Do As The Parisians Do

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Whenever I have the time, I’ve been reading little snippets from Jennifer L. Scott’s “Lessons from Madame Chic.” Since I studied abroad in Paris, any topics vaguely touching upon Parisian culture captures all of my attention at the drop of a hat.

Particularly, I absolutely loved Scott’s chapter about the differences between a typical American closet and a typical Parisian closet. While I definitely noticed that the French tend to repeat outfits far more often than any American would deem “socially acceptable,” I never really took the time to explore the idea and understand why exactly the French do this, or rather, why Americans don’t.

As Scott describes, American closets are “stuffed to the brim,” and yet it’s not uncommon to hear an American woman proclaim that she has nothing to wear even when walking in to her giant, filled to the maximum capacity, closet (44). On the other hand, the typical Parisian has about ten items that they rotate throughout the week. Of course, these ten items differ from season to season, but nonetheless, the French are extremely selective with their wardrobes and don’t mind the occasional outfit repeat.

While I certainly fall more on the American end of things, I think I do have a bit of a Parisian mentally instilled. I like to narrow down my closet to only pieces that I truly love and not pieces that are just there to take up space.

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Maybe we can all learn from Parisians — after all, they are trop chic. I say let’s use this to inspire some major Spring cleaning!

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