Bonjour mes amis.
Before I started sewing, I wasn’t much into fashion, in fact I wasn’t interested at all. Clothes were just clothes, and my outfits were not picked with much consideration; just the usual jeans and t-shirt for everyday casual, shirts/blouses plus trousers if I needed to look a bit smart, and work suits when I was still doing nine to five. I never liked shopping for clothes either. To be honest, I still don’t.
Two years ago I discovered sewing, and my appreciation for clothes changed. They’re amazing. Making them is even more so (sew?). Empowering. Like so many people who are new to sewing, I was sewing everything. Even the clothes I wouldn’t normally wear. I was sewing mostly with printed fabrics too. It’s not much of a problem for dresses or jumpsuits, but separates?? Hmm… I feel that my wardrobe was growing yet my options were not. I couldn’t pair most of my makes. And as I was thinking more about the direction of my sewing, about the garments that I would love to wear and would pair nicely with my other me-mades, it got me thinking about signature styles. What is mine? I have no clue. So I made it a long-term project for me; overhauling my wardrobe and finding my style. This book is part of my research.
Aloïs Guinut is a personal stylist and a fashion blogger. I have been frequenting her blog since I discovered this book. I love that she also shares style tips on her blog as well as in her book. If you’re into Parisian chic – or just curious about it, I’d recommend you have a look-see there.
Bring a Parisian Je ne sais quoi to your style, wherever you live.
That’s the promise of the book. Dress Like a Parisian breaks it all down for you. The recipes, the guides, the inspirations, and her secret address book too! Yes, she included a list of places in Paris where you can find exquisite pieces to add to your wardrobe, and also her go-to hairstylist.
According to Aloïs, there are seven key qualities that define a Parisian style; effortlessness, elegance, understatement, sensuality, fun, individuality, and last but not least la Rébellion or breaking the rules. Aaah… that ideal Parisian style.
There are 9 key chapters in this 240 page gem;
- COLOURS; from neutrals to brights. It seems to me that the bright colours were more for accents, like bold red lippy or polish, or accessories. I think it’d fit perfectly for those aiming for a minimalist or capsule wardrobe, which right now is not my goal.
- PRINTS; how to play with your favourite prints such as the classic stripes, polka dots, leopard prints, or even novelty.
- SHAPES, and drapes I’d say. From structured to flowy.
- WARDROBE ESSENTIALS. From trench coat to shoes and everything in between! Yep, they’re all there.
- FABRICS. This is the fun bit for us sewists! It was refreshing to see how a non-sewist view fabrics. Obviously it’s not an in-depth exploration as you’d find in a sewing book, but interesting nonetheless.
- ACCESSORIES. From scarves to make-up. Looooove this chapter. Especially because accessories are the biggest struggle for me. I’m starting to appreciate silk scarves now.
- STYLES; different styles (branches?) to the Parisian chic, like Bohemian, Pin-Up, Rock Chic, etc. Including the daytime and evening looks to each of these individual styles.
- YOUR OWN KIND OF BEAUTY, where she talks more about dressing based on your own body type. No, not the apple, pear, or whatever fruit comes to mind, but more of shapes of your body parts, like neck, shoulders, waist, arms, legs, etc. She even talks about the different shades of skin tones here. I like this better than the more traditional guides to styling that use mainly the torso as the guide.
- SECRETS OF LA PARISIENNE. Another favourite chapter of mine. This last chapter contains the ultimate guide to Parisian style. If I were to only choose one chapter to read in this book, this will be it. It’s so good.
Each chapter is accompanied by street-style photos as well as beautiful illustrations from the fashion illustrator Judith van den Hoek.
The book is aimed at those who are trying to build their wardrobe with shopping in mind rather than making. Although I don’t see why this book wouldn’t work for makers. As this book is the first one I read on Parisian style, I can’t say that this is the one book you need. But I’d highly recommend it. It was definitely an interesting read, filled with inspirations.
So is the Parisian style for me? Oui et non. There are some tips that I’d definitely take in for my own wardrobe-(re)building plan, but there are also some that I’d leave out.
If you’re really into Parisian chic, or just would like to know more, I have two additional sources to get you more into the Paris state of mind – if you will. 😉
- Audrey Coyne aka Audrey À la Mode. I discovered her through YouTube, here’s a link that’ll take you directly to her channel. She also runs a fashion blog.
Great Women of Business podcast, Coco Chanel episode. Although as the name suggests, this is more of a bio of Coco Chanel as a business woman, but you also get glimpses of her style here. Click on this link to listen or check it out on your favourite podcast player.
That’s all from me today. Hope you enjoyed this post, if so I’d really appreciate it if you could hit the like and or share button below, and maybe subscribe to my blog to get notified of future posts from me? 😀 Also leave me your comment below if you have any more sources for me to check out or maybe you’d like to share your signature style, I’d love to know. Thank you so much for reading. Have a nice day.