14/03/2016

Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris by Jennifer L. Scott Review


Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris by Jennifer L. Scott at a first sight is very approachable lifestyle guide. Book is written in a welcoming language style for anyone who would like to know a little more about ‘being Parisian’ and 'less is more' philosophy from a tourist's point of view. Someone could say that it is a very stereotypical image that Jennifer paints. I hope I will manage to show you a different side to this book.
I encountered Jennifer for the first time on YouTube (we are definitely on first name basis. Mrs. Scott sounds too formal and I imagine her as a sweet person). Inspired by one of the TED Talks I decided to click on a video about capsule wardrobes (try to check suggestions on Pinterest, quite useful). Ideas of ten items inspired me to purchase Jennifer’s book and read more about her observations. Yes, she was in Paris only for a semester or two and it was a while ago (who cares since she is so likeable). However I know from my experience that as an ‘outsider’ you are able to pick up on a lot of cultural differences and successfully adopt them in your life. Culture shocks always work their magic when someone is open minded and is not afraid of change.

Created by creative minds 
Jennifer’s book is a very light read comparable to your favourite snack that you pick up during lunch. Before you will know it you will have reached the last chapter. Of course some of the tips should be taken  lightly. Wearing a cashmere cardigan worth more than a plane ticket to Paris (did you know that I managed to travel to Paris for less then £60 both ways from Scotland? Bargains  that's what I will never have enough of), while cleaning with apron over it? That is very optimistic. My advice is: do not do it, just do not. Especially, when you are playing with bleach. You can have an astronaut costume on and bleach still will find its way to destroy your expensive cardigan (I learnt it hard way and had to say bye to my favourite jumper).

Kitchen Scene by Pieter Cornelish van Ryck
Jennifer's book has some gender related stereotypes. I am definitely not a woman to wake up at 5am to make breakfast for my man and over 20 years old son (like seriously, who does that?), and then spend my day cleaning and sitting in the living room that is treated as museum ‘sit and do not touch’. I am all about: have your career and if he wants to he can stay at home and make breakfast for everyone at 5am (if he wants to!). As much as I admire ladies being happy and managing well with the traditional household style they have, it’s not for me. No one will convince me that staying at home, and working part time because I have to prepare breakfast while my husband has a career will make me happy (grumpy bear that's who I am at 5am). Breakfast together before work once a week? Sounds lovely. Everyday? That’s just not realistic for the lifestyle I have and the one I am happy with. 

As mentioned before not all of the tips will apply to you but take the most out of the book that you can. Ejoy getting rid of the beloved yet tatty trousers with a holes at the bottom (goodbye beloved grey boots, so hated by my family members). Jennifer asks you to pay attention to what you wear, how you feel in it and how you look in this particular item of clothing. I still forget that it should not only be comfortable but also flatter my figure, eyes, hair etc. 

Jennifer's book is a good reminder rather than a source of new knowledge if you are already interested in minimalism. If you are looking for something revolutionary, this is not it. However, it is good to be reminded by a friend to clean up  your wardrobe once in a while and get the stairs rather than the lift (I've told you Jennifer won't surprise you with a recipe for a magic pill that makes you skinny).

Atmosphere created by the author and her style of writing is very friendly, almost homely. Madame Bohemienne was not mentioned enough for me, hence I am mentioning her just now. I feel like this easy going, fun lady would be more compatible with my personal views than Madam Chic. I really felt though I am speaking with her (crazy lady, where is my cat?). I can imagine myself sitting with Jennifer as a friend in a coffee shop whilst listening to her new idea about having ten items in your wardrobe for a week. That is a big bonus of this book.

What do you think of Jennifer's book? Did you adapt any of her tips? What are your tips?
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4 comments

  1. Great review. I've contemplated buying Madame Chic for a while now. It sounds like an interesting book.

    www.mydailywear.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Go for it, just do not take it too serious. It's entertaining, easy lifestyle guide and as such should be treated. ;) Iga x

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  2. OH, wow, I've not read this book yet, but it does simply sound very interesting and with such a unique relatable focus.
    Eco-Chic Spring

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    Replies
    1. It's interesting, slightly outdated at times but worth it to try. Iga x

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