Lessons From Madame Chic

Lessons From Madame Chic

20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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Inspired by Paris, this lighthearted and deceptively wise contemporary memoir serves as a guidebook for women on the path to adulthood, sophistication, and style. Jennifer Scott's self-published success is now a beautifully packaged and fully illustrated gift book, perfect for any woman looking to lead a more fulfilling, passionate, and artful life.

Paris may be the City of Light, but for many it is also the City of Transformation. When Jennifer Scott arrived in Paris as an exchange student from California, she had little idea she would become an avid fan of French fashion, lifestyle, and sophistication. Used to a casual life back home, in Paris she was hosted by a woman she calls "Madame Chic," mistress of a grand apartment in the Sixteenth Arrondissement.

Madame Chic mentors Jennifer in the art of living, with elegance and an impeccably French less-is-more philosophy. Three-course meals prepared by the well-dressed Madame Chic (her neat clothes covered by an apron, of course) lure Jennifer from her usual habit of frequent snacks, junk food, sweatpants, and TV.

Additional time spent with "Madame Bohemienne," a charming single mother who passionately embraces Parisian joie de vivre , introduces readers to another facet of behind-closed-doors Parisian life.

While Francophiles will appreciate this memoir of a young woman's adventure abroad, others who may not know much about France will thrill to the surprisingly do-able (yet chic!) hair and makeup lessons, plus tips on how to create a capsule wardrobe with just ten useful core pieces.

Each chapter of Lessons from Madame Chic reveals the valuable secrets Jennifer learned while under Madame Chic's tutelage--tips you can master no matter where you live or the size of your budget.

Embracing the classically French aesthetic of quality over quantity, aspiring Parisiennes will learn the art of eating (deprive yourself not; snacking is not chic), fashion (buy the best you can afford), grooming ( le no-makeup look ), among other tips.

From entertaining to decor, you will gain insights on how to cultivate old-fashioned sophistication while living an active, modern life. Lessons from Madame Chic is the essential handbook for a woman that wants to look good, live well, and enjoy that Parisian je ne sais quoi in her own arrondissement.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2012.
Edition: Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.
ISBN: 9781476702797
1476702799
9781451699371
1451699379
Characteristics: xiv, 283 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.

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m
Margush
Mar 11, 2018

Personal experiences are always interesting to read - this book is okay from that point of view. Kudos to the author who spent a few months in France and wrote a book. It does require energy and determination.

r
RubyFriday
Jun 11, 2017

I liked this book, as with most things in life, you take out what you value and leave the rest. Perhaps some people who place a review should take the plunge and become a writer. If the lessons in this book have been around for soooo long, I am not seeing the evidence whilst shopping, not soooo many well dressed people, maybe some lessons need to be revisited.

s
sofia_wan
Feb 02, 2017

I was excited to read the whole book even the contents are repetitive sometimes.

I can't say it's a book about the secrets of Paris women but it's just about her own observation but not in great details. I traveled to France many times but never stayed over 2 months but I stayed in many different families. I stayed in a high school teacher's house and some jobless friends' house in Lorraine, a French teacher's house in Bordeaux and a castle in Normandy. I think the author hasn't discovered something more funny/ important:

1) why do the French women have good skin? It's mainly because of the French water which is rich in minerals. I've been using French skincare for over 6 years and French water plays an important role. My French friend's skin turned so bad when she first moved to San Francisco. She has to keep using French mineral water to change the condition.

2) It's a good idea to keep 10 items in wardrobe but she didn't mention how French people (especially women) match their outfits. What are the must-have items? Not many examples for their fashion sense or beauty sense. I heard that the kids were taught how to do color match for their outfits when they are at school. After living in California for a few years, I found that people here seem have less sense in color matching, especially my husband. French people won't wear big logos on their clothes but can be expensive or high quality.

3) she mentioned how we should be more into art but it's too superficial. What I observed in France is they practice art in daily life, e.g. They wrapped the products nicely for customers even I just spent a few Euros. They have very good taste for packaging of course. My friends' houses are just like an art museum for me! They are not middle class but they decorate the houses with their own taste, e.g. One has a theme of plants. The whole house has lots of plants and handmade furniture; the other has many antique or vintage stuff from flea market and lots of handmade furniture (even kitchen cupboards) which look like ready-made. It's the matter of taste ! And yup, they love DIY!

4) About table manners or eating habits: I wasn't allowed to eat fruit just before the dinner began even I was super hungry. They are very strict about the eating order of courses!

Yes, the "20 Stylish Secrets" are pretty basic, but after reading this book, I really did feel inspired to live life beautifully. I think it serves as a great reminder of what a "chic" lifestyle looks like. I do not regret reading it through!

d
DveBeleMede
Sep 03, 2015

I expected to like this book but it turned out to be a big disappointment. I started reading it but after a few chapters I realized how repetitive (and pathetic) the “secrets” are.
I believe that every (average young or old) woman does know some (basic) stuff about life and style such as taking care of one’s skin, keeping her room/home/life organized and clean, looking nice/presentable/feminine, having nice manners, having interest in art/culture/well-being. These are not some “stylish secrets” of Parisian women, they are known around the world for a looong time! Honestly!
Here are the chapters (don’t say I didn’t warn you): 1) Snacking is not so chic 2) Deprive Yourself Not 3) Exercise Is a Part of Life, Not a Chore 4) Liberate Yourself with the Ten-Item Wardrobe 5) Find Your True Style 6) Perfect Le No-Makeup Look 7) Take Care of Your Skin 8) Look Presentable Always 9) Practise the Art of Femininity 10) Always Use the Best Things You Have 11) Live Life as a Formal Affair 12) Clutter Is So Not Chic 13) Seek Out the Arts 14) Cultivate an Air of Mystery 15) Practise the Art of Entertainment 16) Reject the New Materialism 17) Cultivate Your Mind 18) Find Simple Pleasures 19) Value Quality above All 20) Live a Passionate Life
I would not recommend this book to a friend or enemy. (I’m giving it one star because I cannot give it zero and make it count)

k
kay_g_93
Feb 02, 2014

Excellent, easy read. Perfect for a vacation or something light before bed. She covers all the basics from Parisian fitness, fashion, food and beyond. Great little tips to be picked up or considered. I plan to put it on my book shelf for quick referral when I'm need of a 'Madame Chic' shake.

j
JensieCrazyCatLady
Jun 27, 2013

Easy read and funny too. Some of the advice needs to be taken with a grain of salt. I agree with another comment that says some of the advice is a bit pretentious.

Bierlingen Mar 01, 2013

Lessons within that could benefit many a North American. Although the author is likely about three decades my junior, it is enlightening to see how she has learned and appreciated the European way...live with less, reject the New Materialism and be mindful and appreciative of quality over quantity. A quick read but nice little book.

hgeng63 Dec 10, 2012

I generally agree w. the author. However, I found this bk to be a little pretentious & privileged in a bad, upper-middle-class way, & possibly a self-published bk before it was picked up by a major publisher.

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