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Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris
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Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  2,454 ratings  ·  367 reviews
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
ebook, 304 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2011)
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I picked up this book because I kept seeing people talk about her capsule wardrobe. That chapter didn't provide any insight on how to construct your own capsule other than suggesting that your capsule should include only very expensive fibers like cashmere and silk. These should be worn at all times and I do mean ALL times. Scott provides the helpful tip that when scrubbing toilets in these luxury fibers you should make sure to wear an apron. Because of course all chic women clean in designer cl ...more
A Francophile I am not. I tend to get irked when French women are held up as paragons of style and taste that we tacky Americans should strive to emulate. They're so stylish! They're so skinny! They look amazing wearing only red lipstick! Blah blah blah. And yet I picked up this book to flip through on my lunch hour. I ended up enjoying it - it's a fun, light read. It rather surprised me that this book made so many reviewers so angry - the presentation of Madame Chic and her Famille is so ideali ...more
I quite enjoyed this book. The author appears to be very sweet natured, lovely, and offers a lot of sound advice about appreciating a less is more philosophy and putting your best foot forward in life. Does every tip apply to every woman? No. But that's not the point, she advocates learning what works for you and tailoring her advice to your lifestyle. To be sure there is a minimalist aspect to the advice, but since that works for me, I liked that. I didn't find the tone to be patronizing at all ...more
Colleen Martin
What an insipid, aggravating little book. I'll be the first to admit that I love reading about European fashion and lifestyle because, let's face it, they do tend to be more sophisticated and chic than their American counterparts. And there are books and blogs out there that get the point across without demeaning or talking down to us Yankee schlubs (two of the best examples: French Women Don't Get Fat and Garance Dore's blog). But this, could she be any more pompous or affectatious? ...more
I really enjoy fancy etiquette and style books. Whenever I go to Anthropologie, I end up with a book instead of clothing. I like the feel of the glossy thick stock, the look of the cute pen illustrations, and the idea that perhaps at some point I'll be able to embrace some of the suggestions in these books. Unfortunately, my most recent read in this genre, picked up at the aforementioned store, was disappointing/

I have read enough of this genre to recognize that is challenging to come up with ne
Jessie Jacobs
I've noticed of late that I've been reading more non-fiction. And this is trending towards books with a anti-comsumerism/simple living bent. (Or as a friend said, "self-help books.") At any rate this one was fantastic as it took the adventures of an American college student and her experiences studying abroad in France. In many ways the European mindset is very refreshing.

Some favorite moments/takeaway lessons:
When our protagonist is trying to figure out how to fit her American wardrobe into th
3.5 stars. Total fluff but in retrospect this was a great book to read on New Year’s Day. It’s a blog turned book written by a young woman who lived in Paris for a while and returned to the states with “lessons” from the abode of “Madame Chic” and family (her hosts). A lot of these things I already do such as trying to “dress up” even when only running errands or lounging around the house. I agree with the author that even if you’re not leaving the house you should still endeavor to look nice fo ...more
I was really excited about this book, but the author's opinionated tone made me switch from a true listening posture to one of "glean the good bits" within two chapters. This book should have stayed a series of blog posts. Six months observing one family in Paris is not enough to speak with the authority she does. She also never addresses transferring these "lessons" from a culture where they are more normal into a culture where they are not - her solution is "if someone finds you pretentious, y ...more
I feel badly for this author. She self-published this book and didn't use an editor, and it shows. Her idea has been done before, but with some editing and targeting the right audience - particularly girls preparing to study abroad - it could have been ok. Instead, she sounds trite and sometimes shrill. The author says far too many things that might be ok to think, but should never be said aloud. Overall, this book made me feel embarrassed for the author, but if I knew her in real life, I would ...more
Nothing revolutionary, but my favorite take-always from the book are the concept of a ten item wardrobe, seeking out sensory pleasure in Sisyphean tasks, and that a little extra effort goes a long way in living a chic, beautiful life.
I found this book while looking for inspiration for the 10-item wardrobe or capsule wardrobe as Jennifer Scott terms it. I have to admit I actually went and bought the book and have since loaned it out to a few friends and family members.

