This is a guest post written by Cate Spree
Cate studies French at the University of Birmingham and recently spent a year abroad in Paris exploring its numerous bars, cafés and shops. You can follow her on twitter at @KateSpree and instagram at @catespree1
Paris, one of the most fashionable cities in the world, is filled with some of the best vintage shops ever- if you know where to look. While on my year abroad in Paris I spent a lot, and I mean a lot, of time wandering around hunting out new and unusual vintage shops. Below I’ve listed a few of my favourites that I really recommend you check out if you love a wardrobe filled with one-of-a-kind, musky-scented clothes!
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Free P Star
Ok I’ll start with the best: Free P Star opposite Saint Paul at 20 rue de Rivoli. There are a couple of these dotted around the Marais and although this one is much smaller it’s definitely the best one (like the littler but much cooler younger sister). The first time I went here I befriended an older French lady who asked me if it was my first time there, when I responded yes she gave me a knowing look and told me she came every week, and sure enough I ended up returning hundreds of times to the point where I knew every single song on the CD they played on repeat. There’s a whole range of stuff from coats, dresses, sequined tops, bags, and hats. Everything is super cheap and the guy who works there is very open to haggling and will normally take a few euros off the price if you ask. It can sometimes get a bit crammed so avoid on weekends!
Great for: Silk shirts, coats, and dresses
20 rue de Rivoli – metro: Saint Paul
King of Frip
If you’re not too weighed down by stuff from Free P Star you can venture along to King of Frip at 33 rue de Roi de Sicile, less than 5 minutes away. This one is bigger than Free P Star and slightly more expensive, but still very cheap. There is a massive back room filled with dungarees, jeans, and fur coats that I love. This guy doesn’t haggle so don’t even try. I got some amazing culottes from here that everyone at first thinks are from Zara.
Great for: Accessories
33 rue de Roi de Sicile – metro: Saint Paul
Vintage World can also be found in the Marais but not really within walking distance of the other two on Rue de la Verrerie (not sure what number but I think about 50?) Rue de la Verrerie is filled with vintage shops so it’s worth walking down. This one is fairly organised rather than being just heaps of random clothes you have to spend hours sifting through. It also has a surprising amount of good quality shoes and trainers if second hand shoes don’t gross you out!
Great for: Shoes and tops
50 rue de la Verrerie – metro: Hotel de Ville
There are a couple of these in Paris but the one I normally went to was near Etienne Marcel at 3 rue de Turbigo. It’s slightly more expensive than the stores listed above but the clothes smell less weird and are way better organised so you get what you pay for! Also they’re big on things being unique and environmentally friendly so it’s a win/win!
Great for: Dresses, jackets, and slightly more expensive vintage chic
3 rue de Turbigo – metro: Etienne Marcel
If you can bear to leave the best area in Paris (the Marais) then head to the north of Paris, near Père-Lachaise at 77 rue de Ménilmontant. I found this shop by accident when I was lost but I’m so glad I did. It’s even smaller than Free P Star but is equally crammed with stuff. This is the most expensive one I came across as it’s filled with incredible vintage designer stuff. I fell in love with a pair of Prada trainers there for under €100, but alas, student budget.
Obviously this is just a handful of the vintage shops that can be found in Paris! They were one of the things that made living in Paris a total dream and even writing this article made me want to hop on a plane back with an empty suitcase to fill.