Paris Street Style: A Guide to Effortless Chic Review

If you’re a lover of books, you will surely understand the feel when you read a book that’s gotten into you, the quirk you unconsciously formed while reading through heartfelt passages, and just the pure joy of looking at it. This is exactly what happened to me when I got my hands on “Paris Street Style: A Guide to Effortless Chic”. (no promo!)

This cute book came with my other orders from Shopbop (Amazon offered the same thing for less I found out), but I was just thrilled the moment I got my hands on this. “Holy cheese, this is gonna be my new bible!” was one of my first impressions as I flipped through the first few pages of the book.

Paris Street Style Book

TADAAA!

With all the nice introduction I’ve made, let’s get right down to business.

 

THE FIRST FEW GLANCES

AMAZING! The writers’ hate for scrunchies (the velvet hair grips/ hair ties) was my favorite theme throughout the book. (until I bought a velvet headband I thought was cute and hang-out appropriate a few days later). The book also presents images of numerous effortlessly stylish women and beautiful illustrations which easily became my new inspirations. And believe me, you WILL want to be like them.

 

THE GOOD

As I read each section with extreme intensity -too much intensity even, perhaps- I became even more self conscious of the way I dress and the way I see other people dress. This is a book that can get to you and your head quickly. The way it presents sensible styling tips alongside stylish women who almost accurately represent them is a hard blow to receive. But subjectively, I think you’ll love this book because:

1. It gives out tips, concrete styling examples, and alternatives. I mean, how many times have you read books or blog posts that tell you to wear a certain item this way or that way without even showing how it looks like at the end? I could be telling you to wear oversized jumper, a mini skirt, and cowboy boots and it could be super awesome or ultra no-no according to our own imaginations.

2. The interviews offer a different approach and perspective about the fashion world of today. In one interview with Alexandra Senes (the current editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar France), she stated that brands like The Kooples are representative of what is happening in fashion industry; items picked out from magazines and sold at storefronts. That being said, I wonder what her reaction will be when asked about Nasty Gal. In another interview, Christophe Lemaire (artistic director of Hermès‘ womenswear) stated that sexy is the aesthetic of expensive prostitutes.

3. It is light, informative, and logical at the same time. Plus, lots of beautiful photographs and illustrations! That beats out everything else, doesn’t it?

 

THE BAD

Just like many other how-to styling books, you’ll either love or hate being told what you need to wear and how. But in my own honest opinion, the book is not without some flaws in it. I personally chose to ignore them myself for the pleasure of reading and finishing it, but let me point out in which parts you might find this book a little off-putting:

1.  You already have your own staple and perspective regarding your own personal style and therefore you might perceive some of the writers’ opinion as rigid or even vain. But on the other hand, if you’re more of the introspective type, the options thrown by the book might intrigue you to try it out on your own. The interviews they had with the fashion insiders are quite eye opening too!

2. The writers can be quick to dismiss certain clothing articles. Remember what I said about the scrunchy hate? I was on the same term with the writers, so I was chill to the point of laughing when I read about it. There were other quick-to-dismiss items too, such as the crop tops, flip flops, and baseball caps, on which I also share the hatred and therefore pose no inner resistance within me. But if you happen to be a baseball cap and flip-flop collector, you can easily get defensive reading this book. (Like myself when they quickly dismissed cheap shoes. HOW ELSE CAN A NORM LIKE ME GET MULTIDIMENSIONAL LOOKS??!!!)

3. They’re definitely biased toward French women. Yes, I am incredibly jealous of French women, but the book was over-doing it at some parts. It’s something close to a worship of the Parisian women and shunning the rest of the universe. I mean, what if a Parisian lady is incapable of producing the effortless elegance and chicness that have been emphasized multiple times in the book? Will she be doomed and banished to the edge of universe? But then again, a part in the book suggested that other non-French women can portray the symbol of effortless chic better than some of the Parisian themselves (Kate Moss and Diane Kruger were mentioned). I still have mixed feelings about this theme, though.

4. There were some minor inconsistencies in the book. The book specifically said no black pantyhose ever, yet feature multiple women wearing black stockings and pulling them off brilliantly. And if I might put in my own perspective, the book swore off pastel capri pants yet they embrace leather pants and leggings with open arms. In my conscious mind, I simply can’t comprehend why something that is so hard to get into could be considered as effortless.

 

THE CONCLUSIONS

1. If you’re somewhere near blind or in total oblivion in terms of style, this book is a good reality check to make sure you don’t go down the wrong path (or as the self proclaimed fashionistas call it, faux pas). This could even be your new bible.

