Portrait of Madame Chic
Recently I received an email from Lana, a reader of The Daily Connoisseur. She wanted to know more about Madame Chic’s fashion sense and lifestyle. She had such great questions I decided to devote an entire post to the subject and have attempted to answer her questions below.
For those of you who are new to the blog, Madame Chic is the mother of the family I lived with when I was an exchange student in Paris. I could have also called her Madame Traditionelle because she had a very classic sensibility... but then, I’m getting ahead of myself...
Madame Chic’s Style
Madame Chic was a Parisian in the most traditional of senses. She was conservative and her style reflected her values gracefully. Madame Chic always wore a skirt. Always. On the coldest of winter days she would wear a skirt. The skirts would always be a-line, in tweed or wool, very sensible and slimming and hit just above the knee. She would pair a beautiful high quality sweater set with her skirts and wore minimal jewelry. In the winter months she donned a thick, wool coat, as the warmer months approached, she wore a classic trench coat.
It was not so much Madame Chic’s style that was extraordinary but the way she wore the clothes she wore. They fit her, flattered her figure and she felt comfortable and beautiful in them. Her portfolio of outfits was not overwhelming. In fact, her closet probably only held ten items. She would wear and repeat the same outfits all the time, but always looked put together... toujours. She did not change her outfit or style when hosting or attending dinner parties, but then again, her everyday clothes were a lot more formal than the average womans'.
How did she schedule her days?
Madame Chic worked part time and also did a lot of volunteer work. Her work schedule was relatively light which gave her a lot of time to take care of her family- doing the daily shopping, planning and cooking meals, cleaning the apartment (they did not have a cleaner) and preparing a lovely breakfast and delicious supper every night. Sometimes if I had time between classes to venture back home she and I would lunch together. Other days she would have girlfriends over to lunch. Madame Chic also loved chatting on the phone. She always got up before Monsieur Chic at the early hour of 5:30am. After the two of them breakfasted together and after my breakfast was served (a considerable time later), Madame Chic would chat on the phone to friends for twenty minutes to an hour each day.
What did she read and listen to?
I am not sure what Madame Chic read for pleasure. There was not a bookcase in the main part of the house. I did not see her reading during the day so if she read, it was in the evening, probably before bed.
The family did listen to music every evening. They had a vintage record player and after dinner every night (like clockwork) they would put on a record of classical music and sit and listen to it while the men smoked cigarettes. Other than the playing of classical music every evening, Madame Chic did not listen to any music during the day, save for a morning radio show that she promptly turned off as soon as I walked into the kitchen for breakfast.
Thank you Lana for your questions. I love getting questions from readers… If you have questions about any of the subjects I write about, please leave them in the comment section or email me and I will do my best to answer them!
Pictured above is my trench coat by A.P.C.– a classic Parisian wardrobe staple (inspired by Madame Chic) and one that I readily invested in after living in Paris...