Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Must See Vintage Boutiques & Consignment Shops in Paris

A must do while shopping in Paris is to hit the second-hand and consignment shops which focus on vintage, retro and funky styles. Nothing would make a trip in Paris more complete than finding that perfect French 50s cocktail dress to take home.

Known for its alternative gay-scene, the Marais is overflowing in cool shops selling everything from funky charm bracelets to outlandish belt buckles to the latest styles in clothes. It is also full of stores specializing in vintage and used clothes.

Second-hand clothing in French is frip, and store selling it is a fripperie. A consignment shop, on the other hand, is a Dépôt-Vent. In the Marais, rue de la Verrerie, basically, turns into rue du roi de Sicile.

Even better are the prices. If you want to shop for cool, alternative styles in Paris without breaking the bank, then hitting up the retro second-hand stores is just the ticket. There are few better places in Paris for this than the Marais.

Start at BHV, the huge store next to Hotel de Ville, walk up Rue des Archives and turn right on Rue de la Verrerie, which next leads into the Rue du Roi de Sicile. Here you come upon many vintage frip shops worth checking out. Then, next, head down Rue Vieille du Temple to Rue des Rosiers, or rue Ste Croix de la Bretonnerie.

These five mentioned streets are cute in charm, everything Paris, and cover the part of the Marais that will fill your day with cool shops and boutiques and tons of vintage flare.

Here is a short list of my favorite vintage shops in the Marais:

 Vintage Bar.
They will buy your coolest items too, and have a fantastically cool collection of vintage jewelery. There is a downstairs full of items too, don't miss that.
16 rue de la Verrerie
75004 Paris
+33 (0)1 42 74 56 13

The owner of this place is a lively fun guy who went into a long description with me about why his shop was the best on the street. They apparently clean all items before selling them, only sell the nicest vintage items and apparel, and indeed had gone to great lengths to make a clean, organized, nice shop, with oils burning so that even your nose was happy to enter.
2 rue de la Verrerie
75004, Paris
+33 (0)1 40 29 95 57

Mamz'Elle Swing.
The women working in this place is all decked out in 30s swing attire. It puts you in the mood as soon as you walk in, as does the swing music being played. A nice collection of 30s and 40s vintage items and clothing. Very cool.
35bis rue du roi de Sicile.
75004, Paris
+33 (0)1 48 87 04 06

The King of Frip.
This place is a bit more disorganized than the other establishments mentioned, and seems to care a bit less about being choosy in what they sell. That said, there are some pretty good finds here, for great prices, if you dig. Don't miss the downstairs too.
33 rue du roi de Sicile.
75004, Paris.
+33 (0)1 42 78 33 72

Vintage Desir.
A cool place to get selected, collected, vintage shoes, clothes and accessories. 
32 Rue des Rosiers
75004, Paris.
+33 (0)1 40 27 04 98

Chapellerie Simon.
This is one of my absolute favorite hat shops in all of Paris. They are filled to the roof with hats from all decades. Whether you want that sweet little 30s hat, or a stylish one for your man, or a summer wide-brimmed straw hat...this place has it all. 
11 rue Ste Croix de la Bretonnerie
75004, Paris.
+33 (0)1 48 87 25 61

And, last, but not least, is this cool vintage shop over in the Latin Quarter, behind the Pantheon, called Générique.

A small, simple shop, it could be easy to pass by it as you ramble about the Latin Quarter in Paris, France.

But be sure to stop by and check out the wonderful collection of vintage jewelry from the 50s, a dazzle of old-school rhinestones and semi-precious stones.

There were vintage and modern syles, both generic and name-brand. There are sales from time to time, which are worth checking out. For example, this month it is -20% on the jewelry.
Générique isn't just a second-hand store (fripperie), it is instead a consignment shop (Dépôt-Vente).

This means you bring your items there, and they sell them for you, and you get a cut of the money upon its sale. So, if you have a funky little 50s cocktail dress to sell, the owner is happy to do it for you, and you get 50% of the sale price. She has been running this store for 15 years so clearly does well in business.

You can use the money you make to pick up some new items!

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