The minimalist style of Jennifer L Scott is uniquely feminine. It exudes a sophisticated “Je ne c’est quoi?”
I’ve seen it before in Paris while strolling the Champs de Elysees or sitting in a neighborhood bistro. All French women seem to have this effortless appeal.
In less than a decade since starting her blog, Scott has amassed a media empire of 50,000 followers who aspire to live as gracefully as she does. It’s no surprise. Her poise and refined approach to living well are America’s best version of itself, especially when we embrace Madame Chic.
Madame Chic is a way of life
In a series of three books, Scott outlines the lessons she learned while living in Paris during a college study abroad program. As a student of the University of Southern California, Scott billeted with a French family whose matriarch, Madame Chic, forever changed Scott’s laid-back California sensibilities.
When Scott returned from Paris and settled back into life, she wondered how she could harness the magic of her French experience. So she started a blog about the top 20 ways Paris changed her. As her fan base quickly grew, Scott created a book. After many rejections from publishing houses, Scott believed so strongly in her message that she self-published the book. When it climbed the charts of the New York Times bestselling lists, Simon and Schuster picked it up in 2012.
Scott has since expanded her platform to include an entire Madam Chic series: Twenty Stylish Secrets, Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life and Lessons in Everyday Elegance. New videos and stories appearing on her website Daily Connoisseur also speak to her central and consistent philosophy.
Essentially, Scott urges women to let go of the “stuff” cluttering our lives. We need to indulge in the simple and greatest pleasures that have nothing to do with being plugged-in, consumer-driven, and overly stimulated. It’s no wonder we can’t sleep at night or leave our cell phones to enjoy dinner out with friends.
Scott offers helpful tips and videos that start with how to live better by dressing with greater ease and confidence. This spills over into lifestyle choices like relishing everyday meals and laughing at ridiculous fashion trends; in videos like her “High Fashion Dry Cleaning Dress.”.
Maybe at this point, you’re rolling your eyes and thinking why is the French approach so special? Maybe you dislike books with titles like French Women Don’t Get Fat and French Children Don’t Throw Food. How can these have anything to do with living an authentic and simple life? Quite simply, they can if we learn from each other and embrace cultural diversity.
I personally welcome Scott’s advice, knowing how hard it is to lead a simple, more satisfying life.
Like everything in her business, Scott is single minded about helping women enjoy more fulfilling lives. She’s been featured in dozens of popular magazines, like Elle and Real Simple, and in newspaper publications including the Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal and CNN.
Part of her success is the new material and new insights she provides in helpful video blogs. In them she tackles a greater variety of categories, including:
- Live life well with Ten Item Wardrobe;
- Makeup & hair tutorials; and,
- Home entertaining and food recipes.
Overwhelmingly, the most popular of these is Scott’s Ten Item Wardrobe. To be honest, I freaked out when I purchased the inexpensive $5 series of tutorials. I wanted to declutter my life and my closet, but could I let go? Studies show when we reduce the number of daily decisions, our creativity and time management improves. We also have time for more meaningful activities.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft Founder Bill Gates all swear by this practice. But can women really do this? I started to believe that maybe I could when Scott explained how the wardrobing worked.
How the Ten Item Wardrobe Works
First, select ten pieces of clothing to create a seasonal wardrobe. Extra accessories like cardigans and scarves are allowed (phew!), which helps make the process less daunting. And, deciding on the right mix of colors might actually be a fun. This less-is-more approach makes sense. Many women own way too many clothes and can stand in front of a row of dresses in our closets feeling like we have nothing to wear. By limiting clothing purchases, women can afford higher quality clothes because they’re buying less.
Thankfully, Scott’s step-by-step instructions make downsizing relatively easy. In fact, I sorted through years of unworn clothes. A sample Ten Item Wardrobe for the winter might look like this: three pants, two sweaters, two blouses and two dresses. A spring wardrobe might be slightly different and include: four dresses (Scott loves these), two jeans, three tops and one skirt.
While I didn’t quite make it to only ten pieces per season, it felt good shedding years of unworn and tired clothes. More importantly, I continued to focus on Scott’s message about enjoying a better quality of life. Her website is filled with loads of ideas, including entertainment tips and simple ways to make dinnertime more festive. They reminded me of my parents, who made sure we had family dinners around the kitchen table sans (without) cell phones.
It’s also refreshing to hear Scott talk about the “French makeup look.” She talks about real beauty versus superficial beauty – makeup, body size, stylized hair, and other fashionista concerns. Scott’s daily makeup routine consists of skin moisturizer and lip balm. Again, I was reminded of my mother and her French Canadian skincare regimen. To this day, it consists of a thick layer of Nivea moisturizer that’s keep her looking remarkably youthful.
Ultimately, lifestyle is a personal choice
Knowing the importance of our internal well-being, Scott has a strong spiritual life and follows a healthy diet. She cooks most nights but realizes this doesn’t fit with everyone’s lifestyle. As a parent of two young girls, Scott says batch cooking is a timely alternative.
I have become a daily connoisseur of Jennifer L Scott’s lifestyle advice. It’s a fun escape with interesting advice that provides a healthy counter to trendy stylists. I know companies like MM LaFleur, who specialize in curating interchangeable wardrobe pieces for women, are becoming more popular. But I want the chance to discover my own unique style.
What’s next for Scott? She’s excited to share her upcoming book plans for Connoisseur Kids. It’s a family centered, interactive book that teaches etiquette and manners. It will debut in 2019 and I can already see a whole new generation of kids learning to enjoy the best of life tous les jours (every day). For more great information about Scott and her teachable courses, please follow the links throughout the article or visit her website. À bientôt!