How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are

October 10, 2014


Dear girls (and a few boys), currently I am loving all things French from macarons and pain au chocolat to style and fashion/beauty culture (in love with Parisian accent). I have recently moved on to some literature and have just finished reading  How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas and I suggest adding this book to your bookshelf. How can you not love a book that tells you how to be mysterious and sensual AND look natural.

It’s a very, very funny quick read.  When you finish the book you’ll feel so very, very chic and très Parisienne. While reading, I actually felt chicer, wittier and très Parisienne. I was laughing out loud by the end. I did find a few profound nuggets of good advice in the book though. Here you have some of them:

“The Parisienne retains her little imperfections, cherishes them even (the gap in her smile or her slightly crooked tooth, her prominent eyebrows or strong nose): these are the signs of a certain strength of character and allow her to feel beautiful without being perfect.”

“Falling asleep with damp hair will give it a more interesting shape when you wake up.”

“The skin of your face must be treated as a canvas. Start with a moisturizer . . . then hide any imperfections (bags under your eyes, the sides of your nose, pimples) with concealers (such as Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat) or a BB cream.”

“Be generous [with mascara] on your top and bottom lashes, to accentuate your look and disguise any bags under your eyes.”

“Short, clean nails, sometimes worn with nail polish—but not always.”

“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.”

“Embrace your inner snob. (Because let’s face it, that’s who you are.)”

“The Parisienne is never satisfied.”

“The Parisienne is arrogant.”

“The Parisienne already knows what she must think: the opposite of what you think, no matter what.”


“When it comes to revealing herself, she follows one golden rule: less is definitely more…A skirt that rides ever so slightly up her thigh when she sits down in a café; a wide-necked tee that slips down her shoulder as she waves for the waiter; the surreptitious hint of her breasts when she leans down to pick up her bag.”

“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.”

“If the Parisienne could wear just a Burberry trench and nothing underneath, she would be in heaven.”

“Cancel your gym session to have a drink with your friend who’s just been dumped.”

“Decide it’s great to get dumped, because falling in love again makes you lose your appetite, and in turn eat fewer calories—which defeats the need for that gym membership.”

“Eat croissants and buttered toast for breakfast—because it’s Saturday morning and you burned enough calories last night, damn it.”

Have this conversation:
“I think I’ve gained weight.”
“Really? Are you on a diet?”
“No I keep failing”
“Are you working out?”
“Nope. I don’t have time.”
“So what are you doing about it?”
“I’m going to buy myself a long coat”


“Shake it up and spread the love: cheat on your lover with your boyfriend.”

“There’s no such thing as a secret that stays secret. The truth always comes out. Refer back to rule number one.”

“It should always be meaningful.”

“If you don’t like your ass, walk sideways, your back to the wall, and show off your breasts. If your legs are too short or your thighs too wide, go on your tiptoes. If you don’t like your breasts…do something about them, but in the meantime, cross your arms, and when in bed, opt for positions lying on your back.”

“In short, you’re not a slave to the cult of the perfect body—so learn to make the best of what nature gave you.”

All from the book: How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas. Photos by Alexis Cheung.


“You don’t have to be French to be a Parisian.“
—Karl Lagerfeld

So, what do you think? Can or can’t you be a Parisian?

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  • Reply Alina October 10, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Draga Georgiana,

    Iti multumesc pentru feadback-ul postat si abia astept sa o citesc si eu!Ceea ce ai rezumat tu m-a captivat deja si sunt sigura ca voi gasi lucruri foarte interesante si care imi pot folosi atunci cand indraznesc sa fiu “frantuzoaica”chiar daca m-am nascut in Romania.
    Astept postari similare pantru ca “te citesc”in fiecare zi!

    • Reply Georgiana Ciornei October 11, 2014 at 7:59 am

      Buna Alina,
      Ma bucur ca am reusit sa iti captez atentia 🙂 Enjoy the book !

  • Reply Jodi October 10, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    I love how the french do many things, I just read bringing up bebe,
    an american woman moves to Paris and notices how better behaved the children are there and she talks about how they raise their kids differently so they wont interrupt adults, eat all varieties of food, seem to be better educated, ect. It was a great read and I can’t wait to relate a lot of the advice into raising my child.
    xx, Jodi

  • Reply Georgiana Ciornei October 11, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Hi Jodi,
    Miller is a powerful, funny, intensely self-reflective writer and that book caught my eye too. I’d definitely like to take a similar approach to parenting when I hopefully have children.
    Thank you for your time 🙂

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