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Twenty Lessons on Leading a Stylish Life

female-style-in-paris.jpgRight around the time that I re-imagined what I wanted to be, a publisher sent me a copy of Jennifer L. Scott’s “Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris.”

The timing couldn’t be better. After all, was now all about enjoying life like a Parisian, and who better to share her tips on how to do so than the editor of The Daily Connoisseur. Ms. Scott has been talking about the art of fine living since starting her blog in 2008.

I devoured Lessons from Madame Chic, eager to master the art of la vie Parisienne. The 20 lessons are covered in three parts: diet and exercise, style and beauty, and how to live well.  None of the lessons offered here are revolutionary. On the contrary, it’s their utter, beautiful simplicity that makes them so easy to bring into your life on a daily basis.  But don’t mistake this tome as a beauty book, despite chapters on how to wear makeup, always making oneself look presentable, and cultivating a ten-item wardrobe.

No, the heart and soul of this book is to give yourself permission to savor life. It’s about treating yourself well and not depriving yourself of true quality. And this, I think, is the ideal of life in Paris.

We Americans have a saying: stop and smell the roses. It’s a reminder to slow down life and take a moment to actually enjoy it. That’s all well and good, but la vie Parisian requires no reminders. If we live each and every day savoring the moment, then we’ve achieved the lifestyle that we so envy in the French.

Paris apartments are small. Some are très, très small. That means tiny refrigerators and a lack of closet space that would send most American women into a heightened state of panic. But look at the trade-off. Parisians buy their food fresh almost every day, instead of relying on processed products cluttering their shelves. They don’t consume, consume, consume … something we Americans tend to do without noticing what we’re consuming. And they cultivate a sense of style admired (and envied) around the world without stuffing their wardrobe with every single piece of clothing they see in a magazine, or hording a collection of shoes that would have Imelda Marcos salivating with envy. They simply buy high quality staples that never go out of style, and manage to get endless looks by simply mixing, matching and accessorizing.

I used to think I had to move to Paris to live my life like they do, but as Ms. Scott shows in her book of 20 lessons, I can live like a Parisian no matter where I am. Even in Miami.


Want to win a copy of Lessons from Madam Chic? We’re giving away one copy of this wonderful book to a random reader. All you need to do is leave a comment below, and I’ll select one winner on Sunday (January 13th). Enter your comment below.

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28 Responses to “Twenty Lessons on Leading a Stylish Life”

  1. Lorry says:

    Great post, thank you.

    It’s very hard when raised in the big USA to realise that we don’t need so much and that fabulousness doesn’t come in the form of more, more, more! It’s a lesson I’m intent on learning this year.

  2. As a single, francophile mom who desperately misses Paris and needs to simplify things in my life, I would love to have the tips that are shared in ‘Lessons from Madame Chic.’

    Thanks for having this giveaway! Maybe something to look forward to… ;-)

    All the best,

  3. Andrea aka @3samovar says:

    This book sounds like a winner, I could learn from it for sure! Who does not dream of a simpler life style?
    Andrea apd41 (at)

  4. Laurie says:

    I would love to learn the secrets of this book. I love everything French.

  5. Sandra says:

    I think sticking back to the basics gives you not only more closet room, but even more money, more time and last but not least: more room for your brain…
    And: non-consumerism is far better for our planet!

  6. Andrea says:

    I have had an e copy of this book for several years. I often go back and reread sections. Thanks for having this giveaway. A hard copy would be wonderful.

  7. Jan Tymorek says:

    Salut! There is so much truth in the philosophy that less is more. I have been following Jennifer Scott’s blog for awhile now and am eager to read the book. Amicalement, Jan

  8. Makayla Sampson says:

    Bravo to Ms. Scott for showing us how the French live simple but elegant lives! Thanks for the opportunity to win the book!

  9. Gigi says:

    I adore Jennifer’s blog and all things about the French people and their country. Would be thrilled to read her book while sipping a little champagne!
    Au revoir,

  10. JuLee says:

    I have and adore this book because it helped me learn how to enjoy living when I’d fallen into quite a deep rut. Ms. Scott showed me how to have less clothing but dress more stylishly, how to enjoy cooking and dining at home instead of always going out because it was too hard to cook in a tiny kitchen, and so forth. Ideas galore and many of them were very easy to apply to my life with a little planning. A wonderful book to have and one I refer to often.

