Sunday, 14 May 2017

A Quick Guide To Second Hand Shopping in Paris

I visited Paris for the first time two weeks ago - a beautiful city with a surprisingly high density of vintage and second hand kilo stores peppered in and amongst the designer flagships and glamorous contemporary boutiques. Of course I couldn't visit every vintage store in only three days (and I don't think my boyfriend would have let me hijack our trip with second hand shopping!) but I've put together a list of my favourites below, plus an interactive map if you are heading there yourself anytime soon.

Get the interactive version of this map here
Part of the world's largest network of vintage clothing, with stores in 14 countries and 2500 employees, Hippy Market's aim is to create a more sustainable economy through reusing and recycling. We discovered it on the way into the city centre from our apartment in the northern district of Montmartre, and with two stores it's pretty easy to come across if you are doing the main sights on foot. Considering it's Paris, prices are reasonable, with Levi's jeans for around €35 and vintage kimonos for €50. If you're visiting in summer be sure to check out the vintage sale from 24th June to 12th July, with every third item costs only €1!

Only two streets away from the Hippy Market store on Rue St Denis, Episode is another European vintage chain with other stores in the Netherlands, Belgium and Copenhagen. Prices were slightly cheaper than Hippy Market, including a colourful range of pleated skirts for €19, and there's also a lot here for the guys, including great range of retro sportswear pieces, jackets and jeans.

Heading further east from the centre of the city brings you to Le Marais, an amazingly eclectic district full of bars, restaurants, upmarket boutiques and a big variety of different vintage stores. Kilo shops seem to be on every corner (check out my interactive map for directions) and so I definitely recommend setting aside a couple of hours to do them properly. Items are sorted by product type (like this rack of beautiful silk shirts) and/or colour, with different tags attached depending on the price level. Simply grab a straw bag at the entrance and start loading up!

Tilt Vintage has three locations in Paris (including one in Le Marais) as well as their online store, offering a slightly more curated selection than the bigger kilo shops across womenswear, menswear and accessories. There's a great offer of denim and retro sportswear, with jackets reasonably priced at around €40, but I felt like some of the other items were very expensive, such as classic Breton striped tees which started at €25 and went up to €45. Still worth a visit, but sadly not exactly an incentive for shopping secondhand when you could get exactly the same for half the price in any fast fashion retailer.

VINTAGE DÉSIR | No website, info here
Tucked away in between some very upmarket boutiques on Rue des Rosiers, you could almost be tempted to walk past this tiny independent store, which felt like a true local treasure with great prices to match. With daily deliveries and a constant stream of visitors it's obviously a very popular place, as proven by the big section of clothing at the back that had already been reserved by eager vintage fans. Definitely one not to miss!

Exploring Le Marais in Kings of Indigo jeans, Veja kicks and my trusty Matt & Nat bag 

Grab some strawberries and champagne on the way and head to the Eiffel Tower at night for the best view!

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