Friday, May 31, 2013

Shopping in Paris

Phew! It's been a long time, but I'm finally over my jet lag, so I can write again! Since it’s been a while since I’ve actually updated you on my journeys, I thought I would give you a brief guide on shopping in Paris.

How to shop in Paris? How to shop in France? Where are the best places to shop in Paris? How do you shop in Paris? How do you Shop in France? Woman standing in front of the Eiffel Tower. How do you pack for a trip to France?
As with all images—if this is your image, let me know so I can give you credit.

Before you go shopping in another country—or in this case, France—make sure that you understand the cultural differences of that country. Here are a few things about the French and France to keep in mind:

The belief that the French are snobby and rude is a MYTH. While the French aren’t typically as warm and fuzzy as Americans, they are remarkably nice! The French are typically more reserved, but I’ve noticed that they are almost always polite and accommodating.

The French people are more aware of arrivals and departures than Americans. When you enter a shop always make sure that you say “bonjour” (“hello” or “good day”) or “bonsoir” (“good evening” pronounced “bon-swar”) if it's after 5 PM. When you leave, say “au revoir”.

The French people appreciate general politeness. Always say “please” (most often it’s “si vous plait”) and “thank you” (“merci”). Even if you don’t speak French, they will appreciate that you are trying.

A lot of places in France won’t accept sliding credit cards, most businesses will only accept cards that have a microchip and pin number. Most large banks and card lenders have an option for a chip and pin card.

Last but not least, I know that this is a fashion blog, and its focus isn't on general travel, but when you travel, don’t just go shopping. Go see things and meet people and absorb the culture; you’ll get more out of your trip that way.

Now that we have that taken care of, here are some of the coolest places to shop that I found in and around Paris (or at least the ones that I haven’t mentioned yet):

First and foremost, let me say that the Champs-Élysées is incredibly overrated. It can be a fun place to explore, but in my humble opinion, the Le Marais neighborhood of Paris takes the cake. It’s just off of the Saint Paul metro stop.

(Disclaimer: A lot of these stores have other locations, but it’s worth trying to find the ones in this neighborhood. Besides, you can get really good falafel in this area.)

I knew the Parisians loved scarves, but I didn’t realize how much until I came to Paris. If you were like me and didn’t pack for the occasion, stop at Diwali. This Indian-inspired store has any kind of scarf you could ever want and more, including jewelry and accessories.

If you wind your way down the streets of the district, you will find Heroines (6 Rue des Rosiers). This store is a little bit of Paris, and a little bit of London all rolled into one.

Should I wait to get clothing when I am in Paris? Should I buy clothing in France? Should I pack light on my trip to France?

If you find yourself in Paris in early- to mid-May you may stumble across Salon Court Circuit, a pop-up shop featuring 95 unique designers of jewelry, fashion and furniture. Held at l’Espace d’animation des Blancs Manteaux, 48 rue Vieille du Temple.

If you want are in the mood to find something adventurous, and want to travel out of the ritzier le Marais area, head to 18 Rue de Turbigo, just a short jaunt away from the Étienne Marcel metro stop. There you will find the swinging, British style Question Mark Society. The store has a groovy 1960’s London vibe to it and features local designers such as Tim Bargeot.

Last year I was on another study abroad, and I spent the last week in Paris. While we were there, we got the opportunity to go to Versailles. The Château itself wasn’t that interesting (the garden, on the other hand, must be what heaven looks like), but I was absolutely charmed by the neighborhood around it. While we were wandering around the neighborhood, one of my friends on the trip saw a fabulous store there, and immediately dragged me in to See You. This store not only has amazing men’s and women’s clothing, but it also has a great atmosphere. In a world where the classic indie boutique is going the way of trendy chain stores, this place really stands apart.

Photo by

Stay tuned for tales from the next leg of my trip in London.

Au revoir!

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  1. Replies
    1. Good question, Laura! I go into a little detail about that in these blog posts:

  2. I think the top picture is from designer betsey barker of betsy couture. It looks like the dress she photographed in Vegas when she launched her collection...just trying to help out for the credit thing! So jelly of your trip! Sounds amazing I've been following for a while as you've been writing about it :)

    1. Mary, thank you so much! I'm going to go look for that image so I can give it credit! Thanks for following! By the way, I love your blogs. I love seeing what you've been up to!