Shopping Guide: Paris
There is surely no other city where shopping is such a pleasurable experience. It is hard to deny Paris it’s reputation as the most beautiful city in the world! The demand for quality clothing shops is easy to understand given the nature of Parisians, who are demanding and elegant by nature as far as fashion is concerned!
Passy (or just Rue de Passy) is located in the 16th district of Paris, close to Trocadero. If you’re looking for Paris shops that are less crowded and have a more relaxed, neighbourhood feel, you should definitely go to Passy. The sixteenth (known as BCBG – Bon Chic Bon Genre) is calm and conservative, and a bit preppy – but still one of my favorite places to go shopping in Paris! You’ll find all the high end brands as well as shops like Sephora, Zara, Cos(!) and H&M.
For all my beautyholics out there, this is the place to be! This huge department store is best known for its large collection of perfumes and cosmetics and is definitely worth a visit (or two). The beauty department is the largest in Europe and stocks more than 200 brands! At Printemps you’ll find everything you didn’t even know you wanted and also English-speaking assistants to help you find it (for those who need that).
With another facelift this year, Printemps is more luxury-focused than ever, and the level of customer service astounding. In all, there are six floors of men’s and women’s fashion. In Printemps de la Mode, French designers sit alongside all the big international designers. Be aware, it can be very crowded, especially at this time of the year!
Le Bon Marché
There will be a blemish if you don’t come to Le Bon Marche when you are in Paris. You’ll find everything you can think of – great quality and a confortable space for shopping. Its modest size makes it manageable to wander the exclusive selection of fashion for men, women, and children; cosmetics and perfumes; furniture; upscale gifts; and housewares. It also has a wonderful food market next door to the main department store that should not be missed. The magnificent displays of the finest fresh and preserved produce from France and around the world is a feast for the senses.
If you’re into vintage and second hand, than Le Marais is the place for you! It is a preferred spot among visitors to Paris and no wonder: this area is central located in the 3rd dictrict, not far from Hotel du Ville and Notre Dame Cathedral. Le Marais offers an especially wide variety of restaurants, clothing boutiques, speciality food shops, bookstores, cafes, and grand old buildings with exquisite architecture and manicured gardens. A short walk to Rue Rivoli and you’ll find all the big chains, as well as the huge department store BHV.
Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré
This street is cited as being one of the most fashionable streets in the world, thanks to the presence of virtually every major global fashion house. Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré is the Crème de la crème of high-fashion stores and other exclusive establishments. In this street you’ll find the flagship boutiques from countless major designers, such as Lanvin and Hermes as well as the famous concept store Colette.
Colette Isn’t only a destination for fashion victims – it’s a spot where the style-conscious flock to see the latest arrivals in design, electronics, beauty, and even books and DVDs. And let’s not forget the designer clothes (established and up-and-coming creators share the floor here).
Yes, it’s touristy and yes it’s CROWDED but the macarons are simply amazing! If you’ve never tried macarons before, coming here will make you an instant convert. The macaron flavors are limitless here – the variety will overwhelm you and you will want to try one of each, my favorites are the rasperry, chocolate and caramel au beurre salé. A gift box with macarons is the perfect souvenir to bring back to loved ones!
The ultimate vintage emporium located in the bustling Montorgueil neighborhood, from the fashion-centric hardcovers and special edition glossies in the front of the store, all the way to the extensive menswear section in the back, Kiliwatch makes vintage reassuringly accessible to wannabe fashionistas and hipsters alike. It is perhaps not the cheapest of stores, Kiliwatch still offers bargains.
French pharmacies are well-stocked with terrific, high-quality beauty and health products. Beauty in France is a serious business. French women view skincare as much more of a necessity than cosmetics and their pharmacies reflect this. French pharmacies are individually owned and run and there are apparently no pharmaceutical chains in France. This is clearly part of their charm as each one is different to the next and has its own character. Some of my favorite brands from French pharmacies are Caudalie, Nuxe, Lierac, Bioderma and Filorga. The wonderful world of web sales now make a lot of French pharmacy brands available outside of France, but be beware – they’re often marked up double or triple their usual price.