10 French Aphorisms Every American Girl Must Know

"She wasn't born in Paris, but she's reborn there."

Hairstyle, Monochrome, White, Style, Sleeveless shirt, Monochrome photography, Black-and-white, Vehicle door, Auto part, Chest,
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As American women, we unabashedly make googly eyes at French women all day, every day. From where we sit, they're thinner, live more colorful lives, and boast style that's equal parts flawless and effortless. But let's be honest with ourselves, channeling their blithe chicness without being a stone's throw from the Louvre can be daunting.

Fortunately, four of the industry's most quintessential French women, model and Chanel ambassador Caroline de Maigret, editor-at-large of Stylist magazine Audrey Diwan, author Anne Berest, and film producer Sophie Mas are spilling their no-holds-barred secrets to living and dressing la French in our new bible How to Be Parisian: Wherever You Are ($25). One of our favorite, and admittedly reassuring, takeaways from the whimsy tome is that some of the most famous Parisians are foreigners. "Yes, the Parisienne often comes from somewhere else," they explain, citing Jane Birkin as a prime example. "She wasn't born in Paris, but she's reborn there." Ah, yes, our eureka moment!

With that sentiment in mind, we crafted a list of 10 of the book's stylized aphorisms that us American gals can study (along with some deliciously pertinent inspo images) that'll help us Francophiles fake it till we make it.

1. Drink At Least One Glass of Red Wine a Night

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"Between 7:30 p..m. and 10:30 p.m."

2. Don't Be Afraid of Aging

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"As the saying goes, don't be afraid of anything but fear itself."

3. Find Your Signature Scent

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"Find 'your' perfume before you turn thirty. Wear it for the next thirty years."

4. Wear Jeans Anytime, Anywhere

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"[But not] blingy jeans with embroidery and holes in them. They belong in Bollywood."

5. Don't Wear Logos

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"You are not a billboard."

6. Find the Perfect White Shirt

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"It's iconic and timeless."

7. Always Wear Nice Lingerie

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"You never know what might happen."

8. Don't Feel Guilty About An Affair

Dress shirt, Street fashion, Bangs, Brown hair, Tie, Long hair, Step cutting, Love, Layered hair, Leather,

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"This is about you, not against him."

9. Let Your Extracurriculars Enrich You

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"Go to the theater, to museums, and to concerts as often as possible: it gives you a healthy glow."

10. Always Be Desirable

Hairstyle, Monochrome, White, Style, Sleeveless shirt, Monochrome photography, Black-and-white, Vehicle door, Auto part, Chest,

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"Always be f**kable: when standing in line at the bakery on a Sunday morning, buying champagne in the middle of th night, or even picking the kids up from school. You never know."

Photos via Getty Images

Related Links:

7 Things Living in France Taught Me About Style

7 Game-Changing French Beauty Secrets to Adopt Now

Lauren Valenti
Lauren Valenti

I’m the associate web editor at Marie Claire. I love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. I firmly believe that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.