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

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3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  999 ratings  ·  181 reviews
When Jennifer Scott arrived at the doorstep of a grand Sixteenth Arrondissement apartment in Paris as a foreign exchange student, she was greeted by the woman who would become her mentor and the inspiration for the way she lived long after her time abroad was over. Madame Chic took the casual California teenager under her wing, revealing the secrets of how the French eleva...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2011)
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Anna
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
Kerry White
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
Ashley
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...more
Michele
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
Michelle
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
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...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 chick...wow, could she be any more pompous or affectatious?...more
Emily
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.
Thewellbredwomaninprogress
Having had this book on hold for months at the library, I was so excited to finally read it! I enjoy reading about the French lifestyle, and while many of the concepts presented were familiar to me, the author's perspective furthered my understanding, both deepening my awareness of how to apply said concepts and boosting my confidence while doing so. The book is an easy read, interesting throughout and flowing like an intimate conversation. Jennifer L. Scott is mysterious, sweet, amusing, intell...more
DebHo
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...more
Kari
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
Amanda
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
Beth
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
Erin
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
Ericka
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 stereotypes...now 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
Alyne
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
Sukhi
I had read Ms. Scott's blog prior to her publishing the book. Much of what she includes here is a repeat if what she wrote on her blog.

Some reviewers note that Ms. Scott's advice and tone can sometimes seem a little elitist. I noticed the same thing in some portions of the book. However, I think she meant well. Her point is not to cultivate an elitist attitude, but rather for her readers to become more aware of their daily life and habits to the end of improving one's experience of everyday even...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
Susan
There are probably a million self-help books out there saying the exact same thing but only one with "chic" in the title is going to get my attention. Either that, or "stylish". Not that I'm likely to become either thing any time soon, but every year or so you need to revisit these principles about living a balanced life (eat mindfully, read more, shop less, take the stairs instead of the elevator). And you need to hear them from someone who speaks your language which, in my case, would be with...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
Ashly Hilst
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...more
Stephanie
A light fluffy read for those women desirous of putting more chic in their daily lives. While some of Jennifer L. Scott's suggestions are a bit impractical for those of us suffering economical issues in this day and age, spending $600 on trousers is not even something I could fathom even to save my pride, a lot of her suggestions are smart and well - intentioned. I loved all her beauty and fashion tips, now those were quite affordable! This book was very good and a refreshing look at how to go a...more
Jessica
I wanted to like this book after seeing it come through the local library but I have to say I was disappointed in the end.

The first few chapters have wonderful tidbits on improving your eating habits (no snacking and guilt-free eating are big points), staying fit through normal routines (gyms needn't be necessary - yes!, and overall simplifying your life (the 10-item wardrobe chapter had me cleaning out my closet that night). Sure, you can find these points elsewhere but they really were nice,...more
Mary Kay
I love lifestyle books about France, but sadly, this book did not actually have much to do with France. The author spent 6 months in Paris 10 years ago, so her knowledge of and experience with French culture is quite limited. Most of the book is really culled from the author's life in Santa Monica. Some of her advice is fine, and some of it doesn't make sense. There is a chapter on developing an air of mystery (which I found very ironic coming from a blogger who regularly writes about her person...more
Valerie J K
The author points out key lifestyle habits of French women. She came across as a little pretentious, but it seems as though her intention is simply to help women improve the quality of their lives. Her message can be applied in any situation: you only need 10 items +/- in your wardrobe and they should be quality items that you love to wear, you should dress a little nicer (even for sleeping), you should invite friends over for dinner, you should hold yourself to a high standard, you should be mo...more
Lisa
Ok, I'm conflicted, sort of like the Martha Stewart conflict I've always felt. Here you have an observant, talented person who knows how to do all manner of interesting things and yet is so......snooty! Scott had several interesting, valid things to say about French culture. On the negative side, she didn't seem to have the majority of the human population in her sights when talking about lifestyle mandates. A little frustrating and a little interesting.
Martina
Původně zveřejněno na: http://www.databazeknih.cz/recenze-kn...

Ať už si o Francouzích myslíte cokoli, musíte uznat, že mají něco do sebe. Všimla si toho i Jennifer Scottová, když se vypravila do Paříže studovat. A protože pobývala v rodině kovaných Francouzů, mohla jejich know-how opisovat z první ruky. Po letech blogování teď vydává svoje postřehy knižně i u nás. Takže proč se něco nepřiučit?

Stejně jako vy nebo já byla Jennifer v Paříži více méně turistkou, což z ní dělá průvodkyni, se kterou...more
Pinky
Silly and annoying - not sure who's the annoying one - the author or the Madame. I like the idea of focusing on the best and the beautiful in terms of clothes and furniture and food and the idea of the 10-item wardrobe is vastly appealing to me. But chapters like "Snacking is so not French?" C'mon. That's not a style guide. I'm sticking with Parisian Chic. That's a style guide.
Heather
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
Serena!
Secondo Madame Chic, io sono un esempio vivente di tutto ciò che NON andrebbe fatto a proposito di moda, cibo, armadio, immagine e via discorrendo.

Già immagino le sue possibili reazioni se mi incontrasse:
1) Si strapperebbe tutti i capelli dall'orrore (o meglio, li strapperebbe a me e con le pinzette, oltrettutto.
2) Mi rinchiuderebbe in una gabbia e mi porterebbe davanti al pubblico per mostrare tutto ciò che non va fatto:
"Vedete queste unghie corte e mangiucchiate?! DIMENTICATELE! Grazie, potete...more
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Book Giveaways: French Chic Book Giveaway 5 33 Nov 05, 2012 06:05PM  
  • Parisian Chic: A Style Guide
  • How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor's Secrets to Getting Gorgeous without Breaking the Bank
  • All You Need to Be Impossibly French: A Witty Investigation into the Lives, Lusts, and Little Secrets of French Women
  • La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life
  • Stuff Parisians Like: Discovering the Quoi in the Je Ne Sais Quoi
  • Nina Garcia's Look Book: What to Wear for Every Occasion
  • Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet
  • Women from the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us
  • Alexander McQueen: The Life and the Legacy
  • The Bombshell Manual of Style
  • Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style
  • A Year in High Heels: The Girl's Guide to Everything from Jane Austen to the A-list
  • My French Life
  • The Asylum: A collage of couture reminiscences...and hysteria
  • Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France
  • Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis
  • Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong
  • What French Women Know  About Love, Sex and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind
At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life

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