Emily in Paris has us all planning a trip to France – as soon as COVID is over! France is considered to be one of the most romantic places in the world, and it has served as the inspiration for fashion and architecture for hundreds of years. The French way of life is about more than carrying a baguette around in your bag or wearing European designers though!
If you are in search of inspiration to help you incorporate the French style into your home décor, wardrobe, and more, then this list includes a roundup of the best books to give you an insight into French aesthetics.
Parisian Books That Will Inspire Your Whole Life
Parisian chic is a niche of its own within the fashion industry. According to Aloïs Guinut, dressing like a Parisian is a state of mind. Each chapter of this book takes you through a different aspect of styling – from the shapes to choose through to what pieces you must have in your wardrobe to be a true Parisian.
Aloïs Guinut is a personal stylist turned fashion blogger who gives you insight into some of the best-kept secrets of Parisian fashion. This book includes stunning photography shot by Judith van den Hoek, who has worked with Vogue and Hermes, with the photos taken on the beautiful streets of Paris.
Bonus- I've interviewed Aloïs! Read our interview here.
Want to dress like a Parisian on a budget? Do you want to trade fast fashion for a sustainable option? Aloïs Guinut has released a second book on dressing like a Parisian that focuses on sustainable fashion. When you think of vintage fashion, your mind instantly goes to French brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton.
"Why French Women Wear Vintage" is your cheat book on which pieces to buy from different decades to build a sustainable wardrobe that is full of Parisian chic. This book features some of the "new rules" in fashion, including cost per wear and how to make an old outfit new again.
Make sure to check out these other Parisian books on fashion too. They are all on my bookshelf!
Paris Street Style: A Guide to Effortless Chic
Sophie the Parisian: Style Tips from a True Parisian Woman
When your grandmother is Estee Lauder, it’s no surprise that you embody Parisian chic. Aerin Lauder is a lifestyle legend, who is the Director of Style and Image at Estee Lauder, as well as having launched her own brand "AERIN". Her style of entertaining and decorating is the personification of simple French elegance.
This book covers over twenty different occasions and will help you add a little Parisian flair to everything from your Thanksgiving dinner through to a champagne party to celebrity your birthday. Aerin takes all the best parts of timeless Parisian style and offers it in a book that you’ll be reaching for every time you have a special occasion.
French décor is one style that will always be timeless. If you are someone who loves to take a hands-on approach to decorating, then this book is full of easy DIY projects that you can try to bring a touch of effortless French style to your home. With 60 projects, you can make everything from vintage Christmas stockings to a wine crate. There is everything from sewing to painting and upholstery for you to try as an affordable way to experiment with the style.
If you don’t know where to start with French décor, then this book covers all the basics, including the popularity of the fleur de lis and damask print that is everywhere in France.
Don’t make the classic mistakes that Emily did at the beginning of "Emily in Paris". This book will tell you everything you need to know about embodying the idea of Parisian chic, from the lifestyle to the clothing.
Jennifer Scott arrived in Paris as a foreign exchange student. She takes the reader through the lessons that she was taught by "Madame Chic" that she has taken with her throughout life and is still following long after her time in Paris. This book covers everything from the French eating habits, the ten items you need in your wardrobe, and how to achieve that no-makeup look that is synonymous with French beauty.
French women are like a fine wine – they get better with age. This book by Mireille Guiliano gives you an insight into the French way of living and it teaches you everything you need to know about skincare and how to keep your body looking great. This book will teach you everything you need to know about dating, dieting, and finding friendship. Mireille is the former CEO of Clicquot.Inc – yep, the people that make up one of the largest champagne houses in the world - Veuve Clicquot.
This author also writes French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure AND an accompanying cookbook. We all know that people are always wondering about French women and their eating habits!
One of the best ways to experience a new culture is through food. In France, their diet is made up of more than just baguettes, croissants, and champagne. Georgeanne Brennan is a James Beard Award-winning author who brings the French approach to cooking right into your home – just like Julia Child did.
As well as giving you tips and recipes, Georgeanne gives you a unique insight into the French way of living and the relationship between food and family. This book is broken up into three sections – ‘the potager’ for year-round vegetables, ‘the orchard’ for fruits and nuts, and ‘the barnyard’ for meats.
There are so many more books I could write a summary for but if I did, this blog post would never end. Check out these below as well!
Parenting- Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting
Life- How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits
Parisian Charm School: French Secrets for Cultivating Love, Joy, and That Certain je ne sais quoi
Home- Maison: Parisian Chic at Home
Fashion Over 40- Forever Chic: Frenchwomen's Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style, and Substance
Older, but Better, but Older: From the Authors of How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are
Audrey Hepburn taught us two lessons in the film Sabrina. The first is that Paris is always a good idea. The second was ‘le vie en rose’ – the French way of saying “I am looking at the world through rose-colored glasses”.
All of these books, in one way or another, will help you to live that French way too.
Next up- It's time to learn about French fashion now with The Ultimate Guide to French Fashion!