  11. georgia says:

    I have been trying to pare down my wardrobe for over 3 years now and it is quite hard. I keep telling myself that the less I have, the less I have to take care of. I can see improvement.

  12. Susan says:

    Jennifer is such a breath of fresh air. I adore her blog and videos, and though she is young enough to be my daughter, she has crossed generational lines and inspired me to live a more thoughtful and refined life. Her book is certain to become treasure passed from mothers to daughters for many years to come.

  13. cynd says:

    Thanks for the great post. Would love to know where can I purchase the book if I’m not living in USA? Eager to learn and master the art of la vie Parisienne.

  14. SaraMM says:

    I only recently discovered Scott’s blog and now I am obsessed with it. I love all of the ideas of living a passionate life at all times and finding passion in the mundane tasks. I certainly want to take the blog/books ideas and apply them to my own life.

  15. Marsi says:

    I get overwhelmed and confused by my closet when I have too much stuff in it. Having fewer, but better, items really works for me.

  16. Pamela says:

    Thank you for this excellent reminder that more is not necessesarily better.

  17. Anne says:

    Hi , I found you through a Facebook link, my friend had put up. We in the UK , have the same saying .. “stop and smell the roses” or “wake up and smell the coffee”. I love going to Paris, and each time I go , I embrace it all . I have changed my style of dress too, could be because I have changed myself , but I feel good when I go there.

    I also try and cook fresh everyday .. or at least 4 times a week, .. we are lucky here, that we have a small butchers, greengrocers, two small shops aswell.

    If this is open to the UK readers, I would love to win this book :-)

  18. Ali Mackie says:

    I’ve been reading Scott’s blog for a while now and would love to win a copy of her book.

  19. Meg says:

    I’d love to read this book. I try to travel to France about once a year with my husband and I’m always envious of their easy breezy sense of style. One tip I learned: find a silhouette that works for you body, and stick to it. Don’t be drawn in by our current modes of disposable fashion, of-the-minute colors, wandering through the mall, etc. Just pick clean, simple, flattering lines in basic colors and quality fabrics that look good on your body type and buy ONLY that.

  20. Georgette says:

    Merci ! I long to live the Parisian life and if it must be from Memphis, TN then so be it!! Hopefully your book and your help will change my life!!

  21. Ursula Simmons says:

    Since I can remember I have been fascinated with everything French. Reading anything I could find, buying little nick knacks and pictures with the Eiffel towel on it. I didn’t realized back then that there was so much more to living as the French do such as food, culture and that inexplicable sense of self. Now as a woman I still do the same things but now I drink, eat and speak the language somewhat (never acceptable by the French) I search on the internet daily for new reads and I came across the the daily connoisseur which led me to you, tres chic!

  22. DRTVrMoi says:

    I’ve embraced Parisian style when my parents sent me to study in France. Perhaps a tad pretentious for a 16 year old, but the lessons, classroom and life, have never left me. I thank my parents for the opportunity and you for this contest.

  23. Dee T. says:

    I love this book, and I want to give a copy to my mom, sister and cousin!

  24. Pamela says:

    I probably will not win this book, but I definitely would like to buy it!

  25. Rocio says:

    I love to live la vie Parisienne…the simple life and the life I strive to live daily! As a long-time Francophile, I’m always eager to eat, live, breathe all things French and would love to enlighten myself with 20 lessons on leading a stylish life a la Francais!

  26. Mary Stump says:

    Just discovered your site and it is WONDERFUL! Just turned 60 in November and ready to take a new look at how I do things for myself! Sign me up for Ms. Scott’s book.

  27. Linda Donahue says:

    WE HAVE OUR WINNER! Georgia was the 11th person to post on our comments…and that was the number our random number generator pulled. Congratulations, Georgia!

  28. Sihle says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    I Live in South Africa, I bought your book a week ago and finished reading it in exactly a week which was the first :) (I usually take about 2 months to finish a book). Thank you for writing that book, it has changed my life for the best, it has everything I needed to learn right now in my life…it has become my little guide now on how to live a simple, quality and passionate life.

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