Paris is the capital of fashion. But shopping here can be expensive, so what happens when your budget is more Primark than Prada but you still want to look like a million dollars? Luckily, vintage is en vogue and the rise of sustainability in the collective conscience has made shopping second-hand socially acceptable. It’s good news for shopaholics, as Paris has a wealth of second-hand style options to choose from.
Consignment stores where Parisians take their cast-offs, usually after one or two wears.
Check out La Marelle in the beautiful Galerie Vivienne in the second arrondissement. With an average of 76% off the retail price, there are some great bargains to be had – from Sandro to Chanel via Issey Miyake. Everything is recent and in perfect condition. A brand-new-with-tags Kenzo cocktail dress, for example, was priced at €208 compared with the retail price of €785.
La Cloakroom, at 14 rue des Taillandiers in Paris’ Bastille neighbourhood, attracts a younger, hip crowd in search of brands like Sezane, Leon & Harper and Patricia Blanchet. You can snap up a Cos chunky knit for €45 here, a Maje skirt for a similar price and a Burberry dress for €80.
Weekend events that are all about fashion addicts clearing out their wardrobes. Violette Sauvage is the biggest and most well-known, while Les Agaçantes is always popular and new-kid-on-the-block Les Armoires de Paris is carving out its own stylish niche. Dress in the City, a sort of online dépôt vente that works via a smartphone app, also hosts pop-up events in and around Paris. There’s something for every budget at these events, and there are often added extras like live music, tattoo artists or tarot-card readers.
Like giant car boot sales that run, roughly, from March to the end of October, these are best for earlier risers and serious bargain hunters. You can find some real gems, but often have to sift through a lot of rubble first. A top tip is to go to upmarket neighbourhoods to get the highest-end fashion. With kitten soft cashmere for €20, Louboutins for €50 and a The Kooples coat for €25, you can get yourself a whole new wardrobe for under €100. A list of what vide greniers are on and where can be found here.
With such great deals to be had, you’ll be wondering why you ever bothered shopping brand new. And remember, you can always resell your new wardrobe additions when you’re done with them.
By Preloved Paris
Preloved in Paris is a blogger who is passionate about sustainable style, fashion bargains and looking good on a budget
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