Book Review: How to be Chic & Elegant

There are so many different style books available, I hope over time to give you an insight into some to help you select which ones you would like to add to your book shelf.

How to be Chic & Elegant – Tips from a French Woman” is by Marie-Anne Lecoeur.  I chose this book as there is this myth that French women dress better than British women.  I say myth as not all French women would win the best dress trophy, but what I have noticed is that French women make more effort on every day wear.

What I mean by this is you rarely see a French women doing her weekly shopping in joggers and trainers – in fact I’ve been quite surprised just how smartly they dress for what we would perhaps dress down for. I think the French simply do not put the practical before style – and maybe us Brits put the effort in where we think it’s worth it.

Marie-Ann’s book has some great tips on how to simplify your wardrobe, how to focus on the core elements of your style.  Her suggestions on what colours, I feel, are quite boring – but I get where she is coming – keeping it simple can be affective but some of this colours simply would not suit some women.

Book from Amazon

Here are a few of her tips, that I agree with her on!:

General Tips:  Mirrors
“Please, please, please invest in mirrors, especially a full-length one.  It is an ABSOLUTE ESSENTIAL.   This is the only way you can judge at a glance whether your look is well coordinated from the top of your head to the tip of your shoes.  Small mirrors will only show part of you: what you see may be great, what you do not may be a disaster.  Do not leave your final check to the last minute in case you need to change your jacket, coat or shoes.”

I couldn’t agree more with this, when I’m helping people with their clothes and putting items together, I’m amazed that most do not own a full-length mirror – how can you see the total finish look without it??!

General Tips: Poise and grace
“Elegant women are discreet: they know how to walk, sit and talk.  They do not eat with their mouth open and do not yawn or cough without a hand in front of their mouth.  They most definitely do not sit with their legs open.  They do not swear, talk loudly or scream.  They are poise personified.  They attract admiration, not attention.  Vulgarity is not in their vocabulary.”

Tips for Accessorising: Pearls
“Wear your pearls!  They are quintessential accessory.  They look great even if you are naked!  Single, double or triple strand necklaces, earrings or bracelets: wear them and enjoy them.  They add a subtle sexiness to any ensemble.  Buy the best quality that you can afford as you will not regret it.  The more you wear pearls the better they look.  Take good care of them andy will give you that love back tenfold”

I’m not sure I fully get this tip?!  However she sounds so passionate about pearls that it made me laugh and I felt I had to include it in this post.  I personally would prefer to be covered in diamonds!! 

Tips for Accessorising: Discretion
“I cannot emphasise enough the ‘less is more’ approach.  This means no multitude of bangles up your arm, no diamante tiara or chandelier earrings.  Elegance goes hand in hand with discretion.  One single bracelet will finish off your look better than a cacophony of bangles.  If you wear those charm bracelets that are all the rage at the moment, remember to wear simple sleeves and no other fancy jewellery.”

“How to be Chic & Elegant – Tips from a French Woman” by Marie-Anne Lecoeur is available from Amazon, simply click here.  RRP £5.98.

If your looking for more tips on French styling, then La Redoute, who are one of the largest mail order businesses in France have some key styling tips to offer – have a read here.  It covers off essential classics like the trench coat, white shirt, the LBD plus more!

I would love to hear your thoughts on French style, either leave a comment on the blog or tweet me @lovedbylizzi

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