Ah, those French women. They seem to live an enviable life yet somehow make it appear effortless. How do they do it? Here are 10 ways to add a little French chic to your everyday life. Choose one or more and you, too, can have a bit of the French lifestyle we so admire.
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10 Ways to Add a Little
French Chic to Your Life
1. Dress well
We might as well start with the obvious. Unless you are on your way to the gym, let’s tuck those stretched out yoga pants back in the drawer and put on something a bit more stylish. Even at home or just running a quick errand, there is no reason not to put a little effort into your appearance. Here are some helpful tips for upping your style game.
2. Eat at the table
Mealtime is trés important to the French. Can you imagine a chic French girl hunched over the coffee table, scarfing down her dinner while watching reality t.v.? Mais, non! Take a minute or two to set the table and then enjoy your meal in a more leisurely fashion. I also recommend cloth napkins for a nice touch.
3. Choose high quality, fresh foods
You’ll enjoy that time at the table even more if you’ve selected delicious, fresh foods for your meals. Not many of us will find it practical, or even possible, to shop daily like many French do. Yet we can still make an effort to include lots of simply prepared fresh fruits and vegetables in our meals.
My husband and I often recall how incredibly delicious the food was in Paris. Even something as simple as roasted potatoes tasted SO GOOD! Try your local farmers market or at least purchase produce in season for the best taste and quality.
4. Develop a simple hair style and makeup routine
French women aim for a simple, natural look with both hair and makeup. It may not actually BE effortless but they want it to LOOK like they woke up that way. Nothing too perfect or overdone.
5. Take care of your skin
One of the reasons French women can get away with little makeup is that they take exquisite care of their skin. If you have skin issues – or even if you don’t – an aesthetician appointment is a great investment. Learn what your skin type needs and then be diligent in its care.
6. Enjoy a glass of wine
There is evidence that red wine has health benefits and if you enjoy it, a glass of wine is also a lovely way to elevate a meal. A nice glass of wine chosen to complement your meal can be a true pleasure. I also believe that it can help one slow down and savor the food.
If, for whatever reason, you don’t drink wine, I suggest a chilled mineral water instead. Serve it in your prettiest glass and maybe add a slice of lemon or lime. It’s a small thing but often it is those tiny details that add so much to our daily lives.
7. Learn the art of good conversation
The French place such importance on conversation that “salons” flourished during the 17th and 18th centuries. These gatherings were important for the exchange of ideas and conversation was elevated to an art form.
While it’s not likely any of us will be invited to a formal, French-style salon gathering, it is still worthwhile to learn some basics in the art of conversation. Wouldn’t it be lovely to discuss art, literature, philosophy, music, and current events rather than banal small talk?
8. Turn off the screens and open a book
France has a strong reading culture and I think we could all agree that a little more time reading a good book and a little less time binge-watching Netflix wouldn’t hurt a bit.
9. Protect your time
The French woman tends to be quite intentional about how she spends her time. Like all other aspects of her life, she seeks quality in her leisure activities. She is also less likely to feel compelled to say “yes” (or “oui”) to all manner of requests, thus protecting more of her free time.
Learn to decline requests politely, yet firmly, and you won’t find yourself doing all manner of things that others think you should do. Your time is valuable and worth protecting.
10. Cultivate an air of mystery
Finally, keep some of yourself to yourself. Oversharing has become way too common, in part due to social media. Do we really need to share every personal detail about our lives? Granted, this can be a difficult judgment call and we will all draw the line in different places.
You can still be open and friendly without sharing all your secrets. Think before you speak. Listen more than you talk. Use discretion. You just might find people are rather intrigued by you.
For a humorous take on this:
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