How connected are you to your passions? Do you even know what they are?
Interestingly, many, many women struggle to get clarity on the things they are passionate about.
But there is a relatively simple way for women to start to explore their passions. And it comes via an easy to access source.
In her best-selling work, Getting Real About Having It All, my mentor Megan Dalla-Camina recommends women ask themselves which section of a bookshop they would sleep in if they were stuck in the store overnight. The idea being that the subjects you are really drawn to, the ones you would fall asleep reading, potentially point you in the direction of your passions.
I have my own version of Megan’s advice. I don’t think you actually have to go to the bookshop. All you need to do is look at the books you already own. The ones that are already crammed in your bookshelf or chewing up space on your electronic device. You are likely to find themes in those shelves – and in everything you are drawn to read. The subjects you’ve been attracted to time and time again tell you a lot about yourself and the things that light you up.
If you looked in any one of my many bookcases, it would take you about two seconds to recognise my passions. Just one glance would tell you that I love everything to do with France (and all things French), travel and style.
And it appears that I’m especially lit up when I come across a book that combines those passions of mine in any way, shape or form.
So given all that, it took no time at all for me to hand over the money when I came across Ines de la Fressange’s latest creation Parisian Chic Look Book. Full of inspiration for ‘what to wear when’ it, like the rest of Ines’ books, takes me straight to my happy place.
Title: ’Parisian Chic Look Book – What should I wear today?’
Author: Ines de la Fressange with Sophie Gachet.
Published: 2017 by Flammarion, Softcover, 139 pages, plus room for notes.
What I Liked:
- The concept. Ingredients – in the form of items of clothing and accessories – are listed and pictured on one page. And then the finished dish – or the whole outfit – is shown on the facing page. There is also a tip on when to wear the outfit, and a short piece on the ‘secret recipe’. Much like a cook book, you can flick through this book, choose an outfit that appeals and then follow the steps to put the look together.
- The way the pictures (or ‘looks’) are shot. No faces. Not a lot of hair.There is a real focus on the outfits and distractions are kept to a minimum.
- The admission that there are many elements that make up a chic wardrobe. So often, ‘French essential’ lists are incredibly short. And while many of us would love to be able to dress with a wardrobe of just a handful of pieces, most of us know deep down that we would get bored or caught out when the outfit we needed was languishing in the laundry. Interestingly, the essentials list in the Parisian Chic Look Book runs to over 100 items, which makes for a refreshing change.
- The humour. As with the previous books written by this pair, there is a real lightheartedness captured in the words. From the ‘secret recipes’ to the tips at the end of the book, there were many opportunities to smile while you are enjoying this read.
- The design. Lots of white space. Splashes of hot pink. A beautiful, clean font. All in all, Parisian Chic Look Book is a pleasure to read.
What I Wasn’t So Sure About:
- Some of the outfits. There are just some items featured that I would never consider buying or wearing. But that is simply a taste thing and in all honesty, didn’t stop me from appreciating the creativity of all the looks included in the book.
Have you read Parisian Chic Look Book? What did you think of it? Are you clear on your passions? And are they similar to mine? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Until next time – au revoir.
P.S. If you are keen to buy Parisian Chic Look Book, or would like to check out some more of my recommendations, make sure you click through to the Distant Francophile Reading List.
Please note: This is an unsolicited post and no compensation of any kind has been received from Ines de la Fressange, Sophie Gachet, Megan Dalla-Camina, associated publishers or distributors.
10 thoughts on “Parisian Chic Look Book – A Book Review”
How fun! You are just like me. I also LOVE all things French or Parisian. I just ordered the book and can’t wait to check it out. I did the Amazon peek and I love how simple and fresh the styles are presented. Many of the pieces I already have in my closet, but many times I just need some inspiration of how to ‘throw it all together!’ I was in three countries over the last 2 weeks – Sweden, London, and Barcelona. The extreme temperature differences dictated our fashion choices. I’m already planning next year’s travel and fashion to go with it.
Sandra, it’s so funny that you mention having many of the items mentioned in the essentials list. I was in the same boat – and I’ve really enjoyed the different ideas on how to wear them. That’s probably what I’ve enjoyed most about the Look Book. You are so right about the weather dictating fashion choices – we certainly found that on our last trip. And I’m glad that I’m not the only one who starts trip planning a long way out. I really hope you enjoy the latest Parisian Chic book when it arrives.
This is such a coincidence, Janelle – I was just yesterday reading reviews of this book! Her first book (Parisian Chic) was amazing, and I was thinking I needed the Look Book – and was astonished by the ‘at each end’ reviews! Readers either hated it (‘waste of money…nothing here that isn’t in the first book…she is really milking this thing for all it is worth”) or absolutely loved it (‘OMG this is the perfect thing to round out the first book!…brilliant!…I go back to this over and over…’). So I was on the fence – you have convinced me to give it a try!
Hi Alisa. It’s always so funny when things like that happen, isn’t it? Books, like movies and other creative pieces, always polarise views…it really is such a matter of individual tastes. I loved Parisian Chic, and it really is my favourite of all of her books. The Look Book is a different concept and a shorter read than the original but it is still entertaining and inspirational. I’ve only owned it a couple of weeks, and it has already inspired more than one outfit…so for me, it is a winner. I really hope you enjoy it too. Be sure to let me know. xx.
Janelle – my passions are spot on with yours! I am a sucker for francophile reads. This one is on my shelf to be read when I return from PARIS (one stop on our European vacation). Thanks for another wonderful post!
Thank you Lauren – I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. And it’s always so lovely to connect with a kindred spirit! I can’t wait to follow your European adventures and I’m sure that the Parisian Chic Look Book will be a nice little treat when you get home.
Janelle, It just occurred to me that since this book was first published in French (2016), it would be useful to read the French reviews. It was quite well received by the French women who were its original audience. The most frequent comments on Amazon France:
1. It was written for very thin women and is unsuitable for a woman with some curves. (This was rebutted by one woman who suggested just finding some Pinterest pages to help you adapt the looks to a more substantial woman.)
2. It creates ‘safe’ looks. More to keep you from embarrassment than to help you to create a personal style.
3. But those looks are indeed classic and in excellent taste.
(By the way, the title in French translates to “What Shall I Wear Today?”, which really captures the essence of the book and clarifies what it is about.)
Thanks so much Alisa. I knew about the title translation, but I hadn’t done any research into the French reviews. What a good idea to look there!! I find the difference in ‘slant’ interesting as well as the thoughts that while they are in excellent taste they might be a little conservative. Have you decided to purchase the book or are you giving this one a miss??
Moth to a flame, Janelle!
I am going to France this week and will probably pick up the French version while I am there. If I squeeeeeeeeze one shelf on my bookcase I think I can just fit it in! 😀
There’s alway room for one more book Alisa (coming from a person that has books in just about every room in her house). I’m so excited that you are travelling this week. Have a safe and happy trip and keep me posted. Enjoy!!!