2. If you’re aware of your own style but you’re feeling dull and bored of your somehow mundane clothing choices (somewhat like me), this book can refresh your perspective and makes you look at certain items in a new light. (I swore off ballet flats, T-strap sandals, and animal prints long ago, but now I’m SERIOUSLY reconsidering it)

3. I love this book! I studied it quite immensely in search of new inspirations. But as I’ve stated above the book itself is not without flaws. If you choose to indulge in it and not notice them, it’s perfectly fine too. Even if you’re an anti-text person or the content of the text is not for you, the photographs of stylish women will enlighten you one way or another. (Amazon has the cheapest price as far as I know. But if your country doesn’t have its own Amazon and shipping cost is a problem for you, I suggest BookDepository.com)

If you’re a non reader: are you interested in taking a peek at this book?

If you’ve read it: please tell me what you think about it!

 

 

 

-The Dilly Chic-

Giving Polyvore a Try

ARE YOU SERIOUS? GURLLL WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL THIS TIME? HIDING FROM TORNADO OR SOMETHING?

Well first of all, without any offense given to all the other fashionable fashion bloggers out there, I’m a late bloomer when it comes to trend. I’ve always been one. I never quite bought into this whole imaginary mix and match without the actual chance of trying the outfits myself. It was a ridiculous idea.

So on one particularly sunny and boring day, I started to imagine new ideas for my style, for my own wardrobe. Then Polyvore (on which I already registered an account over a year ago but never quite gave a f*** about) came to my mind. So began the experiment…

 

1. Monochrome Twist Combo

I’ve always wanted to try this one IRL, but I never quite found a top cute enough or a skirt full enough for the purpose. And so I turned to Polyvore to see how the outfit would work out when all the stuff are put together. Here’s my first attempt at a Polyvore set (yay!)

Black on White
Black on White by nadyahw featuring white glasses

 

2. Distressed Elegance

This one has been on my mind for quite a long time. And my creativity just burst when I finally got my hands on the styling. The basic idea is mixing staple pieces such as a sleeveless black top, booties, and a clutch with distressed denim pants to create a whole new outlook on the outfit. Do check!

Distressed Elegance
Distressed Elegance by nadyahw featuring blue jeans

 

How about it? Okay I now I’m far too late into this whole trend. But better late than sorry, right??!

 

 

 

-The Dilly Chic-

Artventure

We’re lost in the woods, I get it. We’re entrapped within the very boundaries of what’s right and what we think is right, I get it. Boyfriend high on pills and abusive? Totally get it (not really, sorry).

Art gives everyone the promise of escaping, eluding the dreadful dramatory (short for drama purgatory) that is life. Your best friend backstabbed you? You paint. Your lover dissed you for that ho with the visible thong? You make crafts to sell on Etsy. Your achievement escaped you? You write about the newest Alexander Wang >< H&M collab.

My Sad Bitch - watermarked

Point is, the only one thing that comforts your soul better than the chocolate chip mint ice cream is art. All form of art. All kinds of contexts of art. Be it personal, commercial, or whatever, you know one thing: you found your dramatic venture through creativity.

 

And don’t you say no.

 

 

 

-The Dilly Chic-

Some Kind of Obsession and What It Has to do with Personal Style

There’s something about dark and vintage noir that draws a character in. No, I am not at all trying to be exquisite or tasteful all so sudden, but I do realize that lately, my personal taste when it comes to choosing pieces of clothing and such have been affected widely by my visual taste in things remotely relevant to my personal style. And as I mature (ehem, no) I realize that this is happening to everyone as well.

Take, for example, meine Mutter. My mom watches lots of infotainment (like E! News, but in Indonesian and worse if I may say bluntly) to kill time, so her taste of clothing is affected by the celebs she saw. Or take my Korean crazed friend, she is wow, I mean wow does she wear a lot of ribbons and blings (a bad example perhaps, I can assure you not all Korean fans are so).

PDemarchelier2

Photograph by Patrick Demarchelier

 

And for some reasons I have this theory that the more one person digests the information and imagery of the world around them, the more finely matured their personal style would also be. I have this one friend who catches up on almost every designer info she could get, and she’s one of the best dressed person I’ve ever seen. So the point is this:

One has to be obsessed and one has to properly digest.

 

Dior Glamour - Mark Shaw

 

Even if you’re obsessed with, say, dracula and vampire stuff and all that comes with it (minus werewolves, they’re bare), you will still sharpen your personal style if you carefully digest what comes with your obsession and implement it to your choice of clothing.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

The Kate Moss Book

A page from “Kate: The Kate Moss Book” in which Mario Testino claimed that Kate was “loose with her body”.

 

But do be reminded, though, that “individuality does not mean eccentricity“, said Christian Dior in his 1954 book ‘The Little Dictionary of Fashion’. I think he could not have said it better, because nowadays people are trying way too hard to be different, especially the hip kids in the big city (or you maybe), and they fail to realize what works and what doesn’t. It is fine to be yourself in the bluntest of terms, but keep in mind to always digest carefully, and implement selectively.

Those are my inspirations and thoughts. What about your side of the coin?

 

 

 

-The Dilly Chic-