I stumbled across this book on complete accident. It all started thanks to a comment on my birthday life update post, where I talked about how I was unsure how to pack for 10 weeks in Japan. A reader suggested I watch this video about a woman talking about her 10 item wardrobe. After watching the video, I decided to do a little creeping around to see what else I could find about the woman in the video. Turns out that woman was Jennifer L. Scott, author of the book “Lessons From Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris.”
On a whim, I decided to check my Oyster app to see if the book was on there, and it was! Oyster is seriously the best reading subscription! (Summary: $9.95 a month for unlimited access to their amazing library of books. Sign up via my link and you get $15 credit toward your subscription.)
In “Lessons from Madame Chic,” Mrs. Scott talks about all of the life experience she gained from her term living abroad in Paris while in college. She’s a California girl with her California ways, and when she was taken into the home of an upper-class Parisian family, she observed, and ultimately adapted many things from their lifestyle.
The book is laid out into 3 sections:
- Diet and Exercise
- Style and Beauty
- How to Live Well
Each section has separate chapters diving in to each of the 20 key takeaways she learned while being abroad. I’ll tell you a few of my favorite moments, but I can’t spoil it all for you.
Diet and Exercise
- Snacking is not chic. Apparently, the French don’t really snack…at all! I had a French friend that I met while in Japan confirm this as fact. That’s completely backwards from the “grazing” lifestyle so many of us know
- Don’t deprive yourself: We’ve heard this a million times before, but Mrs. Scott explains it so well. In France, eating is an event. It could be a random Tuesday with nothing special to celebrate and there will still be 3 courses, decadent cheeses, a nice dessert, and plenty of indulging in the meal to be had. They celebrate eating. (sign me up!)
- Fitness should be a part of your day and not a chore.
Style and Beauty
- The 10 item wardrobe! This is a must read section that will change your view of your wardrobe forever. I might not be able to get down to 10 items, but the entire concept of this chapter is genius.
- She discusses the importance of taking care of your skin and the how to’s of the perfect minimal makeup look.
- Find the style that works for you. Colors, patterns, clothing styles, etc. Just because it’s trendy and looks great on the store model doesn’t necessarily mean it will ever look good on you.
How to Live Well
- Buy fancy pajamas and undies and wear them often!
- Use the nice things you have regularly: China, the nice linens, the crystal glassware. It’s a simple step in making every day a little more luxurious.
- Explore the arts! As a performer, I 100% agree with this. The French understand the importance of being cultured. They’ll discuss books, theatre, art, and music often. Get away from Netflix and go see a real show.
These few bullet points are just the very tip of the giant iceberg that is uncovered in her book. I enjoyed every second of this “on a whim” book choice, so much so in fact, that I promptly went out and bought (it was not on Oyster) her second book, “At Home with Madame Chic.” I haven’t started it yet, but I am really looking forward to it.
Jennifer L. Scott does a great job of diving in to all of the things that the French do that the rest of us could probably stand to do better. As I’m entering the next chapter of my life (with the Mister graduating from MBA and us moving to Chicago) I am very interested in books that help encourage a more sophisticated, simple, and luxurious way of living, and this book does just that. It’s not about the money, it’s about your approach.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants a different perspective on how to live on a day to day basis. It really got me thinking, and now I have dived in to a whole world of these type of books; books that encourage a way of living that is fulfilling and happy, and living luxuriously while being budget savvy.
And to think, it all started with a comment on my blog. 🙂
You can find both “Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris” as well as Jennifer’s second book “At Home with Madame Chic” on Amazon.
*Post contains referral links. I was not compensated with pay or product to write this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*