Paris, Je T’aime

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I’m usually a pretty down-to-earth, realistic person who doesn’t spend a lot of time fantasizing about things that are out of reach. I even have a style blog called “Sarah’s Real Life.” Maybe you’ve heard of it.

But there’s at least one big exception to my rule. And that’s my obsession with Paris. Where I have never been. And have no definite plans to go. Still, on a pretty regular basis, I like to think about how awesome my trip will be when I go one day. Coffee and croissants at sidewalk cafés. Wine. Art museums. Macarons. Wine. Eiffel tower. Shopping. Wine. Dancing along the the Seine with Gene Kelly. OK, maybe that last one won’t ever happen but it still pops up in my daydreams from time to time.


For now, I fill the Parisian void in my life with books. I like reading them now and heading off to fantasy land, but I also like to think some of them will actually serve me well when I finally make the trip (no really – it will happen one day).

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Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange: Parisian style really has that je ne sais quoi, right? Why do Parisian chicks look so much better than everyone else in the simplest things? This book gave me at least a little bit of an idea why. The style tips are actually pretty accessible and easy to put into action. The author names some simple, essential pieces to have in your wardrobe, but I’m more of a fan of her ideas on how to pair unexpected pieces together. I’ve definitely put her advice into action! This book also has some advice on home decor and on places to visit in Paris. I’ll have to reread the latter section again sometime 🙂

Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands: This one looks like a novel but it’s actually a collection of 32 essays by different authors. ALL. ABOUT. PARIS. Francophiles rejoice! Some are happy, some are sad, some are romantic. And the best part (especially for people like me who have a short attention span when it comes to reading): you can put it down and pick it back up a week, month, or year later without missing anything.

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Parisienne French: Chic Phrases, Slang & Style by Rhianna Jones*: This little phrasebook just came out this week! I took 4 years of French in high school and 3 or 4 semesters in college, but I was never fluent by any means. I will definitely need a little refresher before I go to the city of lights. In the meantime, I can use this to sprinkle some Français into my everyday. Let me just tell you: this is not your usual phrasebook. If you don’t know any French and you’re actually hoping to learn some, this might not be the place to start. But if you need a refresher and you want to learn to say really funny (and sometimes raunchy) stuff, this will serve you well. Some things this book will teach you to say in French: badass, asshole, after-party, “she’s PMSing,” “it’s a hot mess,” and “you must be tired because you’ve been running through my head all day.” And those are just some of the more tame examples (there’s a section for bedroom talk – oh la lah!). It also tells you a bunch of text abbreviations – you know, like the French equivalents to “lol” and “omfg.” Along the way, the book has descriptions of museums, night clubs, shops, etc. All in all, very entertaining and even a little useful.

Any other recommendations on books to add to my Paris collection? Let me know in the comments!

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Paris, don’t forget that the Isabel Marant collection for H&M comes out tomorrow, 11/14! It will be available in stores and online. The black striped background you see in the above photo is a scarf from the collection (provided courtesy of H&M).

*Parisienne French was provided courtesy of the publisher for my review. All opinions are my own.