It pretty much goes without saying that the shopping in Paris is incredible. There are so many cool boutiques around every corner that these suggestions are only scratching the surface. You can probably just walk out of any hotel and stumble upon some great finds in every neighborhood, but today I want to tell you about some of the experiences I’ve had shopping in Paris. I’ve been told on many occasions that I have a bit of a shopping problem, so you can rest assured that I’ve done my fair share of research in this category. First, let’s tackle some of the no brainer areas that you’ve probably heard about:
St. Germain des Prés is great for high end window shopping. I say window shopping because with stores like Prada, Lagerfeld Gallery and Diane von Furstenberg at Euro prices, I wouldn’t expect to be buying too much, unless you’re super rich. In which case, maybe this is the place for you. The area is also home to the famous department store, Le Bon Marché, which is worth checking out.
One of my goals for my next trip to Paris is to go to one of the three major flea markets. Located in Porte de Clignancourt, Les Puces de Saint-Ouen is the city’s most famous flea market and is known to locals as “Las Pulces” or, “the fleas.” Other major markets may be found at Porte de Vanves (14th) and Porte de Montreuil (20th). My main obstacle has been getting there early enough. To get the best treasures, it is recommended to shop between 5am and 6am for the best finds – yikes!!
In the Champs-Elysées you’ll find a big shopping tourist trap of trendy chain stores like Gap, Sephora, Hugo Boss and Cartier…basically all places you could find all over the US. It’s nice to visit this area for the landmarks, like the Arc de Triomphe and the Grand Palais, but I’d save your pennies for my other suggestions below.
Now, let’s get down to business! I want to share some of my favorite places in my favorite arrondissmente to shop: the Marais. I believe this neighborhood is where the most unique boutiques can be found that, while still a little pricey, are definitely affordable. Walk along the Boulevard Beaumarchais and pop around to stroll Rue Vielle du Temple and Rue des Francs Bourgeois where you’ll find shop after shop of gorgeous clothes and jewelry. Here are a few of the many highlights:
Manoush – super funky clothing and accessory boutique that is quite reminiscent of Betsey Johnson. Really fun dresses and purses.
Galerie Simone – this gallery style space, owned by Simone Gaubatz, showcases work from young designers all over the world. They have everything from coats, to t-shirts to jewelry for men and women.
Zadig et Voltaire – with many locations throughout Paris, think of this as the upscale, haute version something like American Eagle – comfortable casual wear. There are also many other locations throughout Europe, one in LA and a few in NYC.
4me – very unique jewelry by Julie Brenardin. Her style is whimsical and uses lots of different materials and textures like gold, silver, pearls, crystals, etc. I love the cute animals, flowers and bows featured in her recent collection.
Metal Pointu’s – awesome metalworks jewelry, using tin, silver and bronze. I love the “Absolute Privilege” collection and was drooling over their fantastic cuffs.
Boutique Ekyog – a women’s clothing boutique with a small baby section. All the clothing is made from organic materials.
And those are just a few of my favorites! When you’re out and about hitting these hot spots, don’t forget to dress the part. Half the fun of shopping in Paris is showing off your own style – you’ll be amazed at what the women in that city can pull off.
So coif that hair, put on your highest heels, your silkiest scarf, and hit the streets! You may come home a little lighter in the pockets, but after the experience, you won’t even care.