Normally the image you think of when you think of Parisians is that they are well dressed. The vast majority are quite well dressed, no doubt about it.
I did see some stores while walking around that seemed to cater to the anti-fashionista in Paris.
The shirts in this store were on sale (rightfully so!)
So just when you think that all the clothing stores in Paris are geared towards the designer look, think again.
French advertising can be very sexy as well as inventive. The 3 candidates here prove the case!
First we have a very inventive window advertising one of the two semi-annual period of sales. Then look carefully at the "televisions" in this shop window. Only one is a REAL TV -- hint -- it is the one on the bottom with the fish. The 3rd was taken of a bus shelter on ave de la Bourdonnais in the 7th. The ad is for Bourjois cosmetics and the little critter resting on the lower lip is saying "I think I am in love" -- which is how I feel about Paris!
Check the website below for information about the French "sale seasons."
What to buy: For me I enjoy buying small items that I can't find here in the states. I love scarves, makeup, costume jewelry and then mustards and herbs.
What to pay: What your credit card will allow ;)
Apart from art and architecture Paris is also famous for its incredibly fabulous sales, that can reach as high as −75% towards the end of the sales season.
The traditional winter sales in Paris begin January 9, 2013 and the sales will continue all the way through February 12, 2013. The city will be pasted over with colourful Soldes-signs.
THIS IS NOT ABOUT ONE SHOP. It is about an event.
Personally, i am not much of a shopper but when I do shop, I like to find the best prices. If you are like me yet want to wear (almost) the latest Paris fashions, then you need to plan your Paris visit during the last three weeks of January or the first week in February.
Shopping in Paris is not as elegant or dignified as at other times of the year, but who cares about rifling through bin after bin and rack after rack of cut-price garments in one of the most chic places on earth when you can jet home with a dream Chanel frock or Zadig & Voltaire knit for a relative pittance?
In 2013 sales in Paris started on January 9 and will end on February 12. Boutiques start the discounts for their most prized and regular customers soon after Christmas. If you received a text inviting you to a vente privée, you’re practically Parisian.
There is no need to break out in a cold sweat over the need to be the first customers in the door. I am told that smart bargain-hunters wait until February when prices are slashed again and the real scream-hallelujah-dance-for-joy bargains can be enjoyed.
For the Full Monty in-your-face bargain finder experience, go to Galeries Lafayette at 40 Blvd Haussmann in the 9th arrondisement. Queues form outside well before 8am when the famous department store opens – and then there is almost a stampede, just like at Wal-Mart the morning after Thanksgiving. For women’s fashions, skip the main entrance and use the Porte Auber side entrance. It is the closest to the escalator leading up to the 1st floor and iconic ‘temple of fashion’. Le Printemps at 64 Blvd Haussmann also in the 9th arrondisement and Le Bon Marché at 24 rue de Sèvres in the 7th arrondisement.
There is no need to camp out before sunrise. Department stores indulge in ouvertures exceptionelles (exceptional opening hours) the first few days of the sales – 8am to 9pm or 10pm the first day, then from 9.30am. Smaller boutiques stick to regular hours, opening at a modest 10am.
Clothing shops organize stock by size. Know your size in France and if you’re 40 or above gloat in the fact that, given most Parisian femmes fatales slip into a petite 36 or 38, you’ll have racks and racks of garments to sift through.
Sale garments are color-coded to reflect discounts of 20% to 50%. Bring a calculator and know your colors. Different shops use different color codes. Exchanging a sales purchase or getting a refund is impossible. Pas d’échanges ou reimboursements. No exchanges or refunds. Understood?
Craving a dash of Parisian Zen and understated elegance? Jump on the métro (line 9) to Oberkampf in the Haut-Marais where designer boutiques like Isabel Marant at 47 rue de Saintonge in the 3rd arrondisement and Finger In the Nose just down the street at 60 rue de Saintonge don’t need to or care about brandishing a ‘Soldes!’ sign during their January sales.
What to buy: Clothing, mostly women's but there are also many bargains for men.
What to pay: Less than half price
For all you die hard shoppers, pls keep in mind few useful tips:
* Markets for fashion goods are best located at Rue De Rivoli, Rue De Rennes and Champs De Elysees.
* Markets do not get functional till abt 11am in the morning & clsoe down by max 7pm.
* All markets are closed on Sundays and any Bank holiday or national holiday.
* Souvenier shopping is best done near the attractions on the streets, and not near the hotel of stay or at airport.
There are two sales seasons in Paris when prices are slashed 30-50% off (or more): January to mid-Februry and July. The word to watch for are Soldes. From the photos you can see I was in Paris during the late soldes period when the 2e demarque (2nd markdown) occurred on prices.
What I especially like about the Soldes are the clever window displays.
What to pay: Prices are generally marked down by 30 - 50% although later in the season they can go as low as 90% off. Off course, during this time you'll really have to search as everything has been picked over. The good thing, though, is that many of the stores have extended hours during this time.
Photos: Feb 2006
What to buy:
Twice a year, during 2 weeks, just before the Winter and the Summer sales, the stores of Le Sentier area (Rue d'Aboukir - 2e arrondissement - Metro : Sentier) are open to the public. These stores are normaly devoted to the professionals.
So you can find classy clothes and shoes for a third of their normal price.
The one of Winter 2005-2006 begins on December 26 and finishs on January 10. The regular sales will begin the day after.
Sales (or soldes, as they are called in French) take place in January and July, just when the new collections are due to hit the shelves.
With reductions of up to 75% on original prices (which are already lower than those you get to see in London where I live) even famous designer brands can be affordable - it just pays to shop around!
Stock - yes, you guessed it: stock items;
Degriffe - designer lables marked down (yes!!)
What to pay: About 30% down in the first week on the sales, and up to 75% down during the last weekend. However, the selection's much-much smaller then.....
This applies to the majority of shops and stores in Paris. The beginning of Summer is marked by city-wide sale. I don't exactly what day it starts, but it was around June 23rd.
What to buy: Buy anything and everything. On top of the sale, if you spend enought (@ $150), you get a tax refund since you don't live in EU.
What to pay: The average discount I saw was 50%.
This is a chain of craft shops located throughout France. My sister sent me a magazine clipping that mentioned this place so I tracked it down and thought I had died and gone to heaven - they have some really beautiful bits and pieces here.
There is a shop located on the 3rd floor of the Bon Marche that I was in and didn't realise was part of the chain. They have nice beads and a few other things but I don't remember it being as good as the shop on rue du Jour.
The shop is always packed - with men and women. They have some of the most gorgeous yarns that make me wish I knew how to knit more than just a potholder! They also have loads of beads and a good selection of borders (like you would sew on the hem of a dress - I don't know what these are called!). They have samples on the wall that are really inspirational and there are plenty of staff members to help. If you like to do crafts - you will love this place!
What to buy: I bought some beautiful wool yarn for my step-mother who is an experienced knitter. There are strands of yarn on the wall that I thought were for sale but you need to find a member of staff to 'ball' it for you. It is then sold by the weight.
They have lots of small bits and pieces like tiny flowers to decorate cards or sew on clothes. It is packed with different things and even more packed with shoppers - even during the week!
Go shopping to HARRY BUTLER and you'll find a lot of bargains and marked down pieces of clothes... Is not as huge as Printemps or Lafayette but it's worth a visit!
What to buy: Articles of clothes
What to pay: From 10 to 100 Euros.
LOVE the bags at this boutique so much I can't believe I'm telling you about it.
What to buy: Handbags and accessories.
What to pay: About $500 or less if there is a sale ...