Parisian Chic: A Style Guide, by Ines de la Fressange

Photo from MarieClaire.fr

I’ve admired French women’s sense of style since I worked with a French woman years ago. We became friends, and she introduced me to stinky cheese, foriegn films, pâté, and her French style. She always looked pulled together yet not contrived. This was Houston in the 80s, time of big blond hair, lots of bright makeup, and shoulder pads that put Joan Crawford to shame. She was much more low key than that yet never sloppy or schlumpy. She wore nice heels to work, or perhaps espadrilles on a very hot day, a cotton pencil skirt, and a white tee-shirt. She skipped hosiery, lipstick and hairspray but still always looked great.


Parisian Chic: A Style Guide is Ines de la Fressange’s book about her Parisian, yet low key, approach to life. She shares tips about dressing, entertaining, beauty, decorating, and shopping. Her illustrations are charming, and the photos spread throughout the book make it more interesting than just a narrative.

Where this books shines is the recommendations for where to shop, sleep, eat, and wander around in Paris. Ms. De la Fressange writes about her favorite spots, and includes websites and other useful information about each. I’ll be in Paris later this summer, and I’ve already tabbed lots of pages with places I want to check out.

I snorted out loud when I read some of her fashion advice – she writes that one should never wear white socks with sandals. I agree completely but the Pacific Northwest has its own special sense of style so it no longer hurts my eyes as much. She also notes that for women of a certain age, “glittery eye shadow – will only make your wrinkles sparkle.” So very true!


White shirts are one of her must-haves. I like her earrings and eyeglasses in this photo.

Source: inesdelafressange.fr via Susan on Pinterest

Ines has has created a line of accessories; you can look at them on her website. My favorites are these beautiful red gloves.

And now, back to plotting my trip. The sales will be on – trouble, indeed!

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4 thoughts on “Parisian Chic: A Style Guide, by Ines de la Fressange

      • Let’s see . . . the ones I have on my shelf are French Women Don’t Get Fat, All You Need To Be Impossibly French, French Women Don’t Sleep Alone, and Entre Nous (A Woman’s Guide to Finding her Inner French Girl.

        Of all of those, the one I like the most is “All You need to Be Impossibly French.” 🙂

        Are there others you would recommend?

      • I like Debra Ollivier’s other book – What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind. A classic is one originally published in the 60s, I think, that was recently updated – Genevieve Antoine Darieux’s A Guide to Elegance: For Every Woman Who Wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions. I want to read the Anne Barone books (Chic & Slim).

        The first book on French style I ever bought was French Chic: How to Dress Like a Frenchwoman. The photos are kind of dated but a lot of the information is still relevant.

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