Shopping in Paris is a dream come true for many, but visitors and even long-term residents can be overwhelmed by the options available. Is it Chanel you’re looking for or a hidden boutique full of undiscovered treasures? Look no further – vintage shopping gives you both.
For the vintage shopper, Paris provides a playground of possibilities from high-end vintage labels to beautifully battered handbags with everything in-between. I’ve trawled the Vintage offering (and the streets) to create this bite-sized guide to ten of the best vintage stores in Paris, so you need look no further for an ideal afternoon of bargain-hunting and one-off discoveries.
But before we embark on our vintage tour of Paris we need to be familiar with the relevant lingo. Our French lesson today is short and sweet – one word: friperie. In France, a ‘friperie’ is a shop that sells second-hand goods or clothing, and you may notice that many vintage shops incorporate variations of the word into their names – now you’ll know why!
Now that we’ve gotten the lesson out of the way, let’s launch into the wonderful world of Parisian vintage:
A personal favourite and therefore shamelessly listed first in our whistle-stop tour of all things friperous. Nestled on the beautiful Marais street rue de Rosiers this little shop is crammed to gasping with vintage bargains. Hats, dresses, jackets, shoes, bags – it’s all here at reasonable prices. Extremely popular and often very busy, it’s nevertheless well worth a look. Once you’ve worked up an appetite you might want to sample the ‘best falafel in Paris’ available just a few steps away at L’As du Falafel. Don’t be put off by the perpetually enormous queue – it moves quickly!
32, rue de Rosiers
Metro: St Paul
Free ‘P’ Star
Free ‘P’ Star has three stores in Paris – vintage galore. All come highly recommended. Prices are cheap, the chaos is organised (sort of), and the stock is almost endless. Be prepared to dig and delve, in my experience vintage shopping is as much about stamina as it is luck, so roll up your sleeves and start hunting for treasure. Prices start at around €3 and go up to around €30 so you’re guaranteed to find something you love for a price you adore.
62 rue de la Verrerie Metro: Ramuteau or St Paul
8 rue Ste Croix la Bretonnerie Metro: Hôtel de Ville
20 rue Rivoli Metro: St Paul
Come On Eileen
Well who wouldn’t to visit a shop that sings its way into your head? No doubt Dexy’s Midnight Runners would have no qualms celebrating this particular gem; it’s a real must-shop. This vintage paradise goes on for three floors (that’s right, swooning shoppers, I said three floors) and will keep you busy for an entire afternoon. And a well spent afternoon it would be too. Chanel, Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, Hermes, Mugle, Dior…. What’s even more exciting is that the prices are in no way outrageous – go, seek, find!
16 rue des Taillandiers
If Come On Eileen is a vintage emporium, Woch Dom is a minimalist boutique. With very select items and a higher price range, this lovely little store is perfect for the discerning shopper.
72 rue Condorcet
This staple of the vintage scene caters to those of us who love the phrase ‘haute couture’ and everything that comes with it. With three stores each dedicated to a particular category of clothing (ready to wear, evening couture and Little Black Dresses) all in the Musée du Louvre area, you might rightly choose to have a ‘Didier Ludot Day.’ And don’t be surprised to see Didier Ludot himself as you peruse the immaculate pieces available. Prices are understandably a little steeper in this temple to fashion – not a shop for the fainthearted.
20-24 Galerie Montpensier
Metro: Palais Musée du Louvre
This beautiful boutique has got everything covered from the 1940s through to the ‘90s, so whether you’d like to leave the shop looking like an extra from Casablanca – this is the place to go. Sztark is the creation of Delphine Sztarkman, and her fantastic collection is often personally customised by her own fair hands, giving the pieces on offer a truly unique couture je ne sais quois. With items by YSL, Vivienne Westwood and Dior you’ll be transported to another world in record time.
4 bis rue d’Uzès
Metro: Grands Boulevards
It’s back to the fashionable Marais for this classic Friperie. From fur coats to vintage swimwear you’ll need to dig for the treasure, but it’s a fairly well-organised and select collection. The collection of dresses alone is well worth the visit, so if it’s a new frock you’re after this might just be the place.
2 rue de la Verrerie
Metro: Hôtel de Ville
Shoes, jewellery, hats, clothes, a shopping soundtrack to die for and the super-stylish owner of Mam’zelle Swing will make this lovely shop a firm favourite. It’s women’s clothes only, covering all sizes and with a great collection of ‘50s and ‘60s gear.
35 bis rue du Roi de Sicile
Metro: Hôtel de Ville
Thankx God I’m a VIP
This isn’t just a vintage store, it’s an institution. With a fashion blog, newsletter, a must-see vintage emporium and a history of incredible parties, the ‘T.G.V.’ is a thing to be reckoned with. Beautifully colour coded, this airy shop gathers together gorgeous vintage with one-off hand-made pieces. Representing all eras, it is a little pricier but completely worth the trip.
12 rue de Lancry
Metro: Jacques Bonsergent
This little shop is a rummager’s dream. Arrive ready to search through the mass of stock and find the perfect missing item from your wardrobe. The owners are friendly and there’s no pressure to purchase, so you can just enjoy a good old fashioned bargain hunt.
86 rue des Martyrs
So that’s it! Your one-stop guide to Parisian vintage shopping – all you need to do now is hit the streets, set your compass to ‘Friperie’ and get hunting.
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