Sheena Goldblatt on the balcony of her apartment in Paris
Paris – Sheena Goldblatt is the quintessential American girl in Paris. From Jacksonville, Florida, Sheena first encountered the City of Lights at age six on a trip with her parents. Later she attended college in London and spent her weekends traveling around the French countryside. For the past 10 months (on her second extended stay), Sheena has resided in Paris and is having the ultimate love affair with the chic city via her blog Flirt Like A French Girl. I recently caught up with her to discuss her fabulous life in Paris and get the scoop on her French favorites including where to buy lingerie, and her dos and don'ts for fashion, accessories, and beauty – in Part Un of An American Girl In Paris.
Everyone and everything here seem to be playing their roles perfectly, from the grandiose architecture to the elegant Parisiennes, the gaping tourists and the French dogs, the curt waiters and the l'heure bleu – they all seem to arrive right on cue.
TCS: What made you fall in love with Paris and start the blog "Flirt Like A French Girl."
Sheena: I've always loved Paris, which is why I studied French in high school and college. Before I moved here the first time, I read every book on the market by Americans who lived in Paris and found most, if not all of them, to have a fundamental lack of details about what makes French girls so iconically sexy and revered around the world. They wrote about how chic and elegant they were, but with little information on how one achieves that look. They talked about how French girls have an effortless life and carefree style, yet French men constantly speak of French girls being difficult. Book after book explained the superiority of French eating habits that keep the population thin, yet every pharmacy is stocked full of diet pills and meal replacements. I started writing "Flirt Like a French Girl" to give women around the world an insider's view on the exact ways French girls flirt with their bodies, style, and personality.
Lingerie from Chantal Thomass
TCS: Where is your favorite place to shop in Paris?
Sheena: I'm kind of a knock-it-all-out shopper, so the Bon Marché on 24 rue de Sèvres, 7eme and Printemps on 64 boulevard Haussmann, 9eme. Department stores have edited versions of all the French brands I love like Tara Jarmon for clothes, By Terry for makeup and skincare, and Vanessa Bruno for bags. For lingerie, I head to Chantal Thomass on 211 Rue St. Honoré, 1ere or Sabbia Rosa on 73 rue des Sts-Pères, 6eme. I buy almost all my food at Le Grande Epicerie on 38 Rue de Sèvres, 7eme and the Marché de Passy on Rue Bois-le-vent, 16eme.
Sheena shares her dos and don’ts in French style for fashion, accessories, and beauty:
- DO hide your best assets – Show off your great legs by wearing a mini-skirt with black opaque tights. Great cleavage? Wear a push-up bra under a cashmere sweater. Lush, thick hair? Tie it up in a knot. The French are masters of subtlety.
- DON'T ever wear anything outside the home that wouldn't be appropriate for a first date – As the French like to repeat, you never know who you will meet. You simply never see French girls in grungy clothes, even when they're walking the dog or running to the market for milk.
- DO replace your tennis shoes with flat black boots – They look super chic with jeans or shorts with opaque black tights. You will never see a French girl in tennis shoes, unless it is the occasional pair of Chuck Taylor Converses. The idea of going to work in tennis shoes and changing into heels is absolutely unheard of here.
- DON'T think of a scarf as an accessory – To the French, it is a health precaution against colds and flus. When you think of it this way, you'll get the knack of how to wrap it to look completely French.
- DO have more skincare and bodycare products in your bathroom than makeup. French girls wear little to no makeup, instead spending their money and energy on glowing, blemish-free skin.
- DON'T follow harsh non-fat diets – French girls eat triple-cream cheeses and slather butter on every possible sandwich, while avoiding processed and chemically-enhanced food. It's the natural fats in foods, along with drinking water, that gives their skin that healthy youthfulness.