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Paris - shopping?

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Joined: 12 Sep 2005
Posts: 6
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:40 pm    Post subject: Paris - shopping? Reply with quote

Hello all, I'm new here.
The last time I was in Paris, I was a broke college student. When I visit for a week next month, I will be slightly less broke but determined to do some damage!
I plan to stop by a couple of cooking supply stores that have been mentioned here. But I need some advice on clothes shopping. I am looking for a few not-too-trendy, good quality and good value pieces that I can wear for work or going out. Maybe a pair or two of shoes. I'm not super adventurous, but I do want to find unique things I wouldn't see everywhere in California. (I should add, I'm clueless in secondhand/used stores)

Any good neighborhoods or streets to visit? And what is the difference between the different department stores?
Any ideas, ladies?? Smile
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Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not real good for clothes shopping.... being too tall and wide for Paris clothes....

I do know however, that you can get discounts at Printemps if you are a foreign traveller. If you go to the info counter inside the store they will have someone there who can help you. You will need to have your passport with you.

Galleries Lafayette and Printemps are interesting just because they are always so packed and you see some amazing things people watching in there.

Galleries Lafayette (main store near Haussman, not the one near Montparnasse) also has Lafayette Maison. It is a seperate section across the road from the other part of the store and contains a cookware section, gourmet food, household wares, pet accessories etc. I love this part. They also have cooking demonstrations during the week in there and I quite often pop in to see what is happening if in the area.

Have fun!
If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
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Joined: 07 Aug 2005
Posts: 151
Location: Baghdad, Iraq

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 3:05 pm    Post subject: Shopping Reply with quote

Hi Debbie,
I just spent a week in Paris this past May, and yes I did some damage. I used a really good book to find some nice shops that take you away from the tourist traps and more where the locals shop. I used Paris for Dummies strangely enough, but it was excellent with directions, maps, Metro, and even great daytrips from Paris to Chartres, Monet's garden in Girveny. I highly recommend it. I also recommend seeing the new display room for the Mona Lisa, it is wonderful with more space and much better lighting. And if you haven't been before, the Musee d'Orsay. I hope this was helpful.


P.S. You must go to La Masion du Chocloat. Expensivebut so worth it.
Live as if to die tomorrow. Learn as if to live forever.
Mahatma Gandhi
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Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 2
Location: san francisco

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:49 pm    Post subject: paris shopping- Bon Marche Reply with quote

I live in SF and agree with the Galleries Lafayette, its great and I found my favorite one-of-a-kind belt and dress shoes there....

Bon Marche is a great place to go and my personal favorite...I was told about it on a month long visit by a local who shops here for great bargains on high-end clothing and literally everything else...Kind of a Neimans Last Call or Nordtroms Rack but better...I found a pair of Helmut Lang one-of-a-kind jeans for $75 euros (normally around $500 in the states)
22 Rue de Sèvres, 7th Arrondissement.
Métro stop: Sèvres-Babylone

Also a personal favorite was the flea markets at Clignancourt (long way away but totally worth it) where they have incredible deals on clothing, shoes, housewares, antiques, etc...but you have to weed through the rapper wear and crowds and millions of stalls...I found great casual shoes, bags, gifts/souveneirs like an antique pocket knife for my father, a lamp for my mother, a shirt for my sister and bag for my neice...
Porte de Clignancourt, 18th arrondissement
(copied this from a website: To get there, take the Porte de Clignancourt metro line and get off at Porte de Clignancourt or Porte de Montmartre. Walk out to avenue de la Porte de Clignancourt, then to avenue Michelet and finally turn left on rue des Rosiers.)

Also, the Marais and St Paul areas have some very unique and great stores, just wander around and you will find them in the 4th arrondissement, although the prices are a bit higher you can find that one special item you are willing to spend a little more on...Walk directly from the worlds best ice cream place on St Louis...I found a mini-skirt here, casual shoes as well....
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Joined: 10 Mar 2005
Posts: 104
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found the styles were wonderful, but, alas, for the most part, the prices weren't.
Compared to my last trip 20 years ago, there were no bargains to be found, and not just because of the weak dollar.

One place I had hoped to go but didn't get to were the factory outlets near Disneyland. You can take the same train and there is a shuttle.
I believe there is more info and a link to the web page through the main paris tourist website, which I think is

If you like that kind of thing both Printemps and Galleries de Lafayette have free weekly fashion shows. (more info on the stores' sites and

I really liked Lafayette's food hall. The Bon Marche one is also pretty amazing. Monoprix is like a Target or Walmart, with clothes, accesories and food. I didn't get anything there but lip balm, but I know people who swear by it.

There is a blog out there somewhere by a young American woman who lives in Paris and is in the fashion business and loves to shop, especially designer consignment and the like. I'm sorry, I no longer have the name or contact for that blog, but I probably found it by wandering around the travel/france pages. If I stumble across it again, I'll post it here for you.

The flea market is well worth the trip. Lots of knick-knacks, oddities, antiques, art and more. I mostly window shopped, it was like the world's largest museum gift store. Please note, it is only open Sat through Monday and I don't think everything is open on Monday. While I did see some antique clothes and the like, there was more clothing in the open area between the metro station and the "official" flea market buildings. Lots of tables are set up in this area, many with ethnic or other clothing bargains.

I don't know how long you'll have in Paris, but if you plan to do the food/kitchen goods shopping, clothes shopping and sightseeing, that is surprisingly a lot for a week. Especially since we all want some time for wandering and cafe sitting and people watching. (And being C&Zer's, eating). Be sure you set some realistic priorities. Remember, it's just your next visit to Paris, not your last!
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Joined: 12 Sep 2005
Posts: 6
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, thanks for the advice so far.
(ah, Monoprix - aka the place I used to buy my Nutella)
So many places - good thing I've got most sightseeing in Paris out of the way - this visit is all for shopping and salsa dancing! And I already have a tourguide for the dancing.
I will definitely do at least 2 department stores, 1 flea market, 1 cooking supply store plus Lafayette Maison, and the Marais. I've never made it to Clignancourt before.
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Joined: 12 Sep 2005
Posts: 6
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey what about shoe stores?
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Joined: 12 Sep 2005
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

update: I went to the Samaritaine, and the Galeries Lafayette, and Bon Marche, and the Marais, and all the shops on rue de Rivoli. Walked and walked and walked.
Didn't buy anything except a tank top. Because I'm not really into that peasant look, and every store had peasant wear in full force. And hello, had no idea les grands magasins were not priced for normal folk! Oh well, I had a good time looking anyway.
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