Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange

JUNE 2012 ISSUE

By Courtney Vike

What is it about Parisian women that always leave fashion lovers, myself included, gazing as they float by, all the while wondering “why do they always look so effortlessly beautiful and chic!” They dress with a casual confidence, with each detail and accessory of their ensemble carefully chosen. Their timeless elegance is never anything but classy – a never-ending fashion show. Perhaps their genes are passed on from their Chanel-clad grandmothers or from the sheer inspiration of style in Europe. It was with this wonder in mind and the perfect timing of my celebration of birth that the hardcover of “Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange” fell into my hands (I love when a best friend buys you that perfect gift).

The book was written by the down to earth Inès de la Fressange, who started as a runway model, became the face of Chanel, and launched a clothing line. She is the essence of Parisian style and elegance.

After decades of experience, she offers specific pointers on how to dress like a Parisian – which showcases how to mix affordable basics with high-fashion pieces, and how to accessorize almost every look. Her hilarious step-by-step do’s and don’ts are accompanied by fashion photography, and the book is personalized with her charming drawings and handwritten side notes.

The majority of the book is structured around “How to Dress Like a Parisian”. She offers great fashion tips and advice – don’t look too “rich”, try wearing two scarves at once, and preaches that every woman should own the following: a men’s blazer, a trench coat, a navy sweater, a tank top, a little black dress, jeans and a leather jacket. To her, elegance is about feeling nice and comfortable in your own skin… with the help of a few fabulous pieces of course. It is a basic guide of what to buy, what to wear, and when to wear it – without being a total slave to trends and brand names. It is Inès’ opinion that a woman should be confident with herself but for others as well. I love this articulation she shares: “Wear makeup every day, even on weekends. Your family wants to see you at your best, too!” This falls close to home for me.

Within the 240 pages there is also an up-close and personal Paris shopping guide. Every clothing lover wants to know the hot spots before they travel… because lets face it, fashionistas adore shopping. Period. I definitely recommend this book to fashion and style conscious female – but also for the clueless women who try too hard or don’t try at all, women who are in danger of dressing too young, or too trendy, or just too… much. A delightful and comical read recommended for all femmes alike.