October 31, 2013
No matter what brings you to Paris, chances are you plan to do some shopping while you’re here. But what if your budget was eaten up by airfare and accommodations? Pas de problème.
There are plenty of ways to score fashionable finds in Paris without breaking that stretched bank account. Just shop like a local. Here’s our cheat sheet for chic (and wearable) souvenirs on a shoestring.
Consign here, please
If the thought of trolling the racks at Goodwill or picking through piles of malodorous cast-offs makes you break out in hives, have no fear. Paris has taken resale to a whole new level. In virtually every quartier, you’ll find several consignments shops (dépôt-vente).
But not all resale boutiques are created equal. Here is our curated list of favorites, each promising meticulously clean, on-point fashions from names like Isabel Marant, Zadig & Voltaire, Vanessa Bruno, Maje, Sandro and Paul & Joe at about half the retail price. You’ll also find the occasional Vuitton, Dior or Chanel bag plus pieces from coveted Paris designers like Sonia Rykiel and Kenzo.
Violette et Leonie (114, rue de Turenne, 75003) in the Haut Marais bills itself as a concept store and offers a large selection of carefully chosen, mostly daytime looks. Here you can also score great bags and barely worn shoes in a wide variety of styles and sizes. And even better is their e-boutique (featuring all the items on sale in the shop) and offering international shipping (for a fee, bien sur).
Just a visit to Les Ginettes (4, rue Sabot, 75006) makes me feel fashionable. The owner is impossibly chic and hand-selects her offerings from the fashion set of neighboring St Germain des Pres. This jewel of a shop, tucked away on a tiny side street, also features work from local artists and photographers (all available for purchase), some home decor items, perfumes and cosmetics.
Having lunch at Septime in the 11eme? Stop by Le Vestiere de Yasmine at 7, rue Trousseau, 75011, for Gerard Darel bags, tops by Maje and The Kooples and unstructured looks by Isabel Marant. Yasmine personally ensures that each piece is propre, pressed and undeniably chic.
If you just can’t stomach second-hand (even of the like-new variety), you’re sure to find that perfect piece at Paris’s answer to outlet shopping, les stocks. These shops carry last season’s collections at anywhere from 30 to 50 percent off. These favorites never let me down, whether for a dress for a soiree or a fun accessory to complement your look. Plus they’re all centrally located in neighborhoods with lots of fun shops – no need to trek way off the beaten path to bag a little bargain.
Maje Stock, (6, rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006). Smiling saleswomen (yes, seriously) are happy to search for your size and even recommend something you might not have considered. Stylish coats, cocktail dresses and cozy sweaters are best bets here. Sandro Stock (24, rue de Sevigne, 75004) in the Marais has cool basics and trendy, colorful pieces to brighten up that black Parisian look. The racks by the dressing rooms are filled with items on even deeper discount at 20 to 40 euros. To up your Paris cool quotient, hit Zadig & Voltaire Stock (22, rue du Bourg-Tibourg, 75004). Zadig prices can be a bit steep for the quality but who can put a price on clothes that make you feel like Lou Doillon?
Walk this way
Outside les soldes, finding shoes for a bargain can be a challenge. (Even resale lovers occasionally draw the line at previously worn chaussures.) That’s why I was happy to recently discover Via Venise Stock (116, rue St-Charles, 75015) in the heart of the 15eme. If you’re on the hunt for stilettos (Sergio Rossi, Chloe, D&G) or sweet ballerina flats (Repetto, Marc Jacobs), this shop may be worth the effort. Excellent selection of boots, flats, dressy, casual – you name it, all at significant markdowns.
Once you’ve mapped out your Paris shopping plan, a word of advice: Choose wisely. One or two great pieces (a perfect winter coat, a timeless bag or those fabulous boots you just can’t find at home) will go a lot further than a dozen little items destined for the back of your closet. In the words of Coco Chanel, “Fashion changes, but style endures.”
- ParisInfo gives you a list over some of the biggest shopping centers in Paris
- The best areas for shopping in central Paris? LucalLux shares their best tips
- Many shops in Paris are completely closed on Sundays but L’Internaute.com have found a couple that are still open, see the full list here
Written by Paige Bradley Frost
Paige Bradley Frost, a Los Angeles native, moved back to Paris with her young family in 2011 after first living and getting married there in 2000. A lover of French style and cuisine, she spends her days scouting and writing about the city's gems when not chasing after her two young children. Her articles about parenting, culture and lifestyle have appeared on NYTimes.com, the Huffington Post and various other publications. She blogs about her Paris experiences at http://parisdejavu.blogspot.com.
Website: Paris Deja Vu