Shopping, Glorious Shopping!
There are a few things you need to know about this gal pal and shopping –
- I hate shopping for clothes except in Paris because in Paris you walk into a boutique and they instantly know your size and what items look good on you. They are more offended by ill-fitting clothes on a woman than if you don’t buy anything from them so they always try to find what works for your size, shape and coloring. This is why I would rather buy a few perfect fitting items there than bulk items in the US.
- Other than special occasion shopping, I only shop once in the winter and once in the spring for clothes. This makes it so I don’t buy too much and stay focused on basics that can work with many items I already have in my wardrobe. I learned living in Europe what makes an outfit special is the quality of the items paired with the right handbag or scarf. You can wear the same thing over and over if you change out the accessories, and this way you won’t go breaking the bank.
- I care less about labels than I do quality and cuteness which is another reason to shop in Paris. No matter what the price point, they always use great fabrics and try to emulate the best fashions.
Best sales lady at RB Boutique!
So here we go…
This list of shops is not inclusive of all our gal pal stops. There were many, many places we “popped into” took a gander at and walked back out because either they were not selling items we were looking for or they were outrageously expensive. Our shopping stops can number 50 or more on a good day when we are in the “zone” but this year we were a little more laid back because we were focused and more disciplined with our cash. The exchange rate is horrible, and there is a limit on how much one can bring back without paying extra money to Uncle Sam at customs upon your return. I seem to always go over that amount by a tiny bit but always include it on my declaration form, and the officials seem to be okay with it. Anything that is expensive you should ship directly from France and handle the customs that way. NEVER be dishonest on the custom form and make sure you include everything! Gal pals will frown upon you if you embarrass them by getting nabbed at the airport by customs. We will probably bail you out, but you will for sure never be invited on this trip again!!!
Cute top at Nina Kendosa
I cannot re-create entire day in order because we bounced around from place to place so I will simply list store by store as I recall them and will provide links so you can see these places for yourself if they have websites. Again, many are very small and don’t have their own web pages.
Nina Kendosa – small boutique where gal pals frequently purchase casual separates and this year was no exception.
Lisa and I bought the same top shown on this blog so we definitely need to coordinate next summer when we get together so we don’t wear it on the same day.
There are two other locations which can be found on the web but the location we like best is: 2, Rue Buci 75006
Caroll – small boutique store with multiple locations that carries day wear, handbags, scarves and belts.
Excellent for wool sweaters, cotton turtlenecks and casual jeans.
My favorite location is: 156, boulevard Saint Germain 75006
Maje store front
Maje – larger size shop with several locations in Paris and Europe. Great for casual separates but mostly targeted at younger, pencil thin gal pals of which we were short on for this trip. Corrie would do well shopping here if she were not currently pregnant! It’s still great to take a walk through – lots of eye candy clothes. Next year when I am pencil thin I will buy something there! Ha!
24, Rue Saint Sulpice, 75006
R.B. Boutique – small gorgeous high quality leather handbag shop.
This gal pal found this to be the best deal of the trip! The lady who was in the shop was beautiful and extremely friendly. I fell in love with two incredibly soft leather handbags that were on sale and she gave me an additional discount for buying both! Kicking myself for not getting her name so if she is reading this please email me in the comments section here!
The selection she had in her store was amazing and the quality was superb!
81, Rue des Saints Peres, 75006
Sandro storefront from Hauteworld
Sandro – larger size shop with several locations in Paris and Europe. Great for following the latest trends, but they also have many good staple high quality pieces. Very chic day wear and some fun evening pieces which or course means there are no bargains here. Great cashmere and fun jackets. Very fun place to shop!
81, Rue des Saints Peres, 75006
- Max Handbag Shop Window
Max – Max is a small boutique that carries only handbags, wallets and small leather goods. It has an affordable selection of items that mimic expensive designer brands without being knock offs or fake. They carry the designer label “Frederic T” and gal pals always pick up at least one or two on every trip!
They also have fantastic small leather bags at a perfect price point to purchase for presents back home. If only this gal had daughters! It would make Christmas and birthdays soooo much easier!
45 Rue Dauphine, 75006
Corrie in her "poofy" new coat!
Chounaga – We are not really sure of the name of this boutique. This is what it says on the receipt. The store itself has no name above the door, but the same man has been helping us for years so perhaps Chounaga is his last name? Your guess is as good as ours, but we don’t care because the gentleman speaks very good English, sizes up your body in an instant and shows you what looks good on each gal. His stock is always unique and trendy – no staples there – be ready to delve into today’s fashion with an open mind and he will get you to look outside your normal comfort zone!
This is the shop where Corrie bought her poofy jacket with the fur collar.
42 Rue Dauphine, 75006
Candice – small shoe and accessory shop with the best prices on decent quality shoes. Super friendly staff, but they don’t speak much English so just go in knowing how to say your size in French and they will gladly help you! If you google the name of this shop you will be surprised because it’s also apparently the name of some famous porn site so don’t. I learned the hard way, no pun intended!
Corrie found a pair of flat brown boots with lace ups on the back for 75 Euros on the first day but did not buy them until the last day. We went on the hunt to match or beat those boots for three days only to return on Sunday to make the final purchase. Fab boots at a fab price!
Corrie's suede boots
8 Rue l’Ancienne de Comdie, 75006
Comptoir des Cotonniers – chain store that is more expensive than the smaller boutiques, but not as expensive as say a MaxMara.
Specialty separates – the softest cotton you will ever slip on and yummy cashmere sweaters.
Many locations but our favorite is: 28 Rue Buci, 75006
Cocktails – annual gal pal favorite for adorable inexpensive jewelry to buy other gal pals or their adorable daughters. They also have unique scarves that we have not seen in other shops at reasonable prices. Bonus – they wrap your gift packages for you in little boxes that the airlines can open without ruining.
11, Rue Racine, 75006
Gerard Darel – Famous for its leather handbags and small luxury goods, Gerard Darel also has fashionable, practical clothing that is so comfortable to wear. There are several locations in Paris and Europe but I like the sales ladies at the location in the 6th.
The first year I discovered this shop I bought a suit and some separates. This year (2010) I purchased my “poofy’ jacket that fits really well and feels great to wear dressed up with the fur collar or dressed down by removing it.
174, Boulevard Saint Germain, 75006
Bruce Field – pronounced “Feld” has great cashmere tops and basic wool or cotton slacks that fit incredibly well and travel extremely well.
There are many locations that you can see online, but again our favorite is in the Saint Germain area: 136, Rue Saint Germain 75006
Available at Monoprix
Monoprix – true catch all store with sundries, make-up and fantastic groceries. These chain stores are located all over Paris but our favorite location is on Rue St. Michel. Gal pals like this place to purchase French wines and French gourmet foods. Instead of spending lots of money at the duty free shop, this store has all the same gourmet items at a 30-50% below airport prices!
One year I forgot to pack socks and this place was perfect to buy inexpensive decent quality ones.
They carry the popular Maxim brand of hot chocolate, coffee and cookies!