The Best Vintage Shopping in Paris
There is no doubt that Paris is a great shopping city and has a well-known fashion pedigree. But while strolling along Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré past all the fabulous luxury shops is great fun, there are few of us who can actually afford to shop there.
Maybe for the odd saved-for treat, but on a regular basis? Not so much.
But fret not, Paris has you covered, literally.
The good thing about a high demographic of wealthy and oh-so-fashionable women living in and around the city is that they shed their once-worn outfits regularly and either give them to charity or sell them on.
So, if you know where to look, you can find a designer piece for yourself at a fraction of the original price. And, even better, you can find vintage clothing for next to nothing and create your own style for only a few euros.
Here are some the best places for vintage shopping in Paris.
Before You Go Vintage Shopping in Paris
Before you set off, keep in mind the various shops you will come across when hunting for pre-loved items of clothing.
- Depots de Vente – are resale shops or consignment stores, usually taking items on commission from private sellers
- Friperies – basically second-hand stores, which can be designer or bargain, but generally tending toward bargains.
- Boutiques solidaires – often just called Emmaüs after the leader in the field, these are thrift or charity shops that are similar to the US Goodwill or Salvation Army stores.
Luckily, the term vintage is used in both languages, just pronounced a little differently.
Pre-Loved Luxury Labels
Want a Chanel jacket or an Hermès bag? Even in resale it will cost you, but especially when it comes to Hermès bags, because you cannot simply walk into a store and walk out again with a coveted Birkin unless you are a celebrity.
This elegant little boutique offers an extensive collection of pre-loved handbags, accessories, and clothes from Chanel and other top labels, as well as a selection of Hermès bags. Alas, her stuff is not cheap, with a basic Birkin starting at around 8,000€, and prices can be more expensive than new ones, but at least you can get your hands on one!
For more purses, Hermès scarves, lovely Louis Vuitton trunks, and more, head to the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, and in particular to Le Monde de Voyage.
Clothes by the Kilo in Paris
From Chanel and Hermès to shopping for cool clothes from all decades by the kilo.
In these Paris vintage shops, you choose your clothes, forgo the trying on unless you can do so decently within the shop, because there are no dressing rooms provided, and then weigh your haul.
Different types of clothes have different colored labels, such as leather jackets or antique fur coats being not only heavier, but generally also a bit more expensive than, say, t-shirts.
But there are scales around the store and you can easily find out how much a piece or several of the same type will cost you.
Patience is required, and digging deep is necessary, and a wash before you wear is advised. You can find some superb staples, especially in the jeans and jacket departments.
You’ll find a few kilo stores nestled next to each other in the Marais, on Rue de la Verrerie behind BHV, and a block further along, on Boulevard de Sébastopol, there are some good bargain second hand stores, such as Guerrisol.
True Vintage in Paris
For exquisite pieces from bygone eras — I’m not talking about the 2000s — head to Mamie Bleue on Rue de Rochechouart which sells stylish clothes from the 1920s to the 1950s and beyond, but with the emphasis on stylish period clothing rather than bargains from last season.
Charity Shops / Thrift Stores in Paris
Unlike the US and the UK, France isn’t known for its thrift stores or charity shops. But you can find a couple of Emmaüs stores within the center of Paris. The easiest to find is in Forum des Halles shopping center, next to Esprit.
Here you have to turn up when the store opens, and have a very quick look around, because the best bargains go quickly. But, while you’re there you can also pick up donated books, home items, and all sorts of other goodies. You never know what people give to charity.
The Hippest Vintage Store in Paris Now
Recently expanded, the 400+sqm showroom has you covered, whatever you are looking for: designer labels, bargains, dress-up, retro — just be sure to give yourself plenty of time to browse!
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The Best Vintage Shopping in Paris
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