“The New Parisienne” Author Lindsey Tramuta’s Guide to Shopping in Paris
Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Hermès, and Yves Saint Laurent—Paris is home to some of the world’s biggest fashion houses. If you’re looking to add a few designer pieces to your wardrobe without spending a fortune, we’ve got you covered.
We spoke with longtime Paris resident, and author of The New Paris and The New Parisienne, Lindsey Tramuta for her tips on where to shop for designer goods on a budget in Paris. Tramuta has spent years combing Paris’ streets in search of its most distinctive businesses and residents, which she posts about on her blog, Lost in Cheeseland, and Instagram. Now, she’s sharing her advice on how to capture that Parisian je ne sais quoi—all without emptying your wallet.
Seek out Paris’ coolest thrift and vintage shops
Bypass the luxury brands’ flagships on the Rue de Rivoli or the Champs-Élysées. Instead, seek out the city’s independent boutiques, where, if you’re sharp-eyed, you may just find rare, high-fashion pieces at a discount. Tramuta recommends a few favorites for style hunters, “such as Rose Market Vintage in the 9th arrondissement, Réciproque and Le Date in the 16th arrondissement, La Marelle inside the Galerie Vivienne, and Valois Vintage in the 8th arrondissement.”
Discover the city’s flea markets
Paris is host to several sprawling flea markets, most of which are located on the edges of the city, and which sell a wide variety of items. “The flea markets are primarily destinations to unearth antique home goods and furnishings, linens, and mid-century decorative items. But at the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen you'll find ’70s and ’80s designer (Hermès, Chanel, Balenciaga, and more) scarves, jewelry, and even the occasional handbag,” Tramuta says. Though bargains on luxury goods may be thin on the ground—Tramuta warns Saint-Ouen is more for serious collectors than deal-hunters—it rewards patient hunters, and is a good place to test your haggling skills.
Related: Know Before You Go: Tips for Shopping at the Saint-Ouen Flea Market
Paris Flea Market Small-Group Guided Tour with Chats and Antiques Dealers
Explore alternative shopping areas
These days, Paris’ key fashion addresses are scattered all over the city, and bargain hunters should be prepared to venture beyond the traditional shopping districts for deals. “Long gone are the days of strictly shopping at the city's leading department stores or high streets,” Tramuta says. “Locals seek out independent shops, concept stores, and designer boutiques wherever they may be. Today, that means a bit in Le Marais, in the 10th arrondissement, in the 9th arrondissement south of Pigalle, in the heart of town near the Palais Royal, and among the narrow streets of Montmartre.” Need local navigational assistance? You can also explore the city in the company of a personal stylist to make your shopping trips even simpler.
The Fashionista Experience: Personal Shopping and Styling Experience in Paris
Don’t rule out the outlets
Outlet shopping may not quite match the romance of traditional Parisian flea markets, but it does promise an unbeatable selection and steep discounts on new merchandise. “The only spot with a competitive selection of mid-range to designer goods is La Vallée Village, located just outside of the city near Disneyland Paris,” Tramuta says. “The best option!” Book a day trip via shuttle from central Paris, and get ready to browse upwards of 110 shops, featuring discounts typically beginning at more than 30% off.
La Vallée Village Shopping Outlet Round-Trip Transport from Paris
Time your visit with the bi-annual sales
If you’ve always dreamed of combing the racks at the storied Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann, make sure you time your visit right. “France limits annual sales to two periods of the year: January and June,” says Tramuta. “Running about a month, this is when boutiques and brands are permitted to run more significant price reductions (the rest of the year, you'll find private sales and smaller discounts). The city's leading department stores—Le Bon Marché, Galeries Lafayette, BHV Marais, and Printemps—all participate, which make them ideal places to scour when the time comes.” One more tip: Tramuta notes that the biggest price drops are found late in the sales period, though be aware that many items and sizes will be gone by then.