When I travel, I always like to seek out brands and stores that you can’t shop (or are far less expensive than) here in the United States. These days the world is so flat with worldwide shipping that you can pretty much buy anything anywhere, but it still doesn’t change the shopping and experience that you get from shopping a brand in it’s original location. In my last trip to Paris I decided that I was only going to go into stores that aren’t in the United States, with one exception. I wanted to be inspired by the world’s center of fashion in how it was truly intended to be, not how it dilutes down to other countries once they eventually expand. That said, if you are visiting Paris in the next few years, these are my suggestions for fun stores with beautiful product and a great shopping experience, as well as what I bought at each location!
My 5 Favorite Shops in Paris
This is hands down my favorite store in Paris, situated right on Rue Saint Honoré. Manoush is completely my style; a mix of prints, color, trims and flair that together seems over the top, but alone is very wearable. I walked into and out of the store so many times on my trip, finally settling on the pearl trimmed denim jacket that you see in this photo. I have worn it time and time again and it’s proven to be one of my most popular items in my wardrobe, as I repeatedly get compliments on it! Manoush is the most expensive retailer on this list, but the brand is small, handmade and utterly gorgeous, items that you will have in your wardrobe and pass on to your grandchildren!
I discovered this brand purely from walking around Paris, and discovered that it, too has quite a few locations in France but nowhere else! I would describe Mes Demoiselles as glamorous bohemian, a style I never knew I loved but am now obsessed with. Every piece is a work of art, with delicate fabrics, intricate embroideries and voluminous layers that instantly transport you to a glamorous beach somewhere. I bought this beautiful layered gauze top (that is on sale now) and wish I would have picked up more! BTW- this is one of those brands that you have to see in person, the website does not do the clothing justice!
From Future is a brand that I did a little research on before visiting, and was in sweater-candy heaven when I saw it in real life. It is primarily a knitwear brand, with a range of affordable cashmere, wool and cotton knits in interesting weaves and intarsia graphics. They also have a small range of feminine floral dresses which may seem random, but fits into their quirky, LA-cool vibe. I personally bought this neon pink SPLASH cashmere sweater (on sale!) and a light pink striped pointelle knit which is super cute for summer.
Admittedly Sézane has been splashed all over IG and you can now shop it in NYC, making it the exception to my rule. However, I have not shopped the brand or visited any of it’s stores, so I figured I would see where it all started in Paris. We arrived at the store 10 minutes before opening to a packed sidewalk of people waiting to get in, but luckily once the doors were open we were all welcome. The stores are intended to look like an apartment (hence l’apartement Sézane moniker) but what really wowed me were the prices. The clothing is far less expensive in Paris than it is in the US. Of course all European brands are like that, but I do feel like the cost of these items in the US is a little high for the quality, whereas in Europe I feel it’s appropriate. I’m pleased to see that neither of the items I bought are available online, proving that it’s always best to visit the store in person! I bought my new favorite light blue granny cardigan (that I wear non-stop) and a casual striped tee (different color way here).
Le Petit Souk
I was in search of a cute baby store while in Paris and discovered this small French chain that I am OBSESSED WITH. Le Petit Souk is actually what is feels like inside, a mini souk with stacks of cute things to discover on every surface, organized by colorway and trend. There is a section of liberty floral items, coordinating mint and blue linen items, Scandinavian black and white, and more. There were so many adorable discoveries in this shop that I felt are not available in the United States, and European standards are so much higher for baby and children’s products that I know I can trust everything in the store. I walked out with gifts for friends, an entirely new cutlery/dinnerware set for Marina (that she loves), cute hair bows, linen hats and backpacks, and the wish that this store was in my own backyard!