When I first moved to Paris, vintage became a bit of a wardrobe obsession. I was a student on a shoe string budget. With time to kill after school I would wander into the many vintage clothing stores near my home in the Marais. The excitement walking in each time overwhelmed me. I never knew what treasures I would find that day, sorting through dresses from the seemingly endless racks and magically stumbling upon one that fit me like a glove. Such fortune is priceless, yet only set me back a few euros each time
Today I still love shopping Paris’s “fripperies” as we call them, and vintage shopping recommendations might just be the most common inquiry I receive about Paris. Paris is a place where the past is celebrated, so it makes sense that it is a sort of Mecca for this kind of thing. With time and age my vintage tastes have evolved and become more sophisticated as well, leading me to uncover some more refined specialty shops dealing in the finer fashions of decades past.
I’d like to think so much time dedicated to the art of vintage shopping makes me a bit of an expert, so here are my best tips for vintage shopping and favorite addresses if your ever looking to do some yourself in Paris…
Vintage Shopping Tips
Feel it out – If there’s too much to see, scan the racks with your hands and feel for quality fabrics. This is a good way to find gems amongst the undesirables without having to pull out every piece.
How to skip the dressing room – Don’t want to hassle with the dressing room? Here’s an easy tip. Take the waist of skirts, pants, and dresses and wrap it around your neck. If the two ends meet then there’s 99% chance it will fit your waistline.
Avoid buying fixer uppers – If you really love a piece and it needs some tender loving care, go ahead and buy it. But for every other reason, forego items in need of repair, chances are you’ll never get around to it and it will go to waste.
Check the labels – In Paris’s vintage shops, you’ll find amazing old French brands with beautiful labels and that are no longer in production. These are little treasures so look out for them!
Vintage Clothing Shops in Paris
Didier Ludot, 24 Galerie de Montpensier 75001 – The place to shop high end and designer vintage from historic French fashion houses.
Vintage Désir, 32 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 – A sweet spot for a cute selection of summer dresses, old leather goods, and hats.
The King of Frip, 33 rue du roi de Sicile 75004 – A wide selection for browsing and searching for great bargains!
Come On Eileen, 40 Rue de Rivoli 75004 – A well sorted selection of quality second hand prêt-a-porter from popular French designers.
Pour Vos Beaux Yeux, 10 Passage du Grand Cerf 75002 – A beautiful selection of perfectly preserved vintage eyewear organized by decade.