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.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Recouping Your Fashion Losses



Remember my Cole Haan boots that I was so excited about?  I got them and they were too big.  I could have worn some heavy socks with them but after all the fuss and even a blog post, I decided they weren't right for me.  G, on the other hand, loves his boots and wears them all the time to my annoyance.

When I buy something, it will usually sit in my closet for at least a week while I make sure that it's going to work for me.  I should preface that statement with saying that I'm extremely indecisive.  If I can take it back, I will.  In the case of the boots from Rue La La, they were final sale so I decided to sell them on ebay.  I'm happy to report that I did not lose any money on them and may have even made a small profit.

So I said goodbye to the new boots last week and I believe I'll be waiting for next year to hunt down the perfect pair again.  I really can't stop loving the Frye Veronica boot, but they are a definite investment.  I have a couple pairs that will get me through the short Houston winter anyway.

This process got me wondering how often others recoup their losses when it comes to fashion mistakes.  Do you have buyer's remorse and stuff it to the back of the closet, or do something about it?  Are you too embarrassed to take it back?

I read this morning another blog post through How to Be Chic about the same line of thinking.  Stephanie who formerly blogged for C'est Si Bon and Bonjour Madame wrote a guest post at My French Corner about recouping her losses on her Hermes scarf collection.  I can see that this is an emotionally loaded thing for her to de-clutter, and I love the example she is setting for us.  She will take the money from her collection that is not doing her any good up in her closet to put toward a trip to Paris.

Be inspired by Stephanie and see what you can let go of in your closet or home. Don't let the things stack up and get in the way of you living your real dreams.  Are you collecting things instead of collecting experiences?

Does anyone collect something funny?  I've never been a collector of anything, probably from moving around so much as a child.  Dare I ask if anyone collects gnomes?  This pic is from Better Gnomes and Gardens and that is a gnome bowling set!

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