Naturally after food, we also had to figure out the best possible places to get our shopping fix satisfied over the course of our ten days in Paris! Who doesn't dream of having their "Devil Wears Prada" or, heck, "Passport to Paris" moment there? The city is overflowing with insane places to shop for anything from antiques to couture, and we took full advantage of it (on pretty much everything except antiques and couture...).
Our hands-down favorite neighborhood for shopping was the Marais, a fashionable area in the 3rd arrondissement that was home to dozens of adorable boutiques and stores. Some of our favorites:
nina kendosa, 31 Rue du Turenne: We stumbled in here on our first full day and fell in love. Everything was made in France, and the colors and textures were to-die-for. I bought a little cream jacket that I ended up wearing almost every day for the rest of the trip, and Em purchased a great dress.
Comptoir des Cotonniers, 33 Rue des Francs Bourgeois: Mom was on a quest to find the perfect French jean, and this place was just the ticket. The two women working could not have been sweeter (and were kind enough to converse with me entirely en Français!), and they also had the perfect little black dress that I, alas, just couldn't justify. We spotted more locations all over Paris! Definitely a French staple.
Merci, 111 Boulevard de Beaumarchais: A famous French home goods store that changes its theme every few season. This spring was focused around the idea of a garden. Everything was interesting and unique and so fun to admire. And their cute courtyard Fiat didn't hurt either...
Fragonard, 51 Rue des Francs Bourgeois: A gorgeous little perfume and gift shop where, unfortunately, the service was so terrible we all resisted purchases. Think towels and linens, pillows, decorative objects, and of course endless varieties of perfume.
Coton Doux, 3 Rue Saint-Croix de la Bretonnerie: Novelty patterned button-downs. Emily had her eye on a macaron-printed one. I'm officially on their mailing list. Plus, the two hotties working were the best practice I've ever had at flirting in French. BAM.
Scotch and Soda, 42 Rue Vieille du Temple: Emily bought the quintessential French jacket here...not quite a trench, not quite a cocoon coat, and she looks amazing in it, n'est-ce pas? (Her beret is also a purchase from Le Marais, from a little hat shop right off the Place des Vosges. It's literally a Raspberry Beret!! Prince would be so proud.)
La Chambre aux Confitures, 60 Rue Vieille du Temple: A jam, honey, oil, candle place that had seriously the most insane combinations of condiments I've ever seen. I got a lavender-apricot candle that I can't wait to burn...yum.
Antoine et Lili, 51 Rue des Francs Bourgeois: A pink-fronted little hippie store full to the brim with the cutest vintage-y dresses, jewelry, and accessories. Em loved it.
Carré d'Artistes, 29 Rue Vieille du Temple: Translating to "Artists' Market," this was the most incredibly charming, precious art gallery. Every painting is original, the gallerist was so friendly and helpful, and all three of us purchased paintings.
Outside the Marais, we also got sucked into a few amazing boutiques...notably:
Des Petits Hauts, 70 Rue Bonaparte: Oh my goodness, basically a pastel den of glitter and perfection. The jackets, shoes, and jewelry were all amazing. We went twice.
"La Boulangerie" pop-up shop, 31 Rue des Trois Frères: This place doesn't have a website and their inventory changes daily because it's all locally crafted. We may or may not have been drunk on wine and fondue from Refuge des Fondus. And we may or may not have spent 90€ on yellow striped t-shirts with maps of Paris on the elbow pads. Like, we all three got the same one. Oops.
Speaking of Montmartre...if you're looking to purchase art, DO NOT DO IT FROM THE TOURISTY BOUQUINISTES ALONG THE SEINE. Go to the Place du Tertre, which we have on good authority from a French impressionism expert is THE place to buy. Painters set up all along the perimeter of the square and display/work all day. Em and I both bought pieces, hers from the cutest man ever.
Shakespeare & Company, 37 Rue de la Bûcherie: This place will forever, FOREVER have my heart. While there are hundreds of antique bookstores in Paris, none possess quite the charm and sheerly random magic of S&Co. I bought an edition of "The Tempest" from the late 1800s with watercolored illustrations, and of course a copy of Le Petit Prince.
FNAC, on the Champs Elysées: completely saved our entire trip (and all these blog posts) when we were able to make an emergency trip there after everything else closed at 7pm to get a piece to Em's fancy camera's charger. Basically a French Best Buy. Super convenient for any electronic needs, which, let's be real, are more common than we'd like.
Atelier Cologne, 8 Rue Saint-Florentin: We stumbled upon this place randomly in the middle of a rain shower and fell in love with the gentleman working, who was the company's international head of sales. He told us all about the stories behind the fragrances, and hand-embossed leather atomizers for Mom and I. She bought a fig scent, I bought one that literally translates to "the drunk citrus" and smells like a French 75.
All three of us also bought Longchamps bags at their flagship store on the Rue Saint-Honoré. Apparently they're 30% cheaper in France because they don't get taxed as an export...woo-hoo!
Finally, I have to plug the two most obvious places ever: museum gift shops (hi, bright-red Venus de Milo) and tourist kiosks. They're nothing groundbreaking, but who goes to Paris (or anywhere, really?) and doesn't want to pick up a few fun trinkets or gifts that are super cheesy and fun? They also saved Mom and Em's asses for one day after both their umbrellas mysteriously vanished...although they were NOT pleased about the cheesy Parisian monuments all over them and replaced them the next day at BHV, our favorite Marais department store. Ask me about my looooovely polyester scarf someday, hmm?