Shopping in Paris: What to Buy?

Paris is the world’s fashion capital. Many are also familiar with major French fashion brands, such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Dior. So clothes, accessories, bags, and even vintage clothes are some of the things to buy in Paris. Of course, there are other things good to shop for in Paris too. Read on and have fun shopping in Paris!

Sweets shop in Paris

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1. Luxury Goods: Boutiques

Champs-élysées Paris

“At the mention of shopping in Paris, my first thought would be the many luxury brands in France. It’s common to hear people asking friends or relatives to help them purchase from these brands while in France. If you are one of those tasked to buy, you can buy from their boutiques along Champs-Élysées. If not, there are usually other branches around Paris.

For lower price tags, there is Charlie Paris for quality watches without astronomical pricing. Or Fragonard for quality perfumes that are priced reasonably, so much so they are good as gift souvenirs. You can tour Fragonard’s museum in Paris to learn about manufacturing techniques, and history and play a free olfactory game to test your nose.

However, for niche or classic scents, you might want to consider Diptyque, Chanel No.5 or Guerlain Shalimar. Lacoste is another French brand you might want to check out, especially for the guys.

For myself, I was looking for Longchamp in Paris. Their classic Le Pliage is light and big enough to carry my million and one things. I was happy I got myself a Le Pliage with a special edition print!

Longchamp Boutique in Paris

2. Beauty Products: Para-Pharmacies Galore

This section became so long, I decided to separate it into another post: The article is for beauty junkies or anyone who wants to take care of their skin the french way. :)

3. Winter Boots: Shoe Shops

The soles on my winter boots came off while walking in Paris. This was expected considering I hadn’t worn them for a long time. Hence I went on a search for wearable and walkable boots. It was a wild goose chase. I didn’t know where to shop for shoes, affordable shoes. The price was either too high or the boots not warm enough for me. Or the boots were too dressy to walk in for long hours.

Who knows, I went back to my trusted comfortable shoe brand even in Paris – Skechers! I went to their flagship store in the well-known Rue de Rivoli and found a pair of boots (Keepsakes 2.0). It looked nice and more importantly comfortable to walk in, although the price is still relatively high, about EUR80+. (I was hoping to find a pair with a Taobao-like price, but couldn’t find it.)

During my search, I also visited the different boutiques of Tamaris. Generally a good experience except for the one at Rue de Rivoli. The salesperson didn’t want to entertain me and was unhelpful. Nonetheless, I like their pretty dressy boots. Sadly, they are not meant for long hours of walking. However, on my last-second day, I walked past a Tamaris store at Westfield Forum des Halles. My hubby said this was my last chance because we were flying back soon. In the end, I couldn’t help but got a pair from Tamaris (at EUR 100.10). Guess which one did I buy (pictures above) – the laced one on the left or the right brown shoes on the right? :)

By the way, if your purchase is EUR 99, you might want to check if the shop can sell you at a slightly higher price to get a tax refund. Just so you know, according to reviews, it’s cheaper to get their shoes online or in the suburbs.

4. Wide Range of Products: Shopping Malls

I thought it would be easy to find and buy what I wanted as I walked the streets of Paris. Hence I didn’t do much research. With no shopping route mapped, I went around the city like a headless chicken to search for Longchamp, Clarins (that’s priced lower than stand-alone shops) and the boots I needed. I bought the latter two at Westfield Forum des Halles.

I didn’t realise such malls existed in Paris until I googled for Nocibé to buy Clarins. Walking around Paris, boutiques seemed more common than such malls. Stepping inside the mall, I felt a sense of familiarity. It’s like the typical shopping mall found in Singapore. We even had some time with Santa!

Galeries Lafayette champs-élysées

Prior to Westfield, I visited Galeries Lafayette champs-élysées. However, it was more of a high-end shopping mall with upscale fashion and gourmet food. It has beautiful architecture too.

Shopping malls are like a one-stop shop for a wide range of products. So if you have no time to explore the quaint boutiques in popular areas such as Rue de la Paix and Boulevard Saint-Germain, this is your second-best choice!

5. Books: Paris’s Beautiful Bookstores

Bookstore: Shakespeare and Company

We were in the vicinity of Shakespeare and Company when we spotted its long queue. I decided it must be worth a visit. Indeed, it’s a nice and quaint bookstore with a history to soak in. However, it might not be worth the time to queue unless you are a bookworm or an avid reader.

The bookstore is loved by lovers of English literature. Prepare some budget. The atmosphere somehow compels one to buy a book, at least I did. Bought one for myself and one for the kids. The bookstore would stamp the first page of the book with their logo (with your permission), thus transforming the books into souvenirs.

There are other beautiful libraries in Paris too, but probably without a wide selection of English books. This Vogue article has good recommendations, from the tiny Jousseaume library with old manuscripts and books to The Palais de Tokyo bookstore with a collection of art and fashion books.

Do you have other shopping buys to recommend? Leave your reviews and suggestions in the comments box below. Love to hear from you. :)

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