One of the reasons that I fell in love with Paris when I first visited as a teenager was because I could find French fashions that weren’t ubiquitous in the States. However, when I first brought my daughter to France, she was perplexed by my enthusiasm since almost all of the brands we saw on the main shopping streets exist in New York. On our last two trips, though, I have managed to convert her. Below are my tips for a fun shopping escapade in Paris with a teen:
Stick to the Marais and the St. Germain area
The best streets to prowl in the Marais include Rue des Francs Bourgeouis, Rue du Vielle du Temple and Rue de Turenne. It is also one of the only areas in Paris where things are open on Sundays, so it tends to be packed on the weekends (many spots are closed on Monday mornings or all day). In St. Germain, the area bordered by Rue des Saints Pères, Rue Mazarine, Rue Jacob and St. Sulpice is ground zero for the best boutiques with some like Ines de la Fressange on Rue de Grenelle and Rue de Cherche Midi and Soeur on Rue Bonaparte.
Visit concept stores for a window into the next trends
Among the best concept stores in Paris are L’Eclaireur, Merci, Montaigne Market, Gab & Jo. They tend to be packed with cool hunters from around the world, so the crowds as well as the shops and what they sell are feasts for inspiration.
Know about outlets, or Boutiques Stock
Many popular French brands rarely go on sale in the States but in Paris there are ‘stock boutiques’, where everything is between 40 and 80% off. (“Stock” is the French word for “last season.”) Here are some favorite addresses, including one, Alaia, that is more appropriate for mothers than teens.
- Maje, 6 Rue du Cherche Midi
- Sandro, 26 Rue de Sevigné
- Claudie Pierlot, 6 Rue de Marseille
- Zadig et Voltaire, 22 Rue du Bourg-Tibourg
- Alaia, 18 Rue de la Verriere
Finally, know where to stop for a fun lunch or snack
Some of my favorite spots in the heart of the Marais include the Merci Café and Merci Cinema Café, Breizh Café for crèpes and Carette on the Place des Vosges. In St. Germain, my choices are Le Recamier for soufflés, Société and La Palette for classic bistro food and Le Cherche Midi for Italian dishes.