Do you want to know a secret?
I rarely shop for clothing while I’m Paris.
I’ll occasionally pick up shoes, lingerie or accessories. But I just don’t find myself devoting time to shopping for clothes while I’m in the City of Light.
This is despite the facts that I hold style qualifications and that Paris is considered one of the fashion capitals of the Universe.
Part of my reluctance comes from not wanting to waste precious Parisian time in a fitting room. But the primary reason arises thanks to my satisfaction with my curated wardrobe. I hardly ever feel the urge to shop anymore, unless I’m needing to replace a key piece.
Having said all that, when I was asked recently by a Distant Francophile reader to share my recommendations for shopping in Paris I didn’t have a moment of hesitation.
After all, the word rarely isn’t a synonym for never. And we are talking about Paris here.
I do have more than a few shopping tips to share with my fellow travellers – as well as some suggestions that have been put forward by my francophile friends over the years.
Where To Go Shopping In Paris
I’ve written many times on Distant Francophile about that French signature look of that is essentially made up of jeans, flat shoes and a great blazer. One place I always check for blazers while I’m in Paris is Cyrillus. Well made and decently priced, it’s a store where I can find myself easily tempted to add something to my collection.
Cyrillus, 16 rue de Sèvres, in the 7th and various locations around Paris.
Alisa Bearov Landrum, star of the first episode of The Franco-Files recommends Lauren Vidal for a great classic pant. According to Alisa, they travel like a dream, almost never wrinkle, and are more comfortable than your most comfortable jeans. Seems like they might worth a look.
Lauren Vidal, 5 rue du Cherche-Midi in the 6th, Also other locations in Paris.
For beautiful, high quality cashmere, it’s hard to go past Eric Bompard. The pullovers are so warm and cosy and come in a kaleidoscope of colours. But for real luxury, try their socks. I promise your feet will thank you.
Eric Bompard – numerous locations in Paris.
And if you are keen to add a classic French piece to your wardrobe, Catherine from Taste of France suggestsAnne Fontaine for a fabulous white shirt.
Anne Fontaine, 396 rue Saint Honoré, in the 1st arrondissement. Also other locations in Paris.
Ines De La Fressange. This eponymous store from the famous Parisian is guaranteed to delight. Go for the cool French clothing, shoes and the notebooks.
Ines De La Fressange, 24 rue de Grenelle, in the 7th.
LDB. Great basics for men and women. The have stores all over Paris, but I like the staircase in the Marais outlet.
LDB, 20 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 3rd, and stores elsewhere in Paris.
For A Little Bit Of Everything – Les Grands Magasins
For everything under one roof, you cannot go past Paris’ famous department stores. When shopping in Paris, my favourite of these destinations is Le Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville (better known as the BHV) in the Marais. The BHV is not as large or as fancy of some of its counterparts, and it does not boast glass domes.
But the BHV is a fun place to shop. While you may not find all the top end brands, I seriously believe you could find anything you might ever desire. Clothing, homewares, craft supplies – it’s all available. And the ‘hardware’ section in the basement (which has access to the Metro) can only be described as a treasure trove!
The BHV, 52 rue de Rivoli, in the 4th.
Le Bon Marché. Today these words simply suggest style. While I’m sure you will be entranced by the very best of Parisian fashion, accessories, homewares and stationery (I never fail to buy a little something while I’m in the stationery department) make sure you don’t miss the stunning architectural features of the store. Head to the top floor to check out the ceiling (and the gorgeous floorboards), and don’t miss the stately staircases.
Nothing to do with clothing, I know, but please don’t leave this part of Paris without heading across the street to Le Bon Marché’s sister store, La Grande Épicerie de Paris. This is one of my favourite Parisian destinations. La Grande Épicerie de Paris stocks food and lots of it. Pick up a little afternoon snack, something for your dinner or at the very least, some treats to take home. Chocolate, dried French tarragon and salt (of all things) always seem to end up in my basket. And if you are champagne lover, make sure you head into the cellar where the friendly staff often offer free tastings!
Le Bon Marché, 24 rue de Sèvres, in the chic 7th arrondissement.
Where do you head when you are shopping in Paris? Please feel free to share your top tips in the comments section below.
And until next time – au revoir.
Please note: This is an unsolicited post and no compensation of any kind has been provided by the stores or brands named in the piece.