Associated Landing Page
Monday, May 21, 2012
Paris visitors need not break the bank in order to make some new additions to their wardrobe during a trip to the French capital, despite the city's reputation for glamour, luxury and high-end fashion.
There are plenty of locations to pick up affordable clothes and accessories in Paris, from large department stores to quaint shopping quarters offering endless experiences for bargain hunters.
Galeries Lafayette is situated on Boulevard Haussmann, a tree-lined thoroughfare that runs for more than 2km through central Paris. The boulevard is home to giant department stores situated under Art Nouveau glass domes that have become distinctive symbols of Paris, almost as recognisable as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.
The area welcomes some 120 million shoppers every year, many of whom head to Galeries Lafayette, which is home to so many fashion boutiques and stores that visitors will always have opportunities to search for bargains and discounts.
Brands such as Christian Lacroix, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Chanel can all be found at Galeries Lafayette, as well as the largest retail space in Europe dedicated exclusively to menswear and accessories.
Also situated on Boulevard Haussmann is the Printemps store, which was founded in 1865 as a modern retail outlet and is still "blazing a trail today as far as fashion is concerned", according to the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The complex recently opened three floors devoted to luxury fashion accessories and is home to prestigious brands including Cartier, Prada, Ralph Lauren and Gucci.
Shoppers hoping to pick up some new garments or accessories at either Galeries Lafayette or Printemps without blowing their budget should visit during the sales seasons. Summer promotions begin in late June and winter sales are traditionally available from the end of January every year.
Reciproque is the largest second-hand shop selling luxury items in Paris. When it was founded in 1978, the store covered nearly 140 sq m and it has tripled in size over the past three decades.
It comprises six boutiques, all situated next to each other on Rue de la Pompe, one of the longest streets in the 16th arrondissement.
The women's shops, located at numbers 93, 95 and 101, sell an array of items including evening and cocktail dresses, accessories, furs, footwear and hats. The boutique at 101 Rue de la Pompe is home to a large leather department with bags, luggage and more.
Shoppers looking for menswear can head to the Reciproque outlet at number 92 to browse through the outlet's suits, sportswear, shoes and a range of accessories including ties, belts and cufflinks.
Le Jupon Rouge
Another way for visitors to find fashion bargains in Paris is by heading to one of its designer depots, which sell brand-name items at substantial discounts. The products are second-hand but in good condition, with most only having been worn once or twice.
The range of designer depots in the French capital includes Le Jupon Rouge on Rue de Rochechouart in the ninth arrondissement, whose owner describes the outlet as "colourful, ethnic but not hippie and certainly not classical in style".
Customers can find all sorts of garments from up-and-coming designers as well as established names.
Brocante Rue Chardon-Lagache
In the Auteuil neighbourhood in the 16th arrondissement, Paris visitors will find Rue Chardon-Lagache, which plays host to an open-air flea market twice a week.
Dozens of vendors set up beneath large awnings to sell a diverse range of items, including selections of antique jewellery and costume accessories that could make the ideal gift or souvenir.
The stallholders expect customers to drive a hard bargain, so a bit of haggling is recommended for bold shoppers looking to save money.
Rue Chardon-Lagache is one of many sites in Paris that host regular markets, with more discounts on offer and unique items waiting to be discovered at locations such as Rue Jules Valles, Place d'Aligre and Avenue Michelet.