Thursday, June 2, 2011

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

Hey 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. :)

Part Four: Fashion S.O.S. What To Wear, When...


"An improvised dinner with friends? A wedding? A country weekend? With just a few hours to spare, the Parisian throws open her wardrobe. Need a style upgrade in five minutes flat? Follow her dress code for every occasion.

Dinner in Town: What's up?
*You've been invited to eat out with friends in a fashionable restaurant. How do you look the part with no apparent effort?

Dress Code:
—→ Bank on your basicsstrictly no flouncy dresses. Keep it ultra-simple if you're not sure about the restaurant's dress code (fashionable restaurants can be anything from ultra-hip to ultra-chic). The make-or-break item? Your shoes. Try something original (a new color, killer heels, gemstones). If they're really off target, you can always hide them under the table!

A Dinner Date: What's up?
* Whether it's a blind date or your first romantic evening, you're on a mission to seduce.

Dress Code:
—→The Parisian detests anything too obvious. Showing her hand (and much more) from the outset with a plunging neckline and a micro-mini is not her thing. In winter, she may even opt for a turtleneck sweater. A man's plain white shirt with black pants  (or pedal pushers for a lighter touch) and unobstrusive shoes will allow your potential mate to concentrate on the conversation. Lingerie? A push-up bra certainly helps, but keep it hidden for now!

A Black-Tie Event: What's up?
*Obviously, some people receive more invitations to formal events than others, but a black-tie wedding is fairly certain to show up at some point on every social calendar.

Dress Code:
—→Avoid buying this season's color if you don't have a host of other opportunities to wear this outfit again soon. We are constantly praising the virtues of the little black dress, so how about the long black dress, too? For a bright, witty touch, tie a colored ribbon at the waist (Parisians buy theirs at Mokuba, 18, rue Montmartre, 1er. Tel. + 33 (0)1-40 13 81 41). Heels are recommended but you can lay low, too — no one will object!

A Weekend in the Country: What's up?
*The Parisian is often invited to the country for the weekend. How not to look like a hick in the sticks?

Dress Code: 
—→Remove all outward signs of fashion. Leave your It bag at home and take a straw bag, a cotton tote, or a satchel instead. Put away your ballet flats and get out your Converse sneakers. Remove all items of jewelry except your man's watch. And bring out the basics: tank, T-shirt, and khaki pants. The only "themed" item permitted is a fisherman's sweater or navy and white striped marinière. Especially if you're not far from the sea.

A Cocktail Party: What's up?
*Every Parisian is confronted from time to time with a cocktail reception a private art gallery viewing, a literary award, the opening of a new boutique...

Dress Code: 
—→Time to get out your tuxedo jacket (over black pants, white jeans, used denim) and add a high-profile unmissable accessory (a fluorescent clutch, huge earrings, a giant cuff bracelet). The aim? To blend with any arty atmosphere. Your little black dress will also do the job. The right length? To the knee, or just below. Under-40s can opt for the mini always attractive. 

Pack Your Bags!

 Traveling is a serious business every Parisian likes to look good at the airport. She may not be snapped on arrival like the celebs touching down in Los Angeles with their pillow tucked under their arms, but the Parisian in transit keeps up appearances, always. Here's her checklist for flying in style.

For long-haul flights, the Parisian slips into ultra-soft low-waisted velour sweat pants (check them out at Zara Never a skirt, never a dress!

● A big, warm sweater is essential. Underneath, pile on the layers, starting with a tank, plus a long-sleeved T-shirt, ready to peel off as required at your destination.

Moisturizer, lip balm, and eye drops. Hydration is everything.

Socks to slip on once you've taken off your shoes.

● Tennis shoes (Converse for me, of course). Don't even think about traveling in heels or boots. If you take them off to sleep, you'll never get them back on!

A large tote bag to accommodate your books, magazines, and laptop.

The Parisian loves to look as if she's traveling light: she'll always take two small, wheeled suitcases in place of one huge (back-breaking, heavy) one. And she is genuinely skilled in the art of not taking her entire wardrobe on holiday (all very well for stars heading to Cannes, but ridiculous when all you want to do is relax on the beach). As for the color of her suitcase (yes, nothing is left to chance!), black is best. Avoid garish palm-tree prints and bright colors that are suppose to "make it easier to spot at the baggage claim."

(All the information above is from the book.) 

What are your thoughts on this week's excerpt from the book? Do you agree with what Inès de la Fressange has to say? Will you consider following her dress code advice for a Fashion S.O.S.? What do think about her section on packing? Please do share! :)

Have a lovely day!



  1. I don't get the Converse sneakers. When I lived in Europe, emphasis was always on not wearing trainers/sneaks, so as to not look like an American. I'd always choose the ballet flats, or driving mocs as opposed to sneakers.

  2. I love to read your blog and I have really enjoyed the style guide. I agree with the earlier post about converse. I was in France last month and did not see one person in converse. I would also go for the ballet flats or driving mocs.

  3. I am all about basics, clean lines and unfussy clothes and I love Ines but this is a little too basic and obvious for me. Black dress for black tie wedding or galery opening? Black velour pants with large sweater for traveling and tanks and khakis for country weekend? Do we really need a book from the 'style icon' for this?
    White shirt with black pants for first date??? With sensible shoes? Only if I was coming straight from the office... Can I at least have nice dark jeans and heels? And what is is about substituting pants for pedal pushers???? Does she mean bike shorts? For first date? With white mens shirt? Hmmm... No.Way.

  4. Anon@8:38am and Anon@10:06am: Thank you for sharing the information about Converse. It's been many years since I've been to Europe, but I have heard that trainers/sneakers are not the norm, so I was surprised to read this in the book. Thank you for sharing your experiences. :)

  5. ajc: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have to say that I was a little surprised about the velour pants for airplane travel. I can't get the image of JUICY or PINK written on them out of my's the first thing I think of. That and Kim Kardashian or JLo. Didn't they practically live in them a few years ago?