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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A philosophy of JOY! L'Art de Vivre!
Another gem from Anne. This is one I haven't read before in paper, I'd heard of it, wanted a copy but got distracted and so I'm reading this one fresh off my Kindle. First of all, I am a fan of Anne's writing for a long time now. Following her suggestions led me to a large permanent weight loss over the past 6 years or so. The weight is still slowly coming off. No quick...
Published 18 months ago by overtakenbyanap

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disjointed difficult read, no flow
Disappointing book, couldn't get past it not having a flow. Looks like it was amateur writing, needed a book editor. Despite this there was some good/interesting information in this book.
Published 13 months ago by avid reader


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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A philosophy of JOY! L'Art de Vivre!, March 21, 2013
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Another gem from Anne. This is one I haven't read before in paper, I'd heard of it, wanted a copy but got distracted and so I'm reading this one fresh off my Kindle. First of all, I am a fan of Anne's writing for a long time now. Following her suggestions led me to a large permanent weight loss over the past 6 years or so. The weight is still slowly coming off. No quick fix mentality, Anne's general over arching philosophy is one of steady slow sustainable change. As is typical of Anne's philosophy it's all about re discovering pleasure in daily life.

This book is about discovering how to get more out of life, More joy, more satisfaction, more elegance, more chic for less time, money and energy. I think this is more like a road map to changing the philosophy of North America to the French (European) one. Moving beyond weight loss, this is more about finding and applying the French term Joie de Vivre, and it's about the art of living gracefully.

Looking at life decisions thru the lens of joy-- which choice will be more satisfying.

Ethics-- do you choose to do the right thing? (sometimes a bit more costly) or take the easy way out? How to find a working balance. Many people are all or nothing types, while Anne is about making little changes that stick, one by one by one.

Finances-- do you buy a smaller amount of a quality item or do you buy in bulk of a quality that wears out early, fills the landfill quicker but in the long run costs the same dollar amount.

I will add more to this review later, because I've just skim read this, but with Anne's writing, I usually find the second or third reading to be even more beneficial as she sparks a lot of thought. Time to ruminate, then I will come back with more to say.

On first glance, this is another gem from Anne and well worth the 3$ purchase even if it was priced in the 20$ a copy for a Kindle version!

Edited to add:
Ok I've been reading this in depth, and here are more thoughts;

The pursuit of quality isn't always expensive.

Anne explains the difference between a fake counterfeit that attempts to appear real, but is poor quality and the profits funnel back to terrorism and crime versus the honest copy which bears it's own label, but uses aspects of design and quality to mimic a high end label.

The honest copy isn't attempting to deceive the consumer or defraud the designer. Rather like the Vogue pattern that gives you a chance to sew your own Givenchy design or the Talbots purse that my sister bought 30 years back that was a great little Chanel copy with an honest Talbots label; which lasted 2 decades of hard use before dying. Finding that quality, and design without getting taken by unscrupulous vendors is an important theme.

She covers the problem of mislabeling. For example that organic produce you paid a lot more for may be soaked in pesticide if it came from China. Perfume may come from the big brand name but the quality you thought you bought is gone along with the memory of a scent that was destroyed by the accountants at the big label who thought that cheaper ingredients wouldn't matter to people whose noses seemingly can't tell the difference. By learning a few techniques to protect yourself in the marketplace you can vote with your buying power.

As I thought about this, LuLu Lemon yoga pants hit the news. Their quality control goofed badly and a batch of see thru pants had to be recalled. The company made the best of it, gracefully blaming it on a little mistake buying a poor quality fabric. They understand their label's need to be seen as quality, but in pursuit of a better "bottom line" --their pun, they goofed badly. To show the consumer their heart is in the right place, they did a recall, and took the publicity hit. What is interesting is that this mistake wasn't caught till consumers complained. This is EXACTLY what Anne is talking about.

Because at the end of the day, quality isn't always expensive. And learning to spot quality at any price point is what being a connoisseur is all about. Labels aren't a good indicator of quality anymore. And honestly, labels aren't what make you chic. It is developing the brain, the ability to spot quality, that is foundational to chic. Becoming a connoisseur.

Anne also covers things like how much quality do you really need to pay for? As she wisely points out our lives may change much faster than a traditional French woman. She may not have 4 or 5 moves in 20 years to various climates or change from a student to a working woman to a stay at home mother with all the wardrobe change that entails in North America. Good point.

As I've slowly lost weight over the last 6 years of reading and using Anne's Chic and Slim philosophy, I've gone down size by size about the same time as I've worn clothes out. For me too high quality wouldn't have been frugal. But stuff that falls apart before I'm done with it wouldn't be frugal either. I've found a happy medium point with some brands that suit my finances and look good as long as I need them to.

The side theme of safety running thru the book is a good one too. Not only do the counterfeit goods affect the world thru financing crime and terror, they can affect your life and health and that of your family.

Her concept of spot the quality you want, at the price you want is one marvelous skill. So is the concept of living rich, but not costing a lot of money. Get the book, you'll be glad you did. I am.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disjointed difficult read, no flow, August 30, 2013
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Disappointing book, couldn't get past it not having a flow. Looks like it was amateur writing, needed a book editor. Despite this there was some good/interesting information in this book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Jumps around, April 2, 2013
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Now she is talking about perfume. Now handbags. Now perfume again. Almost every chapter does this.

Having not read her previous books, I felt like I was missing some hidden links that would have made her current arguments more understandable. I think I would like to read her original books.

I agree with the message: eat real food, avoid counterfeits, focus on a few items quality instead of amassing tons of junk.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this book, June 30, 2013
I enjoyed this book because it provided information on more than just clothes and fashion. It cut across many aspects of living a quality life from the food we consume to financial decisions. Although a lot of it is common sense, it reinforces the thought that we need to be conscious of our decisions if we want to live a full quality life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another of the Chic and Slim books, June 5, 2013
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Amazon Customer (Jacksonville, FL, US) - See all my reviews
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This book gives you even more tips on how to live a better, thinner, happier life. It adds to the basic information from the first book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Chic & Slim franchise seems to be over, October 28, 2013
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This review is from: Chic & Slim Connoisseur: Using Quality to Be Chic Slim Safe & Rich (Paperback)
Really boils down to an essay--not enough "meat" for a full book.
No new ideas--just a rehash of prior books.
Reread the first book--don't waste your money on this one
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!, October 6, 2013
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This review is from: Chic & Slim Connoisseur: Using Quality to Be Chic Slim Safe & Rich (Paperback)
I love everything that I have ever read from Anne Barone. She is wonderful and her books are so inspirational. I read them over and over.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good advise., May 28, 2013
By 
Taylor (Kingsport, TN, US) - See all my reviews
If you are needing reassurance to simplify your life, this book is a good read. It reminds us that we can BR happier with less.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!, April 4, 2013
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Well written. Makes a great case for a smaller, quality wardrobe versus our typical "shop til you drop" mentality. Closets full of things we don't wear and can't remember why we bought.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another good Anne Barone book, just not quite as good as the others, November 19, 2013
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This review is from: Chic & Slim Connoisseur: Using Quality to Be Chic Slim Safe & Rich (Paperback)
Anne's books are all delightful. This was actually my least favorite. I would give her other books five stars though.
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Chic & Slim Connoisseur: Using Quality to Be Chic Slim Safe & Rich
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