Forever Chic: Frenchwomen's Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style, and Substance
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For any woman who last saw forty on her speedometer comes a sparkling new primer for aging—the French way—with grace and style. Frenchwomen of a certain age (over forty) are captivating and complex. They appear younger than their years and remain stylish throughout their lives. They look at birthdays as a celebration of a life well-lived and perhaps a good reason to go shopping before they dress to perfection for a celebration of another anniversaire. American-born journalist and blogger Tish Jett has lived among the French for years and has studied them and stalked them to learn their secrets. Exploring how their wardrobe, beauty, diet, and hair rituals evolve with time and how some aspects of their signature styles never change, Jett shows how Frenchwomen know their strengths, hide their weaknesses, and never talk about their fears, failures, or flaws. After all, in France, beauty, style, and charm have no expiration dates!
on the scale. Specifically, this is why her régime is so successful and no doubt the reason why she is famous in France. Her régime is basically as follows: No, favorite foods are not put on hold until the maintenance phase. She allows two “free” meals per week—one lunch, one dinner—and that could mean, for example, boeuf Bourguignon and potatoes, wine, and an unsweetened fruit dessert (she suggests pineapple). If, in one of those meals, fish is substituted for the meat, dessert can be a
fact a few are un peu ronde. They are basically a microcosm of the women I see every day. Anne explains to her pupils that exercise can sculpt the body, build muscle, and keep the joints moving comfortably, but “if you want to lose weight, you have to cut calories.” She said that she has so much muscle that she weighs considerably more than the charts suggest for her height. “I have to keep explaining that phenomenon to women.” Our conversation flowed from muscle to cellulite, where she had
exercise and food recommendations. One need not be staying at a hotel, either. France, to my knowledge at least, in this domain, as in so many others, has a unique approach to the quality of life of its citizens. Towns and villages, no matter their size, offer classes at reasonable prices, and inhabitants can sign up for myriad offerings to enrich their lives. Among the options available in the town where I teach my English conversation classes are outings with experts to museums (a bus picks
the other (total immersion), and had close relationships with the designers. They were the ones who mixed it all up, mingling their vision of style with la mode of the moment. They instinctively saw the possibilities and bought accordingly, whether they were the fashion directors of large stores or owned their signature boutiques. Today, Maria Luisa Poumaillou is considered one of the grand masters of the art. Journalists turn to her to pose questions about the latest and the greatest, while
single strand of pearls (never a fabulous look-at-me mass à la Chanel); a scarf (never a shawl, they kept falling off); red or bright violet-blue leather gloves. The problem was that I was not making a statement. There was no coherence, no vision. I wasn’t expressing my personality. I was simply throwing on an embellishment without thinking about impact. I wasn’t applying my French lessons. And, to be perfectly honest, I was missing out on a lot of fun. Those days are long over. And fortunately,