Jennifer Scott went to study abroad in Paris while she was in college and the experience forever changed her day-to-day life. In the book she details how her host family, specifically the mother whom she calls Madame Chic, lived their daily lives through fashion
Elisabeth Ensor
The ideas in this book are really simple but way she writes and explains the way the French live is fascinating! I'm drawn to their lifestyle because it's about using your best, wearing your best, being your best but living simply. I have literally gone through my house and gotten rid of clutter and things I don't love. My philosophy on shopping had made a 180- instead of the sale clothes in bulk I'm realizing 1 or 2 things I LOVE will better serve me and get worn more. I highly recommend this b ...more
Stephanie Western
So...the (blogger-turned-) author just rubbed me the wrong way, which is too bad because usually my pretension threshold is pretty high. I enjoyed reading about Paris & the food and the two women Jennifer looked up to as role models. And I was motivated by the early chapter about paring down to a capsule wardrobe and getting rid of clothes that aren't flattering or are starting to get grungy, but the rest left me rolling my eyes and skimming to see if it would get interesting again. (Serious ...more

I like everything about this book -- its contents, its format, its size, everything. I read a library copy and now I'm going to acquire a copy for myself.

My dad once told me there are two thrills in life -- the thrill of recognition and the thrill of discovery. I found a lot of both in this little volume. I want to go through it again and annotate it with examples from my own life, experiences, and upbringing.
This is really just a silly little book. I picked it up because I wanted to read more about the capsule wardrobe. Unfortunately, there is not much, a few pages, maybe, on the concept. And nothing about how to go about creating a capsule. I like her ideas about living life fully and being present in every moment, but that was overshadowed by the constant idolizing of all things French. The huge sweeping generalizations of how French people live and why it is better than what we do here in America ...more
Lark lent me this book and I loved it! Read it in a day. Let me clarify though: this is not 5 stars because it is some amazing seminal piece of work that is quintessential to American life, rather 5 stars because I personally loved it and found it to be inspiring in a down to earth sort of way! It had some great points about life: enjoy what you're doing! Enjoy cleaning, cleaning can be exercise! Don't watch too much TV, instead listen to the radio (NPR etc would be how I translate that). Dress ...more
Fluffy but fun and even impactful. I love the premise - live a quality life where you are conscious and present, employing all your senses, experiencing life passionately. This includes buying fewer things but of higher quality - clothes, food, housewares, makeup - using the nice things that you have everyday, surrounding yourself with quality, challenging your mind, and just taking each moment even the mundane and exploring and experiencing it fully. My favorites were her signature capsule ward ...more
I admit I was a little wary at first. Debra Ollivier's "Entre nous", roughly about the same topic, was such a disappointment. But this book is so different. Jennifer doesn't try to be something she is not, she just gleans the things from this French BCBG family that find an echo in her and makes them a conscious part of her life. I think chapter 16, "Reject the new materialism", is the essence of her message, and I find I can totally subscribe to that. Her tips and experiences are encouraging an ...more
Ok, so drink water, eat mindfully, incorporate exercise into your daily life. Fine. Enjoy good things in moderation, watch a bit less tv. Yep. But the fixation on silk blouses? And what if I don't LIKE ballet and opera? And what if I don't want to make fruit tarts and my husband doesn't smoke a pipe? I liked this book less and less the more I read it; at first because I didn't care for Famille Chic's rigid, formal lifestyle, and then because the writer repeatedly used the word "quotidian" while ...more
There are some nice ideas in this book, but why did the poor girl have to go to Paris to learn these lessons? She could have opened her eyes and ears and learned them here at home. Silly. Most of the statements are don't get me wrong I know there's a reason for stereotypes but she makes grandiose statements based on two families. That would be like saying all American boys wear baseball caps and all American girls have braces because the family you stayed with had that. My sons ...more
I read this book on a whim because a few different people had recommended it to me and I’d been hearing a lot about it recently. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this book and I could barely get through it. At first i enjoyed it because it seemed to be about the author's trip to Paris and what she'd learned from living with a woman she calls “Madame Chic”. Unfortunately, with the exception of a few good tips (the only reason that it's getting two stars and not one), all the book had to offer was un ...more
i loved this book. i feel inspired to live like a parisian. I have followed what it has said and i am just awed. Its was an easy read and it took me a week. i wish i could experience what the author experienced in france. study abroad, college, and more. you should read it
Naw this was actually very inspiring!
Typically these "Things-Paris-Taught-Me" slash "Parisienne-Fashion-And-Style" kind of books are all quite good but very similar and do not offer a variety of aspects.
I feel like rereading it right away.
Also, if I were to tell you about all the things I enjoyed in this and all the tipps/inspo I gained, I'd basically have to type out the whole book in this reviewing space, so why don't you do both of us a favour and simply read le livre?
This review originally posted on

