Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fabulous Florida Mommy *Book Club*...Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Inès de la Fressange

Happy Thursday Everyone! It's time once again for Fabulous Florida Mommy *Book Club* and this week we continue our read of Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Inès de la Fressange. :)

This week we finish the second excerpt that is taken from Part 2...The Not-So Basics.

"BRILLIANT basics are the key to a great look! Parisian style is simple (well, almost). Make sure your wardrobe includes the Magnificent Seven: a man's blazer, a trench coat, a navy sweater, a tank top, a little black dress, jeans, and a leather jacket. After that, it's all a matter of composition. What effect are you aiming for? How to transform your basics? What to avoid? Here is a user's guide for that "made in Paris" look."

The Tank...

"The Essential Look: A classy supporting act. The tank is there to accompany your look.

The Transforming Touch: 
* Shorts, jeans, even a skirt (especially a print skirt).
* A good-quality necklace.
* Under a tuxedo jacket or blazer.

What Color? *Keep it simple: black, gray, white, navy, khaki. Avoid supposedly fashionable shades like pine green or red, which may be great for making your children easy to spot on the beach —but that's about it.

Fashion Faux Pax:
—→ Skin-tone shades. Who wants to look naked?
—→ Patterned tanks. Too obvious.

Celeb Style: White tank + beige pants + blazer + sandals with heels.

Hall of Fame: The tank chez Petit Bateau, of course! France's favorite label for sleepwear and other basics is a must-have for any true Parisian. Take the children's size (age 16) for a super-stylish, tight, stretched look. Or try the Rolls-Royce of tanks, from Abercrombie & Fitch: long, straight, and beautifully cut, it falls right back into place after every wash.

The Little Black Dress...


All About the Little Black Dress:
* The little black dress is not simply an item of clothing, it's a concept. It's abstract, it's universal — which means there's one that's perfect for everybody. In fact, "the" little black dress is a misnomer: everyone wears hers differently. Think of a modestly dressed Edith Piaf, with her hands pressed flat against her stomach. Or a magnificent Anna Magnani in tears, in a neorealist Italian film. We all have our own particular idol.
* Today, the Parisian has several little black dresses, just as she has several pairs of jeans: each is a variation on a theme. The little black dress is an open secret: we all know it will save us whatever the situation, and whatever the continent, the season, the time of day, the man....Why?
* Because the little black dress is the epitome of sexy and elegance. Which is not a contradiction in terms.

The Essential Look: Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity...with a healthy dose of elegance.
Celeb Style: With huge black sunglasses (1980s-style, from Persol) and black ballerina pumps. Add long black gloves for winter, and you're all set for breakfast on the sidewalk terrace outside. Tati Or (Paris's cheap neighborhood jeweler), à la Holly Golightly (a.k.a. Audrey Hepburn) in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Hall of Fame: Suddenly, there it is, all alone on the clothes rack. The perfect little black dress just made for you. There's one in very boutique, waiting to become the key item in one woman's wardrobe.

The Perfect Jeans...

The Essential Look: Once upon a time, we had just one pair of jeans. Now, it's fun to have several. Sky-blue, navy, black, white — to match the season, or your mood!

What Shape? : * The battles rage, with fashionistas currently wavering from skinnies to "boyfriend" and back. One thing is certain: straight-leg jeans are without a doubt the most timeless cut of all. The Parisian's favorite shape is easily worn with anything. Personally, I love low-waisted jeans, but that's a question of body-shape.

What Color?: * Sky-blue, washed, and dark: three shades of denim to see you through every season. A black pair is compulsory, with white for a brighter touch. After that, it's up to you, to mix with your favorite colors. And don't forget navy-blue jeans, too, a good alternative to untreated denim.
How Not To Wear Denim: * Jeans are never too risky; they're a bit like salt — they go with everything!

When To Wear White?: * Who said white jeans were for summer only? I strongly recommend white jeans for winter, worn with a navy sweater and ballet flats. They're also great at night, with a silver sequined jacket — perfect for the most elegant soirée!

Celeb Style: Used denim + tuxedo jacket + patent brogues (wing tips) + printed neck scarf.

Hall of Fame: When it comes to jeans, the most iconic model of all is the one that suits you best.

The Leather Jacket:

The Essential Look: Guaranteed to save any overly-conventional look.

The Transforming Touch: 
* With a chiffon dress, to avoid the "garden party" look.
* In winter, under a coat, adding a touch of rock'n'roll to an overly elegant look. Feel free to let your sweater show underneath.
* With a rope of pearls. A winning offbeat look.
* The older (or more distressed) the better. When you buy it, put it under your mattress for several nights before wearing it, or walk all over it. Alternatively, buy a vintage model — you'll sleep better.

Fashion Faux Pax:
—→ Never with biker boots. We are not Marlon Brando.

Celeb Style: Tan leather jacket + white jeans + silk top + heels.

Hall of Fame: The best leather jacket is close fitting, with slim sleeves and two patch pockets. You might find yours where you least expect it. I found mine on sale at Paris designer Corinne Sarrut. Tan is always tasteful."
(All the information above is from the book.)

What are your thoughts on the second part of the *Not-S0-Basics*? Do you agree with what Inès de la Fressange has to say? Will you consider following her advice on this subject? Do you already own these basics? Please do share! :) 

If you're considering some of the *Not-So-Basics* take a look at these...

The Tank:

The Little Black Dress:

The Perfect Jeans:

The Leather Jacket:

Enjoy your day! :)



  1. This is a wealth of info and I' m saving this post to my favorites folder called "the style file" - Thanks FFM :) On another note, the hubs got me brought a little Parisian into my life last week. He got me the LV Neverfull bag in the light damier for Mothers Day. Such a pleasant surprise as we're not ones to splurge like that, and I never would have thought to ask for something like that!

  2. It is so cool that you're doing these book club posts, I love them. The information is quite useful and doesn't demand you change your own style, rather just offers how to complement it with certain pieces and advice on how to wear them. Looking forward to the next chapter.

  3. The more I read this book, the more I am leaning back to my love of classic and basic. I think blogging led me to add more trendy to my wardrobe, but I find I gravitate back to the more classic style! This series is great!

  4. Janna: CONGRATULATIONS!!! What an amazing Mother's Day gift for an absolutely amazing woman and deserve it! :)

  5. xoxo: Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying the book club. :)

  6. Peggy: The wonderful thing about classic and basic style is that it never goes out of fashion. :)

  7. Thats amazing!
    I just ripped a small piece of magazine with this book so I could remember to buy it! Syncronisation!
    Have a fantastic weekend, sweetie!

  8. I love that you are sharing excerpts from this book! I just got it in the mail a week ago and it is truly a gem :) I wish I had it with me the last time I went to Paris too, it would have be so helpful. You are so kind to share so much of it...looking forward to seeing more posts inspired by the book!

  9. Love the book excepts. It makes me think that looking good is not about what clothes you buy but about how you wear them. Thanks for sharing!