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How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits Hardcover – September 2, 2014

3.7 out of 5 stars 293 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Four whip-smart, successful French women poke fun at the stereotypes of the “Parisienne” and give genuine beauty and lifestyle tips, recipes, and fashion dos and don’ts . . . De Maigret’s photography and a witty, wise, often tongue-in-cheek delivery puts the reader on a sure path to achieving the French femme’s je ne sais quoi.” 
   —Publisher’s Weekly
 
“You don’t have to be French to be a Parisian.“
   —Karl Lagerfeld
 
“Very, very funny. While reading, I actually felt chicer, wittier and très Parisienne. I was laughing out loud by the end.”
   —Plum Sykes, author of Bergdorf Blondes and The Debutante Divorcée

About the Author

Anne Berest is the author of two novels and a biography of Françoise Sagan published this year; she also writes for television, cinema, and theater.

Audrey Diwan
became a scriptwriter after studying journalism and political science. She wrote the screenplay for Cédric Jimenez’s La French, with Jean Dujardin, and is now directing her first feature film; she is also editor-at-large for the magazine Stylist.

Caroline de Maigret
studied literature at the Sorbonne before moving to New York to model. She returned to Paris in 2006 to found her music label. De Maigret has been an ambassador for Chanel since 2012, and supports women worldwide through the NGO Care.

Sophie Mas
was born and raised in Paris. After graduating from Sciences Po and HEC, she started her own film company and now works as a producer in Los Angeles, New York and São Paulo.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (September 2, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385538650
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385538657
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (293 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By nycgirl TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I live in NYC where there's a lovesick affair with all things French -- I mean, there are buildings here named "The Left Bank". Walking thru the West Village? you hear just as many French convos as you do English. Every editor espouses "Get that French It-Girl look!". Heck, Isabel Marant is a worshipped idol with an altar on Broome Street. So when this book came my way, I just had to take a closer look. In short, it won't *teach* you how to be Parisian, but it will help you *understand* the Parisian.

You can flip to any page and start reading, 'cause it's a mishmosh of :
40% bullet-point "list-icles" of Parisian aphorisms, do's + don'ts
30% filler photography by one of the authors
20% inner monologues that show Parisienne's thought processes on life
10% filler artwork (gotta fill up more space!)

The tone is informative, yet intentionally self-deprecating, 'cause, like, "let's not turn off the American audience with our snobbisms and superiority complex! After all, we need to sell books!" This makes the book engaging and easy to read at first.

Chapter 1: The Basics
-Aphorisms: "make it look easy", "always be f*ckable", "be own your knight in shining armor"
-Fashion No-No's: "wearing too much makeup", "sweatpants", "Ugg boots"
-Mannerisms, Faux Pas, Famous Parisiennes
In essence, the Parisienne doesn't want to look primped 'n polished. She's naturally confident, having grown up with an excellent French education that has cultivated her in philosophy, arts, literature, and good taste. This is key--- she has so much substance that she knows she's worth it. No need to prove it with designer logos or bling. She's selfish in a good way, which can read as snobbish to Americans.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My interest in the french culture and being Parisian stems from my interest in Coco Chanel, the woman. Her life story fascinates me and I'm always looking for anything written about her and her life. I also really enjoy books written by Mireille Guiliano and by Americans living in Paris trying to raise children in French society. So it's no surprise that this book piqued my interest when I saw it referenced by someone I follow on Instagram. I downloaded it to my kindle and finished it in a weekend. It's a quick, easy read. I can't say I didn't like the book, it just wasn't for me: a 45 year old, professional, married, mother of two, happy living the typical American suburban life. Other than the recipes, and a few fashion and style tips not much else can be gleaned from the book and applied to my life. But, if you are young, single and trying to be a Parisian Carrie Bradshaw - this book is for you!
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
To say this is bad is to give it the highest printable compliment I can think of. To give it one star suggests it sheds even a dim light. But the only light in these pages may be at the end of the cigarette dangling from the lips of women in the first two photos....and later sticking from the face of a middle aged woman

There's not enough substance here to even be the source of a giggle fest for a preadolescent girl.

The collection of advice in these pages is reminiscent of advice on how to be`Cosmo Girl' in 1970's Cosmopolitan magazines. And I think even Cosmo's editor, the late, Helen Gurley Brown would cringe at these anachronistic bits of wisdom.

We learn the Ideal man can be a bad boy. (...but you always forgive him.)
Instead of sulking we should play the role of the perfect woman.
To make a man think you have a lover you should cry from time to time with no reason.

How's this?
`The Parisienne is in love with the idea of love. To a pathological degree. Her entire life revolves over the flutterings of her heart.'

There are fashion tips and recipes and places to go and advice about what to do when you have an audience and don't like your naked behind, 'Walk sideways with your back against the wall.' If you think your legs are too short, or thighs too wide, tip toe. Cross arms over your unliked naked breasts and lie on your back in bed.

Always wear perfume when you go out.

I found nothing here particularly Parisian or interesting or new or enlightening.

This book is a waste of your money, your time, your good sense and your healthy self respect.

Review based on a Bound Galley not yet for sale.
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Format: Hardcover
I don't get so many positive reviews for this one. I thought it would be a guilty pleasure type of read but it paints women as a strange combination of vapid and calculating. It is list after list and not much else. I purchased the audio version to listen in the car and I cannot get through it. The love bits particularly make me gag. Very 1950's kind of garbage with acting like you're busy when he calls and sending yourself flowers to make him jealous. Gross!
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
How to Be Parisian Wherever you Are: Love, Style and Bad Habits is an entertaining little jaunt into the lives and opinions of four friends. While sometimes all at once humorous, candid and vexing, like the French authoresses love to portray themselves, it is hard to forget that the book is geared toward 20 or 30-somethings who are image conscious and want to pull off a persona.

At other times the book comes off as vapid and superficial - as if it is all an act - and maybe it is. If you need an instruction manual to tell you how to be, then this is your book. Since I am well past this stage and in my 50's I found the book to be a bit too faux for my taste. Real style and becoming who you are takes years to accomplish and probably won't be found here.
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