I first read about Jennifer L. Scott and her book, “Lessons from Madame Chic“, several months ago in The New York Times. I was immediately charmed by the theme of the book….20 Stylish Secrets I (the author) Learned While Living in Paris. Hello??!!! That has my name all over it. However, when I actually went to download the book, it wasn’t available. It seemed that it was getting picked up by a publisher and was going to be released in the fall. I began following Jennifer’s blog, The Daily Connoisseur, and began connecting with her on Twitter. Guess what? I scored an advance copy of the book! I immediately dove in.
Ms. Scott was a student in Paris and living with a fancy family a.k.a Famille Chic. The matriarch, Madame Chic, sets a prime example of Parisienne Proper that Jennifer quickly picks up. Mix that up with the other end of the spectrum Paris lady, Madame Bohemienne, who is a little lighter and free and Ms. Scott returns home a changed lady. Her book shares her experiences in Paris and takes the lessons that she learned and gives us advice on how to be Paris fabulous, too! I immediately tried her suggestions for the ten-item wardrobe on a trip to San Francisco. It worked so well that I attempted it again on my last trip to Paris and was successful! She shares lessons not only in fashion but on lifestyle, eating like a Parisian, entertaining and attitude.
Jennifer is so wonderful that she accepted my invitation to answer a few questions AND has graciously offered a book to giveaway in this month’s Facebook Contest. Here is my interview:
1. Clearly, you were influenced by Madame Chic and all of her fabulousness. Was Madame Bohemienne more fun? Did you find that it was hard to relax around Madame Chic?
Madame Bohemienne was definitely more fun. I found Madame Chic to be very intimidating. I never fully relaxed around her. But then again, I learned the most from her!
2. Have you kept in touch with Famille Chic? Have they ever come to visit you in California?
It has been over a decade since I lived with Famille Chic and we have sadly lost touch. But I am in the process of reconnecting with them again!
3. On The Daily Connoisseur blog, you post about Paris or French inspired clothing. Do you ever just want to throw on a pair of sweats and flip flops and call it a day?
No! Haha. I don’t feel comfortable wearing sweat pants in public. That’s what living with Madame Chic does to you!
4. We love that many tips in your book stem from having good etiquette. The French are great when it comes to etiquette. Why do you think Americans have a tough time with it?
I think there are pros and cons to the etiquette in both cultures. In France, for example, you cannot walk into a store and ask a question of a shopkeeper without greeting them first. If you do this, you will be met with a very frosty reception. In America, however, things are more relaxed and people are more forgiving. It would be nice if we could take the best from each culture and make our own etiquette rules.
5. The Simple Pleasures section was lovely. What are some of your favorite “simple pleasures” at home?
My favorite simple pleasures right now are having a cup of tea and reading a mystery novel all alone, creating a simple bouquet out of single color flowers (I’m loving white arrangements at the moment), cleaning out my handbag (yes, it’s true!) and having a bubble bath after a very long day.
6. We know that you have two daughters. Is it easy to raise them to be chic?
My daughters are quite young, one is two and one is 6 months old. So right now they are in that magical childhood phase. I just want them to be fully aware of the joys of life and to always be in the present moment. I also want them to grow up without people pleasing or worrying what other people think of them. Nothing could be chicer.
Now a little about Paris…
What was your favorite thing to do in Paris?
Sit in a cafe and people-watch!
What was your favorite pastry in Paris?
Louvre or Pompidou?
Spend the day in Saint-Germain-des-Pres or Le Marais?
Kiss on the Eiffel Tower or the Pont des Arts?
Pont des Arts
Merci, Jennifer! I just adored the book and I am so excited to see who wins it in this month’s Facebook Contest. To enter, head over to Facebook and click on “Paris Giveaway“. The winner will be announced on November 30th.