This blog-turned-book shares the lessons that Ms. Scott learned while living as an exchange student in Paris. Between Madame Chic (the matriarch of her host family) and Madame Bohemienne (from her boyfriend’s host family), Scott dissects all the tidbits she has learned from one’s exercise, diet, fashion and attitude.

There are plenty of books out there that embark on sharing the “insider” knowledge of how to live a Parisian lifestyle. Lessons from
I enjoyed this book. The author, Jennifer Scott, spent time in Paris as a student, living with a host family with "Madame Chic" as the woman of the house. Scott, now living in Southern California, has a blog called the "Daily Connoisseur" on which this book is based. She shares 20 tips for living based on things she learned in France. Some are very simple, such as walking regularly, spending time reading and seeking out cultural opportunities, eating well, looking for quality (e.g., in food, clo ...more
Rebecca Freezer
This book was so bad that even weeks later it still irks me. This woman seems so uptight and lacking in any substance. Her horror over seeing a woman with holes in her leggings? Please. Puzzled, I visited her blog and her fluffy videos and conscious effort to keep 'a mona lisa smile' made me cringe and conclude: Bored mummy blogger. Plus a lot of her tips for good living seemed as though they were not wholly considered and badly planned. The 10 item wardrobe? Wha? I can't believe she gets a book ...more
Charming and inspiring this book offers a refreshing take on what it means to live life to the fullest.

This book is full of advice on beauty, femininity, and quality living. Though much of what the author says is not new or groundbreaking, it is an excellent reminder to be content, cultivate your mind, and to separate yourself from many of the pitfalls of modern-day American culture.

The prose was not noteworthy and the author occasionally used cliches and had a propensity for using exclamation
Billeen Carlson

I feel like I've been given permission to spoil myself and live in decadent, luxuriant splendor. And my house is clean and clutter free! Bonus!
Candy Hartley
This review is originally posted on

"We should only wear clothes because we love them. They look good on us, and they speak who we are as people. No exceptions."

No, this book is not about Parisian fashion. It is a pure inspiration. It is the one book that opens your mind and shows you the possibility of living a quality life.

Divided into 3 sections – diet and exercise, style and beauty, and how to live well – Miss Scott attacks your brain with all the lessons
A quick light read but I did not like the author or her voice in this book because she comes across as pseudo intellectual, elitist, snobbish and pretentious in this book all the thing she tells she does not want to be.

- I am not a big fan of anything that portrays something or someone as totally perfect and the author does that throughout the book. She portrays French and Paris as an utopia with absolutely no issues at all.
- What's with these people always dissing on American women and claimin
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“Rejoice in every aspect of life—big or small. Let nothing pass you by. Appreciate everything—whether it is perceived as good or bad. You have the power to turn any experience into a pleasurable one. Challenge your preconceptions and luxuriate in the simple things of life.” 1 likes
“To live well—to live within your means and to avoid the seduction of the material world. That is what I call prospering.” 1 likes
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