“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
The idea is you do not have to live in Paris to be a “Parisienne”. Every woman as a part of Parisian in her, and could enhance that part if she desires. And if you walk or sit at a terrasse in Paris, you can not ignore than Parisian women have a high sense of style. Yes, that “je ne sais quoi” in not only the way they dress but also the way they carry themselves. They have that special French attitude, the “Frenchitude” as I have heard it being called.
Il n’y a qu’ un bonheur dans la vie, c’est d’aimer et d’être aimé. Translates as: “There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.”
What is it about the Parisienne that’s so alluring? I guess it has something to do with the idea of being effortless chic: not wearing too much makeup, hair is never really done and possessing enough self-confidence to make everyone else believe that’s the best way for a girl to be pretty. Which, of course, is not necessarily true. But who cares right?
- Short, clean nails, sometimes worn with nail polish- but not always. Simplicity is key. In fact, the French manicure is something of an enigma: it is the exact opposite of French chic. The
- Beauty in France is epidermal – nobody cares that much about make-up, it’s what’s underneath that matters. Natural and light makeup with mostly cat eyeliner and lip colour
- Hide any imperfections with concealers (such as YSL’s Touch Eclat) or a BB cream. If you really can’t live without your foundation, then mix it with a touch of moisturiser to mute its effect.
- In Paris, the rules are clear; you anticipate, you prepare for the future, but you never totally correct.
- Never go to bed without taking off your make-up, so you fall asleep not smelling like the party
- What you need for a restorative hair mask: Rum, honey, two egg yolks, and the juice of a lemon.
- Do no wear too much makeup, too many colors, too many accessories
- By owning: jeans, men’s shoes, a small silk scarf, a long trench, and “the very simple, but very expensive T-shirt.”
- Do not wear logos. You are not a billboard
- Do not wear sweatpants. No man should ever see you in those. Except your gym teacher. Leggings are tolerated
- You don’t have to spend a decade’s worth of salary on your wardrobe, or flaunt designer brands the whole time. All you need is one signature item: the one you wear when you need to feel strong.
- Do not match your purse with your outfit
- Wear navy blue with black. (And red with pink, a la Yves Saint Laurent.)
- Don’t follow trends. (Trends follow you)
- Every Parisienne has a notebook in her purse in which she constantly jotting down.
- The Parisian doesn’t carry an enormous designer bag.
- A small silk scarf is an essential to the Parisienne wardrobe. A thick scarf as well. Sometimes you get cold.
- The Parisienne wears very little jewelry: a fine chain, a simple ring, a family heirloom. It is as discreet as possible.
- The Parisian woman doesn’t have a ring on each finger, or a big diamond on each ring. It’s her personality that sparkles and nothing else: the signs of intellectual wealth.
- Don’t shy away from costume jewelry. Wear your bargains with pride.
- Parisians love going to the market. To go to a market, dress casually and carry a large basket over your shoulder.
French etiquette … So simple
- When addressing a stranger with a question, greet them first, and then ask your question.
- Always use Monsieur/Madame/Mademoiselle if you don’t know someone, if you have just met them, or if they are someone important.
- Don’t yell from across the room. Wait until you are close to start talking. In Paris, yelling is for anger and that’s about it.
- ‘La bise’ is how Parisians who know each other greet each other. This is the name for the cheek-kissing you see everywhere. In Paris, it’s two kisses. (Although when I lived there, it was four … so you may still encounter this on occasion). ‘La bise’ is more of a brushing of cheeks with kissy noises than actual kisses. Often no facial contact is made at all. Generally, in Paris, start heading towards the left, or in other words, kiss right cheeks first.
- French people don’t really hug. They are even a bit uncomfortable with hugs. There isn’t even a French word for hug.
- Eating while walking down the street is generally frowned upon … but less now than it used to be. I still think it technically falls under rules of French etiquette as a ‘what not to do’… but do what you gotta do.
- Don’t just assume everyone speaks English. If you don’t speak French, ask politely if they speak English before continuing. This can be done in English or, better yet, in French. You can ask “Hello … Do you speak English?” by saying “Bonjour … Est-ce que vous parlez l’anglais?” 🙂
Bonjour Monday! 🙂