Thursday, June 9, 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. :)

Part Five: Fashion Botox

"AN ill-advised print dress can age a woman ten years! Always go for rejuvenating looks, which are just as effective as an anti-wrinkle injectionand so much more fun. How to give your style a facelift? Follow these tips à la Parisienne."

"Change Your Style:
—→Never allow yourself to get stuck in a style adopted at a particular age: it will age you instantly! This is especially dangerous past 40, when it's tempting to carry on dressing just as you did when you turned 30. You've just reached the end of that fabulous decade when you feel comfortable with your looks, everything with you, and life is full of possibilities and good things an exiting career, love, childrenwhen you feel young and mature at the same time, and you don't want it to stop. In any case you haven't got time to think about a makeover!

*At 40, surprisingly, women start asking themselves the still somewhat unnecessary question: "Can I still get away with this?" And what surprises them most is not the answer, but the need to ask the question in the first place. In reality, there's still time, but better to face the question now than never! Above all, do not cling blindly to everything that suited you when you were 30. You've changed, times have changed, and fashion has, too. By all means carry on experiencing your personal style, but never let that translate into boredom, a lack of interest in new trends, the absence of desire, clinging to habit and routine, fear of change or making a mistake — NON! Accept that you will get some things wrong. Everyone makes mistakes when they're out shoppingtake it as an (encouraging) sign that you still dream of reinventing yourself! For me, a loss of interest in dressing well and using make-up is a form of depression. Far from making radical changes, the Parisian knows how to evolve her style as she gets older.

Golden Rule #1:
*Never follow convention.
*Never be bland.
*Never neglect yourself.

Golden Rule #2:
*Always choose the right accessory to transform your look.

Example... I often dress in navy or black with a white shirt, but sometimes on a whim I'll surprise everyone and go for a fuchsia pink blouse. Result: no one tries to work out how old you are.

Fashion Faux Pas At 50+...

~Ethnic print tunics and dresses African batik prints. Past a certain age, these look like costumes. 
~Preppy clichés (pearls or bead necklaces + earrings). Obviously.

~Furs. Instant Cruella. The "wrinkled trophy wife" look can be very aging.

~Big clip-on earrings. If you don't have pierced ears, choose a necklace instead.

~Neon colors. Too readily associated with teen fashion.

~Mini-skirts and micro-shorts. No Parisian would ever dress mutton as lamb.

 Stay Interested
*A great way to stay young at heart. Look out for new designers, try a new pants shape, get yourself some platform shoes. Be bold — even if it results in the occasional faux pas!

Sell Your Crocodile Handbag on E-bay

Never Follow Fashion Blindly
*A beginner's mistake. Be aware of current trends and embrace their subtler forms: the color gray, wide-leg pants, peacoats... Forget all about tartan, ripped jeans, studded thigh boots.

Be Bold
*Wear a bomber jacket in place of a blazer at night; ballet flats instead of heels with a chiffon dress. Pin your brooch to your hip, not your lapel. Or try military medals and badges in place of a brooch.

Avoid Clichés

Change Your Jewelry Regularly
*...even a Scoubidou (i.e., boondoggle, lanyard) bracelet makes a difference!

Don't Feel Obliged to Buy "Fun" Clothes
*A good-quality round-necked sweater is a must in any 50+ wardrobe: mix it with jeans and a rope necklace for a chic look that's never dull.

Loafers and Ballet Flats Suit Everybody
*As do tennis shoes (Converse are a religion for the Parisian). All are perfect for an appealing, fun look (even a political statement) at 50+.

Get Dressed Listening to "Dead Flowers" by the Rolling Stones.

Aging Isn't Just About What You Wear
*Declaring that Twitter is stupid, you don't know how to use an MP3 player, and the iPad leaves you cold, spells "instant Oldie."... Beware!"

(All the information above is from the book.) 

What are your thoughts on Inès de la Fressange's *Fashion Botox*? Do you agree with what she has to say? Will you consider following her advice? Please do share! :)

Have a lovely day! :)



  1. This was one of my favourite chapters in the book. I'm in a period of major transition in my life and I often feel like there's not much out there that suits my style. Inès' advice is fantastic - I'm definitely following her advice to keep evolving my style.

  2. Some good advice on "dressing your age" but I disagree with her comment on pearls, I think they are forever. I also think that ethnic clothing can look like a costume at any age and not just 50+. You really have to be careful with it and I have rarely seen anyone pull it off successfully.

  3. I agree with most of her advice but you have to keep in mind that this is coming from naturally beautiful, model sized woman. Personally, I am not so sure ballet flats and loafers look so good on many woman. I think it works the same as mentioned 'ill advised' print dress. As romantic as flowy ditsy print frock looks on willowy, long tressed, twenty-something, it may be instant frump on many 'not-so-thin' 40+.

  4. Louise, xoxo, and ajc: Thank you all for stopping by to share your thoughts on this chapter. I also agree with a lot of what Inès has to say, especially that you should constantly evolve your style. I think it's important to not get in a style *rut*. I have known/worked with people who seemed to *stay* in their favorite era style-wise, and if I were to meet them again today, I'm sure that probably still has not changed. While that may be ok for some, it's just not me or the way I want to present myself. I don't think you necessarily have to go way out of your comfort zone when evolving or that you have to do it all at once. Making subtle changes over time can work just as well and guarantee that you never become *boring*. :)