Friday, March 01, 2013

How to Walk Like a Parisienne

Ladies, have you always longed to acquire the allure of a chic Parisienne walking along the Place Vendôme or the Champs Élysées?  Me too!  I adore walking, and especially walking in Paris.  The best exercise of all.

Here are a few tips, with photos to illustrate.  Oh, well, yes... they are from a Madame Figaro article from the late 1940s, liberally translated by yours truly.  But really, has that much changed?  Read on! (I'm off to do my basket-balancing exercises.)


Grace and physical allure are qualities that are more precious than the beauty of face or body. And did you know that nothing reveals more about the inner you? A physical bearing that is confident, free and easy, will never belong to a shy woman; and men simply are not drawn to a woman whose demeanor proclaims grumpiness.

There are nevertheless exercises that can help you achieve that allure: practice walking with basket on your head, juggling, jumping rope, walking on tip-toe.

Walk without hurrying. Relax, throw your shoulders back, plant the sole of the foot on the ground, and walking will be, even in the city, the most beneficial sport of all.

Don’ts (illustrated in photos):

1.  Certainly we have to open our stride from the hip, but, ladies, please:  taking “giant steps” is not pretty. And bending the knees makes walking exhausting.

2. L’air perché – the heel touching the ground before the toe reaches the pavement. Non, non!  And where is this pocketbook going, grasped in the fist like a dangerous projectile? And where is this doll going, arms and legs akimbo? Slow down!

3.  Oh, dear.  Drooping shoulders, hunched back, hollow chest, head bent over… this demoiselle glumly counts the cobble stones. This posture is just so sad.

4. Right-left, right-left, 2-3-4. Oh, no!  The hips swing back and forth, taking the jacket with them in their movement. Nothing less gracious than this swaying.

5.  Over-arched derrière, chest forward, arms going nowhere.  Does this young woman hope that her nose will arrive before she does?

The couture has certainly changed in the past 70 years... but does the posture advice still hold?

6 comments:

Mulyono said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Reggie Darling said...

Am off to Paris myself in two weeks for a much-anticipated holiday. I shall do my best while there to avoid slouching, walking hibbeldy-hobbeldy, slumped shoulders, lurching steps, and bumbling about. Thank you for the lesson! Reggie

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Have a wonderful trip, Reggie! I hope you will post from Paris. Maybe a guest post on PVF?

Avatar Games said...

have a wonderful trip there ^^
stay safe.

Kristoffer Kromcke said...

Have a wonderful trip
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Anonymous said...

My wife and i just got back from Paris a few weeks ago and loved. We had taken French lessons with Pajama Tutors (my wife's family's business) before departing, and it definitely helped us get around. Paris and Venice - hard to say which is the best in the world.

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