So you’re going to Paris? Bien por vous! The City of Light is a fashion mecca, and has some of the best shopping in the world, especially for those hunting vintage and couture fashions. Chanel and Louis Vuitton, for example, originated here and still call Paris home, so if you know where to look, you might just stumble upon something priceless!
In recent years I’ve had the opportunity to scout out the shopping scene here, and take a few friends with me on girl-time getaway trips as well. The guide below is by no means exhaustive, but rather a journal of my personal finds and favorites, that I hope you’ll find helpful!
Pro tip: While some of us may dream of dressing up like Audrey Hepburn and perusing Parisian avenues in style, truly successful treasure hunting favors the practical shopper. Trust me; your best friends will be a lightweight totebag, a water bottle, and your most comfortable shoes. Save your haute couture look (and your feet!) for a night on the town later.
~ ~ ~
Open Air Markets
Paris has a number of amazing flea markets, the largest of which are Marché aux Puces de Montreuil and Puces de Paris Saint-Ouen. (For the smaller neighborhood and seasonal markets, click this handy guide by David Lebovitz to get all the info you need on everything from local rummage sales, to roving brocantes!)
I haven’t had the opportunity to explore the Montreuil market, so my focus here will be on Les Puces de Saint-Ouen Market, known to locals as Les Puces (The Fleas). This is a massive maze of thirteen markets combined, with over 2,500 shops and stalls, dating back to the 1800’s. The outer edges are comprised mostly of knock-off clothing, shoes, and accessories imported from overseas, but once you dive a little deeper – into the Dauphine, Serpette, and Paul Bert markets, for example – you’ll find everything from vintage corsets to Valentino handbags!
One of my favorite shops is Les merveilles de Babellou (photos below) in the Paul Bert market. I bought my first real Chanel brooch here for a fraction of the price new, and everything in the shop is certified authentic. From vintage Gucci to Prada runway samples, you never know what you’re going to find in this treasure trove, all on consignment from local fashion lovers and couture collectors!
Pro tips: Check days and hours before you go to any flea or outdoor market in Paris, as hours are variable and sometimes seasonal. Bring cash, because although nearly every vendor will take credit cards, you can haggle prices better with paper money. Also, keep safety in mind, and leave your valuables at home or wear them someplace secret and secure on your person. Cell phones and handbags are a pickpocket’s favorite targets, here!
For more vintage and couture treasure shopping in the Paris Flea Markets, visit this handy guide.
~ ~ ~
Thrift and Consignment
Paris is also home to many amazing resale shops, where you can find everything from 70’s concert t-shirts, to authentic studded Louboutin pumps. KILO shops were a big hit with our crew, and have multiple locations across Europe. They are much like Buffalo Exchange or Plato’s Closet in the USA, but instead of individually-priced items, your purchased are weighed and you pay by the kilo. We found some amazing leather jackets and vintage denim, as well as funky retro sunglasses and unique leather handbags.
I have two favorite luxury resale shops in Paris: Reciproque and Depot-Vente.
Reciproque is a huge, two-story couture consignment and resale shop, and it has E V E R Y T H I N G. It’s also the largest luxury consignment shop in Paris, and can be a little overwhelming if you’re in a hurry. It’s a good idea to pack a water bottle, some snacks, and give yourself plenty of time to devote to your treasure hunt here! The upper floor is upscale designer clothing and handbags. Shoes are downstairs, along with a massive secondary room filled with racks of dresses, jackets, sweaters, and more.
Depot-Vente is much smaller, but it’s my go-to place, where I always find something I can’t leave Paris without! This shop doesn’t look very fancy from the outside, but on multiple trips I’ve found treasures like a gorgeous full-length Chloe wool coat for $200, a Valentino jacket for $80, and Chanel sunglasses for $50.
The shop is run by a mother/daughter team, and if you’re searching for something specific, just ask! They know every single item that’s in their shop, and will dig through stacks & racks to find exactly what you want. Depot-Vente doesn’t have its own address, but sits between 21 Rue de la Pompe and 19 Rue de la Pompe, Paris, France 75116.
Pro tip: Credit and debit cards are accepted almost everywhere, but when it comes to consignment and resale shops, cash will almost always get you a better deal!
~ ~ ~
That’s it for now! If you’re heading to Paris in the near future and would like to connect for tips and recommendations, please comment below! Or send a message on my Facebook page – I’m always happy to help out a fellow globetrotting fashion lover. 🙂
For more awesome shopping tips and locations, I also recommend checking out this awesome local touring & guidance website: www.parisperfect.com!
And stay tuned for more tips in my upcoming article series on Paris, London, and Amsterdam, too!