Here are our ten top quotes (and tips) from the book…
“Be aware of your qualities and your faults. Cultivate them in private but don’t obsess.”

“It is almost impossible to resolve the great mystery of what is natural. Because, in fact, nothing is natural. Parisiennes will have you believe that they are born with perfect skin and delightfully messy hair. That from the cradle onward they exude a scent worthy of Chanel N°5. That these ‘natural’ attributes are a heritage that cannot be explained. They are lying.”

“The Parisienne does not stop existing the day she has a child. She does not give up her somewhat adolescent lifestyle, her nights out with friends, her parties, or her mornings-after feeling worse for wear. Indeed, she doesn’t give up anything, because she also embraces her role as a mother. She wants to be there to educate her child, to watch him grow, to pass on her values, her culture, her philosophy.”

“Find ‘your’ perfume before you turn thirty. Wear it for the next thirty years.”

“Always be fuckable: when standing in line at the bakery on a Sunday morning, buying champagne in the middle of the night, or even picking the kids up from school. You never know.”

“She often pretends her child is sick in order to get out of dinner parties that will bore her to death. Then she feels guilty, and worries that some god will actually make her baby ill, to punish her for her lies.”

“She quite likes some of her children’s friends, but others she thinks are real idiots. And she makes no particular effort to hide her opinion—being hypocritical would just be setting a bad example.”

“Either go all gray or no gray hair. Salt and pepper is for the table.”

“Don’t use abbreviations when texting. (And emoticons should only be for your girlfriends.)”

“You’re pregnant! It’s such great news! But in grammar as in life, the word ‘pregnant’ is an adjective. It describes you, it doesn’t define you.”


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