Nobody is going to accuse me of being a fashionista (I’m not even sure that term can be applied to a male?). But I know from having taken thousands of travellers through La Ville Lumière (the city of light) that a “break” from the landmarks and museums most often includes a bit of must-do Paris shopping. Paris is one of the world capitals of fashion and style, and has some very high-end clothing stores where you probably couldn’t even afford a pair of socks. So where do smart Parisians (and travelers-in-the-know) shop? Thrift stores of course!
With so much focus on fashion in Paris, you can rest assured that there are plenty of perfectly good, slightly used, “last year’s” clothes make their way into the many second hand boutiques in Paris and its suburbs. If you can be caught dead (or alive) in something that’s a little (or a lot) vintage, you’re going to find lots of bargains in this otherwise expensive shopping city.
Here are a few Parisian favourites:
LITTLE BOX: This tiny store in the Marais is stuffed with vintage designer clothes, shoes and bags. Not the cheapest prices, but not a lot of junk to sort through either – the stock is well considered before being put out (probably because the shop is so small!) Designer sunglasses can also be found here at less than half of original price typically. The owners are really friendly and helpful too. Just make sure you say “bonjour” when you enter!
77 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris
PRETTY BOX VINTAGE: With a focus on real vintage, this store contains some really cool old fashions from the 1920s to the 1990s. Prices vary, but for the really unique stuff, don’t expect bargain basement! This is the place to go if you want to find something you won’t find anywhere else.
46 Rue de Saintonge 75003 Paris
FREE ‘P’ STAR: This is probably the best of the extreme bargain thrift shops in town. You can buy jackets, pants, dresses, etc. for under €20, or dig through the bargain bins where everything is only €1! Just €1! If you don’t mind jostling a bit in this overstuffed (with clothes and people) shop, you can come away with some real steals!
61 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris (Hotel de Ville store – this small chain has 2 other Paris locations in addition to this one)
THE KILO SHOP: This shop probably has the most interesting concept – selling clothes by weight! Basically all the items are tagged either red (€20 per kilo) or yellow/green (€30 per kilo) or orange (€60 per kilo). The stuff is well organized, with lots of men’s clothing (this place is probably the best for guys of the four mentioned in this blog). It’s extremely well organized, with lots of scales for you to check your clothing weight before going to purchase it. Here’s to innovative ideas!
69-71 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris (Le Marais store)
Do you have a favourite thrift store in Paris that I missed? Let me know in the comments!