When I was young, I was very adventurous. I lived for the day, spending my money, time and energy as I pleased. Sometimes my decisions were frugal, sometimes they were carefree. And that was fine for then.
But, thankfully, we go through seasons in our lives. Our perceptions, values and attitudes towards life change with time. And that’s fine too, otherwise life would have been so boring and so predictable!
Sometime around my early forties I started to cherish a slower pace. A quiet evening with my husband, a delicious meal we prepared together, a memory we created playing as a family – it all became more important than running after new things, new activities, new life experiences somehow validating that we are living the best version (social media approved) of our life. That new way of thinking and living continued to evolve with each year that passed. I now started to crave a change in my life that would reflect my new attitude. I felt I have matured – maybe even got wiser?
And I noticed that I started to look for more luxury in my world. For more sophistication, elegance and poise. I asked myself a simple question: What is it that felt luxurious to me? Was it clothes, jewelry, exotic vacations or a new spacious and modern house? So I searched the net, the movies, the magazines, the books. I studied people, cultures and trends.
And I found it. I realized that what I craved was already deeply rooted in me, in my European descent. Being raised in Poland, I traveled through Europe frequently. I lived in Rome, I lived in Vienna. I admired the architecture, the culture, the art and the feel of history and tradition in places I visited. I loved watching people from different backgrounds, all breathing and living the European lifestyle. And I noticed that the “mature” women were mostly very well put together, very chic and elegant and that they had charm. And somehow the essence of of elegance and chic has been forever captured by the French women – Catherine Deneuve, anybody?
So, I researched to find out what is it that the French do and how do they live. The Internet is very saturated with everything French – apparently, I am not the only one who wants to be more French! For a while I gathered my Intel browsing through blogs, books and movies. I narrowed it down to a few that proved to be the most inspirational in my quest and I decided to share them with you just in case you also are looking for a touch of French living.
As for the movies, my two winners are “Amelie” and “Girl on a Bicycle”. The language, the clothes, the streets – everything is just so delightfully French that they remain my faves. As for books, and, believe me, it’s enough to Google anything to do with French lifestyle to have your head spinning from all the answers, I chose “The Lessons from Madame Chic” by Jennifer L. Scott, and “Thirty Chic Days” by Fiona Ferris. Both books are a great source of all things French and make changing your lifestyle to more elegant and chic seem to be so easy. The topics both authors cover range from diet, through make up and style, to tips on creating a simpler yet richer life.
The allure of Parisian living is very alive, not only among American women. The European ladies strive to be more French also, plus, they can visit Paris anytime and inexpensively!
My journey of becoming more French has been very exciting so far. I take it slowly, but each day I try to do a little more for myself. As per the advice from both books, I managed to simplify my wardrobe (to look more chic, of course), I also started to pay more attention to my posture and the way I move – these French women glide, I swear! I will share some more in my future posts and I hope you’ll find some of my ideas useful to be more chic and have some more luxury in your life.
Maybe you don’t even know that you want to be more French too …