Vintage Paris Shopping guide: Haut couture shopping in Paris – just saying it conjures up images of Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton – and, if you don’t know where to look for the best prices, perhaps letters from the bank informing you you’re overdrawn.
There is however, a way to have your cake and eat it at a lower price – Vintage Paris!
Vintage Paris is enjoying an explosion of popularity these days – dreams of discovering that special boutique full of treasure – battered handbags with a history, costume jewellery that you know no one else will have, a dress or other outfit that screams high end luxury – all at a lower price with luck and looking than you’d have to pay in today’s luxury brand stores in Paris.
What you seek is a “friperie” – a shop selling second hand clothing or other goods and here at The Good Life France offices we’re constantly being asked for information on which are the best places to go to buy vintage clothing in Paris, or vintage accessories, or vintage boots – you get the picture.
Not all the shops have websites but a really good website to help you is thevintedge.com – they list lots of Friperies in Paris by category and arrondissement with a description of each shop and lots of details so if you’re looking for a day’s vintage shopping you can plan it easily with this site.
With the help of a vintage nut who runs a London based online vintage fashion shop which sources stock from Paris and with some of our friends in Paris here’s a list of what we think are some of the best Vintage Paris shops but there are so many a bit of stamina is required to winkle out your own personal favourite – bon chance and bon achat!
Old school second hand clothes shop – roll up your sleeves and be prepared to search for that special vintage bargain amongst a huge pile of clothes ranging from the 1940s to the 1990s. With prices starting at €10.00 we’re reliably informed this is somewhere to look out for big name luxury goods amongst the not so well known. A happy informal atmosphere reigns and it’s a fun shop too! 86 Rue des Martyr’s – 18th arrondissement
Celia Darling Vintage
Opened two years ago, they were recently featured in French Vogue and have built up a good reputation and following. The shop is beautifully laid out and there are usually lots of named goods from YSL and Gaultier to Dior. You’re as likely to have to fight with a fashionista as a local in this shop in the 9th arrondissement over that gorgeous Chanel handbag. Prices start at €30 and there is a good selection of non big name but gorgeous clothing, shoes, bags and some furnishing items. Address: 5, rue Henri Monnier – 75009
A very well known store in Paris, endorsed by French Cosmopolitan and attracting everyone from fashionistas to students. The stock is updated pretty much daily and prices start at €5.00. It’s a tiny shop and can get very crowded at weekends – another roll up your sleeves and get stuck in type of place but hardly anyone leaves without something they’ve fallen in re-love with!
Address: 32 rue des Rosiers Paris Metro: St. Paul
A must go to thrift institution for seekers of Paris vintage of the 1960’s to 1990s variety. Not so much big name but lots of generally good quality items and a big variety from €5.
Address: 8 rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie. Paris 4th.
Mamie is a vintage clothing store, but a very special one. Attracting fashion designers, photographers, fashion editors, film and theatre costumiers and retro fans galore this place also rents vintage clothes, sells makeup and hair accessories and can provide a restoration service for that much loved but tatty vintage Dior dress your Nan gave you. Often featured in the press and with two vintage shops they stock clothing, shoes, and other fashion accessories, vintage French, European and American from 1900s to 1980s for men, women and children.
Address: 73 rue de Rochechouart – 75009
La Vintage Iglaïne
This is an upmarket friperie – more like a boutique and a paradise for lovers of haut couture. It has a great selection and often features pieces from Lacroix, Chanel, Dior, YSL and Thierry Mugler with a great range of clothing from the 1900s to the 1980s. The clothes are laundered and serviced in the back of the shop which gives it a quite unique atmosphere. The high end clothing means higher prices naturally but there are also a good selection of less pricey items and you are likely to find something gorgeous from €15 upwards.
Address: Iglaïne, 12 Rue de la Grande Truanderie first Paris