How to Shop Smartly
for Fashion in Paris
Going to Paris for a shopping spree needs
not put your household finances down for the
next two years. It simply requires a little
planning, and being let in on little-known
shops offering bargain basement deals.
Paris is a shopping
Those of you who visited Paris already
know that from a shopper's perspective, the
city is divided in broad sections where stores
of the same trade tend to congregate. A mosaic
of many colors, tastes, and price
You haven’t lived until you’ve been to Paris
in the winter -- during Fashion Week of course!
It may be cold and rainy, but Paris is always
beautiful, and buzzing with excitement at a
myriad of fashion shows, expositions and
Everybody who’s anybody in the fashion
industry has been talking about the
overwhelming interest in retro styles this
year. This fall, we can expect to see many
trends from previous decades come back into
style, with a...
Take Saint-Germain-des-Prés, for instance. The
highest part of the famed area, situated closest to
Boulevard St Germain, is home to designer clothing stores,
sidewalk cafés and restaurants. Dive in, and your
footsteps will lead you to Rue de Seine where the art
galleries have drawn together.
From Saint-Germain, walk up the Rue de Rennes, towards the
Montparnasse area. You'll be crossing the Rue Du Four where
even more expensive clothiers line up the facades. But continue
on to the Saint Sulpice metro station, around which many
clothing stores offer cheaper garments and accessories.
Sales season in Paris
In another area of the city, not too far from the old Opera
house, the Boulevard Haussmann became the homestead of the
department stores over a century ago. The Printemps store was
built there in 1865, followed closely by the Galeries
Lafayette, in 1893. Department stores are not unlike Ali Baba's
treasure cave: clothes, shoes, jewelry, watches, accessories,
perfumes spread on a five-story high, gigantic floor space.
Their selection is great, but you have to visit Paris during
the official sale seasons to find true bargains there. And
there are only two sales seasons in France: winter, and summer.
Their respective starting dates in a given year are set by
administrative decree, and they each last 6 weeks. In Paris the
winter sale season usually starts in the second week of
January. The summer sales season starts toward end-June.
Designer depot bargains
For off-season bargains look somewhere else. The gems are
often to be found in small shops in God-forsaken streets, or in
hard-to-find first-floor apartments. This is especially the
case of designer depots.
Though it has become a brand name in
North America, a designer depot is in fact a form of commerce.
People like you and me bring in clothes we don't want to
wear anymore, and get a little money from the shop owner who
will resell our garments for a little more money to other
I can hear your blasé comments: "Tcha! Consignment stores!
Thrift shops!..." Well, in Paris, designer depots aren't
exactly your regular Salvation Army-type stores. Not at
Though not all equal before God, Parisian designer depots
are often owned and managed by women with a background in the
fashion industry. Women with flair and a sharp eye for what to
wear and how. Women who can readily tell you why you would look
better in this dress than in that one.
In 'designer depot", there is the magic word 'designer'.
Parisian designer depots offer designer and couture clothes at
deep, deep, deep discounts. And mind you, clothes in quasi
perfect condition. Clothes worn only once. Well, maybe
If you come to them with your regular hoodies, or your last
season tennis shoes, or your mall-shopped polo shirt for that
matter, do not expect to be welcomed. Expect rejection with a
disapproving stare instead.
So, where do they hide?
Then again, not all designer depots were created equal, and
where you go shopping for practically-perfect-in-every-way
designer clothes is the true measure of your inside knowledge
of the city.
I would like to recommend you three 'petites adresses' [the
French for 'best-kept-secret places'] I selected amongst a host
For those of you, ladies, who like the classic look,
'Priscilla' is the shop for you. Priscilla is lady who owns the
place. She reveres such signature names as Yves Saint Laurent,
Max Mara, Kenzo, Chistian Dior, and Sonya Rykiel. Her prices
range from €60 for a skirt, to €75 for a jacket, to €130 for a
lady's suit. Priscilla advises you to rummage around, and come
to her place with an open mind. The shop is located at 4 rue
Mouton- Duvernet, in the 14 th district. The nearest metro
station is Mouton-Duvernet. Its opening hours are between 4:00
pm and 7:00 pm on Monday, and between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm from
Tuesday to Saturday with a one-hour break at 1:30 pm.
My next address, 'Le Jupon Rouge', is situated at 9 rue de
Rochechouart in the 9th district. The owner, Tania, describes
here designer depot as "colorful, ethnic but not hippie, and
certainly not classical in style". Tania offers a selection of
up and coming French designers such as Bali Barret (a
fencing-style vest for €45, cashmere blend cardigans for €45 to
€100) and Vanessa Bruno (wool jackets, €90). She also carries
more established signatures such as Agnès B (her signature
black jacket is offered at €50), and vintage Ungaro blouses for
€45. Ladies looking for shoes can fall for pairs of Stephane
Kelian low-cut cuban boots (€100), Repetto ballerina shoes
(€40), or vintage low-heel horseriding boots (€40-70). Tania
opens her doors from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:30 am to 7:30
pm with a one-hour lunch break at 1:30 pm.
In a totally different style,
Griff-Troc is the designer depot you need to lose yourself into
when you want to go chic-chic-chic. The owner, Beatrice, chose
to specialize in perennial, classic basics in perfect
condition. Chic has a heftier price tag, of course, but on the
upside Griff-Troc offers brand names for 15-30% of boutique
prices. On the shelves at the time I wrote this article,
Beatrice had a Chanel suit for €1000 (vs. €5000 at
Chanel's), a brand-new Chloe bag for €800 (instead of €1200),
several astounding evening dresses priced between €1200 and
€1500 (Chloe, Dior, D&G, Valentino), and Hermès silk scarfs
on offer for only €150. She maintains a full selection of bags,
jewels, and fragrances. Chic classic never dies, who cares
about whether your Chanel suit is this season's or not? The
busy boutique is located in the posh section of the 17 th
district, at 119 Boulevard Malesherbes. The nearest metro
stations are Villiers and Monceau. Its opening hours are
between 10:30 am and 7:00 pm, from Monday to Saturday.
More shopping tips to
These are just three of my selection of designer depots and
small boutiques.In subsequent articles I will recommend more of
those 'petites adresses', including some specializing in men's
wear. Meanwhile, I hope you have had the opportunity to meet
Tania, Beatrice, and Priscilla in person, and find a couple of
eye-pleasing items for yourself. Ta-ta!
About the author:
Years in the French capital gained Phil Chavanne a deep
knowledge of Paris. In Paris-Eiffel-Tower-News.com, he shares
scores of advices to help travelers enjoy Paris to the hilt.
Paris-Eiffel-Tower-News.com is a free Paris guide which
features information on Paris hotels, restaurants, and
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Phil_Chavanne