Lately, the conversation to think circular and live sustainably is on hyper-drive, making us second-guess our purchases. But what does that mean when it comes to my clothes? Getting dressed is hard enough.
The standard French response to this “new way” of thinking about our closets is, what’s the big deal? Les Parisiennes have been borrowing from their mother’s closets, buying vintage at neighborhood boutiques, and procuring top labels and luxury handbags from auction houses for decades.
French women have been creating their style with second-hand garments long before the term “pre-loved” was a thing. So how do French women create that je ne sais quoi style while sticking to their ‘less but more’ philosophy? What’s the secret to having très chic style, you might ask? Buying wardrobe staples and statement pieces from second-hand boutiques selling labels like Hermès, Chanel, Celine, and Louis Vuitton, to name a few.
When I first moved to Paris, I set-off to discover what’s inside these boutiques called dépôts-ventes (“drop-sell”). I found beautifully tailored jackets, delicious cashmere sweaters, and accessories that would make you drop to your knees. I recognized it’s not about finding a bargain, but how to curate a luxury wardrobe second-hand.
I learned how, and where, many Parisienne women mix high-end French fashion brands once exclusive to the ultra-rich, and younger designers like Isabel Marant, Maje, and Sézane—all at half the price. I learned second-hand shopping is not just for the young or the cool girls looking to get that “it girl” vibe so many Parisiennes pull off in their sleep. Second-hand shopping is for all women, all ages, all sizes, and all styles. Most of all, I mastered how to elevate my current wardrobe from fast-fashion and synthetic materials to luxury labels, 100% natural fibers, and collector pieces.
Paris is the birthplace of many of these hidden boutiques and online platforms. It’s where the founder of 1stdibs got his inspiration to start an online luxury marketplace after visiting the Marché aux Puces in Paris, and where Vestiaire Collective began back in 2009.
To kick-off your journey buying luxury pre-loved fashion, I encourage you to start with the very best brands you dream of wearing. I recently purchased an Yves Saint Laurent wool skirt for €75 in one of my favorite boutiques on the left bank and a Louis Vuitton Monceau bag in Epi leather for €450 from a Paris-based online platform. These pieces would have set me back thousands if I purchased them from a retail store. And let’s not forget about jewelry. Right now, collecting chunky necklaces, statement earrings, and cuffs from designers like Christian Lacroix, Dior, Chanel, and Lavin is a sure investment.
Here are some of my favorite boutiques in Paris to curate a second-hand luxury wardrobe.
La Boutique de Cara – 80 Rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris
Dépôt Vente Deluxe – 2 Bis Rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004 Paris
Loretta & Jasmin – 6 Rue François Millet, 75016 Paris
L’Ibis Rouge – 35 Boulevard Raspail, 75007 Paris
J’y Troque – 7 Rue Villédo, 75001 Paris
And if you can’t be in Paris right now, let me bring a bit of pre-owned inspiration your way. Here are my favorite Paris-based online platforms selling luxury pre-owned French fashion. They all have international shipping and guarantee authenticity, too.
Joli Closet – https://www.jolicloset.com/fr/
The Brand Collector – https://thebrandcollector.com/
ReSee – https://www.resee.com/
Becoming sustainable can be très facile. In fact, you don’t have to change your shopping habits, just where you shop. And in typical French fashion, they made an art out of the pre-loved experience.
- Vintage is a must in Le Marais! Read more on Paris Street Style: Le Marais
- Did you know: Paris wants to be the sustainable capital of fashion by 2024?
Written by Leticia Gonzales for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.