7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Ines'diary is a guide to Paris, more than a style guide...,
This review is from: Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange (Paperback)
I received this book as a gift and I am glad I did not buy it. As mentioned by other reviewers, perhaps two-thirds of the book are devoted to Parisian addresses (where to shop, eat, drink and being seen), therefore useless for anybody who does not live there - or even for people who visit only occasionally, like me.
On the positive side, the book is visually pleasing, with lots of charming drawings and plenty of photos. Some of the advice does make sense. I agree with Ines about high heels being useless at best and ridiculous on most occasions. The vast majority of women do not know how to walk with high heels, ending up tottering and stumbling or walking with rigid legs - the opposite of chic.
Other bits of wisdom can be found regularly on women's magazines and are hardly groundbreaking: do not wear too much make-up; change your style when aging; etc...
Besides, she goes on and on about what French people like and dislike, implying that the French know better - a syndrome known as "chez nous, en France". Anybody who visited Paris probably noticed that most French women do not look like Ines, but are as sloppy and badly mannered as the rest of us. So it looks likes Ines is failing to make proselytes of her own countrywomen.
Finally, her advice is not about general "chic", but strictly about what suit her taste - which indeed is good, but not necessarily good for everybody. For instance, she likes the colour blue and trench coats. I dislike blue and the only time I bought a trench I lived to regret it, as it does not suit my lifestyle. Besides, I dislike the array of buttons, belts and epaulettes trench coats come with.
Therefore, she totally fails to expand the scope of the book into making it a real guide to chic, and what she delivers is merely a personal diary of her likes and dislikes.