When I said I was moving to Paris for three months, those who know me well were worried for me. I’m a city girl, so adapting to the hustle and bustle of this little métropole (metropolis) wasn’t a concern. They knew I’d adapt eventually, and I totally have.
My friends, my family and (especially) my husband were all concerned that Paris would prove to be a frenetic playground on which I’d wield my stash of credit cards. They were worried I’d arrive with two suitcases and return with seven, stocked to the brim with pricey designer fashions and cool vintage finds. I promised everyone, especially my husband, that I’d closely monitor my passion for shopping (including my ongoing quest for the perfect handbag), focusing on the bare necessities and perhaps, from time to time, a great deal.
Of course, while visiting Le Bon Marche, I lost myself for a moment. Everything was so pretty that I almost convinced myself that a soft blue scarf with a €245 price tag was, in fact, a steal. Whoever said you could find a steal in Paris was either a true local or a very well informed touriste (tourist).
To ensure I fit into one of those categories, I paid an initial visit to Le Marché aux Puces in Saint-Ouen. As the world’s largest flea market, Le Marché aux Puces is filled with every sort of find, from furniture and clothes to books and house wares, and on occasion, a great deal. On this visit, I examined my options. After a little more hunting across the city, I’ll return to Saint-Ouen, with deals (and steals) in mind. Until then, here are some of my favorite finds.
If you plan to visit Paris soon and love to shop the flea markets as well, look me up – I’d love a shopping partner-in-crime!
Looking for more insight on flea market shopping in France? Check out Erica Berman’s interview of Claudia Strasser, interior decorator and Parisian flea market shopper extraordinaire.