- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Rizzoli Ex Libris (October 15, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0847841499
- ISBN-13: 978-0847841493
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 186 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Forever Chic: Frenchwomen's Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style, and Substance Hardcover – October 15, 2013
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"French women have an enviable reputation for being svelte, sexy, and stylish and for possessing a certain je ne sais quoi that doesn't seem to diminish with age. Fashion journalist and editor Tish Jett reveals how middle-aged French women remain 'forever chic' in this detailed look at the diet, skin, hair, makeup and exercise regimen of la femme d'un certain age…this volume provides commonsense and decidedly French head-to-toe beauty routines that yield results. Readers will also learn how to use color, accessories, and figure-flattering clothing to emulate the classic Parisian sense of style. Verdict…worthwhile and entertaining." Library Journal
"In one word...Fabulous. The first print run sold out in a flash… now it’s back on the shelves and not to be missed." ~VickiArcher.com
“Forever Chic is more than tips and tricks on being our better physical and stylish selves—it is full of lessons on how to be a better person. The book’s strength lies in its anecdotes and wisdom on how women…can be more present and committed to living a fuller life of kindness, generosity, openness, and adventure.” ~Women’s Voices for Change
"Haven't you always wondered how [the French] can drink all that wine and eat all that beurre and remain slim and silky? Now comes a book that helps explain why. Forever Chic, written by Tish Jett (an American who spent years abroad) shares the secrets of what she calls the French "timeless beauty, style and substance." She spills some of their beauty secrets but also gets to the core of what makes them seem more comfortable in their skin." ~Huffington Post
"Jett’s comments and sprinklings of French give the book a lively personality. Each chapter is indulgent fun." ~Publisher's Weekly
“…Tish has spent years observing the mysteriously intoxicating, and ever stylish French woman…I can’t wait to begin reading.” ~The Simply Luxurious Life
“There’s wisdom to be had here…” ~Vogue Knitting
About the Author
Tish Jett is a longtime fashion journalist who has worked for the New York Daily News, the Detroit Free Press, Women’s Wear Daily, W, the Chicago Tribune, and the International Herald Tribune in Paris, where she eventually became the last editor of American Elle. The author of the blog A Femme d’Un Certain Age, Jett lives in France.
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The preface starts by asking what age has to do with anything really? She briefly explains her move to France for 2 years that morphed into 25 and still going as she met and married a charming French man. Like others before her, she looked around her and saw a different landscape. She liked how French women around her approached life, and set out to find what they were doing that made them a bit more attractive, different, worth emulating.
As she covers each subject she uses a lot of different sources from dermatologists to her French girlfriends. The information is extensive and each chapter had new stuff I've not bumped into before.. This is an excellent new book in what is becoming a crowded field. Entire books are written on the French diet, and her chapter summarizes much of that wisdom, but she gives fresh good advice.
Even if you own Helena Frith Powell, Debra Ollivier, Anne Barone, Mireille Guiliano, Jennifer Scott and Marie-Anne LeCoeur you will not be disappointed in this new book.
Chapter 1 begins with Allure. A very French concept and one that encompasses the whole person, brains, soul, heart and body. What goes on inside, makes a great difference to the attractiveness of the whole package. This has to do with decisions and priorities. In a sense this chapter and the ninth chapter are the bookends of this book. Chapter one is talking about moving into change from the head and heart on out, while the last chapter pulls it together discussing poise, charm and generally being fun to be around.
Chapter 2 covers skin care, from face to body, including nails and feet. Some great advice aimed at over 40 women. Hopefully younger women reading this will remember that and not complain about it. She does give some advice in AVOIDING things like smoking and sun exposure. Apparently a lot of older women in France ARE quitting smoking simply for the sake of their skin. Who knew? I was fascinated by a tip, new to me, about soaking the feet in a bath of warm water, epsom salts and ASPIRINS. Yes, she adds a couple of aspirin to the soak, which soften the hard skin, and helps slough dead skin. Makes perfect sense since Aspirin is also known as Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA for short in creams and potions that work at loosening dead skin cells. Much more in this informative chapter.
Chapter 3 is on Makeup, The focus is building a light, natural look. Chapter 4 on Hair, Cut, condition and colour has some excellent tips by 2 top French colorists which I plan to try soon..
