Wednesday, February 16, 2011

French Style

from here

I have been enamored with French style since I was in college.  I did a study abroad program in Wales and made a lot of French friends.  I don't know what it is about their ease of style and living that is so mesmerizing, yet seemingly so effortless.  In fact, just what I described is why they call it the "je ne sais quoi" because you can't put your finger on it but you know it's there.

I wanted to send you over to a fellow blogger who focuses on French Style.  I'm looking forward so much to the month long focus on the 10 Item Wardrobe that The Daily Connoisseur is doing.  If you have read any books about French Chic style, you would be familiar with the infamous idea that you can have a very small wardrobe and still be very stylish.  This is definitely not an American concept, but many are no less fascinated by the prospect of living more simply and not giving up their chic quotient.  I love that she has photographed each item and is showing how this concept can work for her lifestyle.  While you are over there, take a peek at her last series on what she learned while living in Paris.

If you are interested in French style, I also want to recommend some books to get you started.  I've been a student of this topic for many years and I'm pretty sure I've read every book on the subject.  It's been awhile since I've pursued the subject because I think I got burned out, so that's another reason this month long series is a nice refresher course for me.

My number one book recommendation is Anne Barone's books.  You can order them from her website here.  They are full of stories and personal experience that bring the French style to life.  Entres Nous is another cute book.  I see it at Anthropologie so I know you can find it there too.

If you are interested in eating the French way, this book about french food changed my eating habits forever.  Will Clower wrote Fat Fallacy and is so helpful in understanding the way that we can eliminate faux foods from our diets and eat in the more glamorous french way.  And last but not least, Mireille Guiliano wrote French Women Don't Get Fat and also more books on the french lifestyle.

So how about you?  Are you ready to take the wardrobe down to 10 items?  I can say that I haven't taken on that challenge yet, but I am intrigued.  No matter if this is for you, it does get you thinking about your wardrobe as a whole unit instead of just pieces if everything has to work together.  Is anyone else a student of French Style? What books do you love?  Maybe it's time for me to dig out my old books on the topic.


Anonymous said...

J'adore French Style. I have read everything you have listed and am currently working on paring down my wardrobe (thanks to minimalist blogs and The Daily Connoisseur). A few other books I would like to add would be "A Guide to Elegance" by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux, "French Chic" by Susan Sommers, "The Paris Way of Beauty" by Linda Dannenberg, "French Style" by Veronique Vienne, "Looking Good" by Nancy Nix-Rice (great for learning the art of capsule dressing). Some of these are dated but the principles are sound. Also, I recommend reading 's latest series on quality vs. quantity. Enjoyed your post very much! I think it would be great if more and more women could understand and implement the "french way" into their wardrobes...(just an opinion). xxBliss

The Closet Therapist said...

Bliss-Oooh, those are some good ones you mentioned! I'm going to have fun revisiting those, and look up a couple I haven't read. Thanks for referring me to cupcake caramel too. I will check out her blog and yours too. :)

Stephanie said...

I keep all these books in my tiny personal library. It's always fun to re-read them. I second the recommendation for cupcake caramel's recent posts. They are worth saving. She has a great approach to wardrobe planning.

the gardener's cottage said...

i too am fascinated by the idea of a small wardrobe. i'm on my 4th month of 33 items, the project 333. and it is fascinating to me. i've put a lot of thought into my overall goals for this project and i'm thinking i would really like to get my entire wardrobe down to about 50 items. excluding accessories. i know if i did this then my closet and drawers would really thank me.



Anonymous said...

Hello - I found your blog via Bliss, Adrienne and Fiona from their respective blogs. There's quite a cadre of us who love the French/European approach to life, and it is encouraging that we each write blogs with our own perspective to help each other along.

I've been following the 10-item wardrobe postings from The Daily Connoisseur and am currently working on a list for each season. I recently moved to Austin from Seattle (where it is always 50 degrees and raining, no matter what month it is), and it will be both fun and challenging to create a wardrobe for a very different climate!

Fiona Ferris said...

Great post. I love remembering back to when I first started reading about French Chic. I try to remember the magical feeling it gave me. Anne Barone's books were the first ones for me too and still the original and best. I then ordered Entre Nous. Since, I've built up a little collection and I love stepping into my French Chic world just by pulling one off the shelf. Even if I'm just passing by the bookshelf I choose a book, flick to a page and read that page.

freestanding closet said...

Bliss-Oooh, those are some good ones you mentioned! I'm going to have fun revisiting those, and look up a couple I haven't read. Thanks for referring me to cupcake caramel too. I will check out her blog and yours too. :)

Our Trip to Rosemary Beach, Florida

I'm linking up again with  Erika ,  Andrea  and  Narci  for the Friday Favorites!  I love reading everyone's favorites too! ...