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Day 351: French Women Don't Get Debt


Today's post is brought to you by the letter BONJOUR
and the number ZUT ALORS

So, I've been thinking of a non-shopping-related-life-issue (yes, I know, ZUT ALORS, I do other things besides obsess about money) and turning to my frugal life advisors for guidance and help. Every time I do this, I am reminded that most of my tricky decisions come down to:

a) doing what other people think I should do vs.
b) what I actually want to do.

(The answer is always b, for the record)


So, I was out on my bicyclette with my very good amie, Brigitte Bardot...

My brilliant friend Dr K made the following amazing connection between doing what you love (in a work capacity) and buying what you love (in a clothes capacity). Behold her wisdom:

"A few years ago I adopted this strategy for shopping. I wasn't going to buy stuff just because it was on sale or because it was trendy. But if I really wanted it and it fit really well or whatever, then I let myself buy it and didn't stress too much about the price. As a result, you wind up with clothes you really like and wear and are happy about instead of a closet full of junk. And on the whole I think less money is spent overall. I think we could all apply this to life as well.

Do wholeheartedly the things you want to do. Don't do stuff just because it's prestigious or other people think that you should."


Oui, oui, Audrey Hepburn has known this all of her vie

This is just like the French Women Don't Get Fat Diet! Or at least, what I've heard about it (not having actually read the book). Apparently, French women eat lots of buttery and fabulous delicious stuff and they never deign to eat "diet food" or boring things. They just eat a little bit of delicacies, practice self-control, and are in excellent shape.

Similarly, I assume that French women don't get bored and wander around the mall, eventually buying some Dr Pepper-scented lip balm, a t-shirt that doesn't quite fit but which is OK, and some sparkley jeans that happened to have been on sale. (True story: one time, in Winners, I found a pair of Seven brand jeans and was so excited to see such a famous brand name, that I bought the jeans even though they were too small and far too low-rise for anyone besides 2001-era Christina Aguilera).


Marion Cotillard is like, "French women do get fat sometimes,
but we don't freak out about it when we do. Vive les croissants!"

Anyway, French women may spend $400 on a pair of boots, but they are THE PERFECT BOOTS and they go with everything and the French woman wears them for years and years. The French woman doesn't buy the $19.99 plastic sunglasses that fall apart after two uses, because she knows that's ultimately a waste of money. She spends $25 on a lipstick that's a fabulous consistency and that she can wear for years and years; she does not buy random fruit-flavoured lipglosses because she is bored.

I guess the point is, the French woman has such high self-esteem and such an interesting life, she doesn't shop to cheer herself up. Or, maybe she shops to cheer herself up like, once per year and it's to buy a $2,000 trenchcoat. Basically, she has her life in such good balance that the money all just kind of works out because she is smart about it, but not obsessed about it.


Et tu, Audrey Tautou?

Also? She has a really cute beret. I have a really cute beret. I think I can make this work...


Lindy Mint said...

Love this post, love the French, and hate them all at once because they are so beautiful and self controlled.

Nicole @theWardrobeCode said...

Yes, the French have earned their right to be a little snooty - I just wish they wouldn't abuse it as they do.

(le sigh)

Anyway, I've been following your blog and I really love it. This particular post makes me want to yell "Amen!" because you highlight that we've kinda lost sight of how to really live.

We eat too much of the wrong stuff, buy too much of the wrong stuff - value too much of the wrong stuff. It doesn't really matter how we got here, but I think we're finally starting to wake up from this consumption binge and see the light.

Thank you for being brave enough to share your detox experience with the rest of us!

Jen @ YKYLF said...

I really try to live by this philosophy. About ten years ago, I read Anne Barone's "Chic and Slim". While the book has some editorial flaws, the message is excellent. Check it (and her web site) out. Also, there's a French Chic yahoo group that's pretty great. Let me know if you want the URL.

fabulouslyfrugirl said...

Thank you for reminding me "less is more". This message is much needed, as I just ordered a bunch of make-up from ELF.... #fail

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