Chapter 5 covers Dieting and the art of eating well. This one has a few new wrinkles to the whole French diet paradox but for the most part it's common sense and if you've read widely in this subject, it won't be much new. However it's always nice to hear it stated a slightly different way, and she does add a couple of new things from a French nutrition expert.
Chapter 6 is Exercise--and she says yes, as French women age in the baby boomer generation, they have definitely picked up the exercise habits. But you still won't catch them hanging out all day in exercise gear, nor are their exercise get ups baggy, loose or in loud screechy colour combos. As always, they fit well, show off the body that took so much effort, and announce quietly with conviction that this person maintains her style and chic always.
Chapter 7 On to the closet and the fabled French wardrobe. Less about the minimalist wardrobe and more about dressing well to suit yourself. Chapter 8 Accessories. How to deploy them effectively. This is another chapter worth the price of the book just for the tips alone.
Chapter 9 pulls it all together. I'd call it being fun to be around but the author talks about poise and charm. It's something that is often lost in a white knuckle drive to succeed here in North America. Just how much fun ARE you just to hang out with. Do you put your career and your goals so far in the front that your friends, husband or kids feel they come a far second. She gets into something I've really only heard Anne Barone get in depth with and that is the intellectual legacy of the salonistes. The art of conversation, the development of the intellect as essential to the whole package as laughter and a warm smile.
The epilogue is aptly titled La Nouvelle Moi, A Work in Progress.
Great book, loved it, and I'm glad I bought a copy. It is a complement to the authors above, and is a welcome addition on my bookshelf.
The advice to eat well but sparingly, go very light on alcohol, drink lots of water, exercise, cleanse and moisturize your skin religiously, don't overdo makeup, get a flattering haircut, do as much "investment dressing" as you can afford, take care of the clothing and shoes that you have, and stay engaged and informed with the world around you is terrific advice for everyone. Also, if you do these things, you end up saving time and money. A few well-chosen outfits can last for years with good care and you can jazz them up with accessories that do not have to be pricey. Exercising and watching what you eat and drink keeps you healthy; it also means that you will be able to fit into those well-chosen outfits for longer, which saves money. A flattering haircut that works with your hair rather than against it means you will look good without constant fussing and using a lot of hair products. Good skin care means you spend less money on makeup because you will use less of it. Streamlining your makeup routine saves time and money. Keeping up with world events and cultural activities will enrich your life and make you an interesting person to be with. Et cetera. This is sound, practical advice, and the French are noted for their practicality.
However, what I find ludicrous is the idea that women in France--or to be precise, women of a certain socio-economic and educational level in the French capital--are the only ones who live this way. I live in Washington, DC, and I see many women of a certain age who are slim, dressed nicely (which doesn't have to mean expensively) attending lectures, concerts, the opera, art exhibits, etc. I definitely see women like this all over the place in New York City. One wonders where in the US the author was from that she seems unaware of this--the text on pages 221-222 would make you think that French women are unique in attending the ballet, lectures, and foreign movies. Women who age well can be found all over the world. In fact, my role model for aging well is a German woman whom I met in Munich in 1984 when she was about 47 and I was 28. I lived with her while attending the Goethe Institut. She was engaged, artistic, chic, well-read ... and all this was done as a divorced single mother on a social worker's salary. At age 75, she is still the same. She is one of the most influential people in my life.
You don't need wads of money, expensive clothes and skin products (the author name-drops several pricey products and clothing lines throughout the book) to age gracefully and with class ... and you certainly don't need to be French. I *greatly* admire the French emphasis on living well with aplomb but books like this one perpetuate the idea that this can only be done in Paris, and not just in Paris, but only in certain arrondissements. If 'Forever Chic' inspires women to take better care of themselves, that's all to the good. Read it for the good advice on self-care--read it especially for the idea that you are worth the time and effort--but don't think for a minute that it can't be done, and isn't being done, right here in the USA, and elsewhere.
Tish Jett gives it to us American women straight. I bookmarked several pages as I read for later reference and immediately made an appointment with a dermatologist. Next, I'll go through my closet and use her principles to purge, refine, and upgrade (all on a budget).
I'm a huge Francophile. I've visited France several times, but I can never get enough. With Tish Jett's help, though, I can have a little bit of France with me all the time. Highly recommended.