The Top 20 Things I Learned While Living in Paris- #19- Only Use the Best Things You Have
I learned the hard way when Madame Chic questioned why I would wear a holey pair of faded sweatpants to bed. In France, it is de rigueur to use the best things you have on a daily basis. And why not? As it has been said before, life is short, why save your pretty pajamas (for example) for another night?
Living with Famille Chic I watched them all use the best things they had on a daily basis. We drank our wine out of crystal tumblers. We sat in their beautiful antique Louis XVI (-esque) chairs before each meal for our apéritif . They wore their nicest clothes every day (there was no changing into old Juicy Couture tracksuits once home like I am guilty of- the family was still dressed beautifully in their day clothes when we sat down for dinner). In short, they used the best things they had on a regular basis.
I will actually take it a step further by saying that they only owned the best things they had. For example, Madame Chic would never dream of hanging on to a garment that had passed its prime (like my holey sweatpants). Every article of clothing she owned was of a high quality and in top condition. They didn’t have two sets of wine glasses for dinner- it was crystal or nothing- and as for their home, they didn’t have one room for ‘everyday’ and one room for ‘special visitors’. In their minds- they were special enough.
Observing this way of being planted the seed of fine living into my impressionable young mind and for that I couldn’t be more grateful.
I find the key is to look at everything you own with a critical eye. Hold your possessions to the highest of standards. Doing so can bring a specialness to the mundane and make life so much more interesting…
Won’t you stay tuned for number 18?
I have scanned all of my old photographs from Paris for this series and look forward to sharing them with you. Above, the Eiffel Tower is pictured.
My book, Lessons from Madame Chic: The Top 20 Things I Learned While Living in Paris will be published by Simon & Schuster and re-released in the fall of 2012.