Shopping

Ready, Set… Shop! Les Soldes Run Through February 10

by Tory Hoen
Soldes-Top-tripleGarance Doré, www.garancedore.fr, www. frenchgardening.com

It’s that magical time of year… when shopping wishes come true and full-blown retail miracles can happen. Suddenly, the items we’ve been coveting throughout the fall and early winter are suddenly affordable… or at least, more affordable. That’s right: France’s biannual sales (“les soldes”) are here, and just about everything—from clothes and handbags to electronics and home furnishings—are repeatedly marked down until they are so cheap that we are practically forced to buy them. Typically, the première démarque sees prices cut by 20-50%, with the deuxième démarque resulting in prices up to 70% off. It’s like a city-wide “Everything must go!” policy… and by everything, we mean literally everything. This government mandated clear-out happens twice a year, and for avid shoppers, there is absolutely no better time to be in Paris (with your credit card at the ready).

SoldesLittle Brown Pen, fr.modefix.com

But les soldes are not for the faint of heart. If you’re headed for the big department stores (Printemps, Galeries Lafayette, Le Bon Marché), prepare to brave crowds of strategic shoppers who are ready to fight tooth-and-nail to snag the best merchandise before it’s gone. Towards the end of the day during les soldes, these large stores tend to look more like ransacked warehouses than elegant shopping emporiums—with sweaters strewn about, piles of shoes stacked in corners, and wild-eyed shoppers sprinting from rack to rack to score overlooked gems before stores close their doors for the night. Smaller boutiques have a slightly less chaotic feel, but the end goal is the same: find the best stuff at the lowest prices…right now.

But the reward is well worth the struggle. I made the most unexpectedly exhilarating purchase of my life during last year’s soldes. I don’t even know how I ended up in the Chloé section of Printemps (fate I suppose), but there I was… and suddenly, I saw the coat, hanging towards the back of the section like a shining beacon of elegance—awesome in the truest sense of the word. Suddenly I was looking at it, then touching it, then trying it on… at that point, I think I blacked out. A few minutes later, I was out on the street, hyperventilating with shock (or was it poverty?), having made the most major purchase of my life. In my defense, it was 50% off, and to this day, I get giddy every time I put it on. It reminds me of Paris, which inevitably makes me happy. And that’s what les soldes are all about: impulse… and no regrets.

Plus, we all know the economy needs stimulating. So have an espresso, take a deep breath… and jump in. (This year’s soldes last through February 10).

Written by Tory Hoen for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

Written By

Tory Hoen

After attending Brown University and spending two years in New York, Tory bought a one-way ticket to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a writer (and of drinking wine at lunch). During her time in the City of Light, she chronicled the euphoric highs and the laughable lows of ex-pat life on her blog, A Moveable Beast. Though she's now based in New York, she travels frequently to Montreal and Brazil, and she'll use just about any excuse to jet to Paris ("I ran out of fleur de sel"). A regular contributor to Hip Paris, Tory also writes for New York Magazine, Time Out New York, and she is a co-author of Gradspot.com's Guide To Life After College. View Website

6 comments on “Ready, Set… Shop! Les Soldes Run Through February 10

[…] Through July 31: It’s official, the summer soldes season is underway. Pick up some summer and fall garb at seriously discounted prices at this bi-annual city-wide shopping event. Overwhelmed and in need of a few pointers? Here’s a look back at HiP’s guide to soldes shopping in Paris. […]

[…] truly make us feel as if we were there with her. Here, she gives us a fantastic breakdown of how to navigate the summer sales, […]

[…] again, and I think I blacked out for a minute, and then they were mine. See? I told you that retail miracles can happen during les […]

[…] And then one day, a greater force lured me into a boutique near Etienne Marcel  and, lo and behold, there they were—in my size and on sale. Suddenly I was squealing, and the salespeople looked scared,  and I was squealing again, and I think I blacked out for a minute, and then they were mine. See? I told you that retail miracles can happen during les soldes. […]

[…] hard cash. I’m arriving just in time for les soldes. (Not a […]

Can’t wait to get back to Paris next week and catch the tail end of all this. As the Soldes start to approach their end, prices get better and better. Of course, less stuff is available. But normally a lot still is.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe without commenting

Vacation Rentals for Those Who Don’t just Travel, they Experience.

Boutique vacation rentals from our joint HiP Paris/Haven In team

Paris · Provence · Tuscany · London
EXPLORE OUR RENTALS

Vacation Rentals You'll Love