Whilst in Paris, I made sure to take advantage of the fact we were in one of the most stylish cities in the world and went shopping! Fabric shopping and vintage clothes shopping to be precise.
I’d done some fabric shopping here before and really enjoyed it, though I was a bit intimidated by all the quick French being spoken by the sales assistants. I bought a beautiful piece of embossed brown leather which I still haven’t used… But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more stuff!
I found the best area to shop for cheap fabrics was at the foot of the Sacre Coeur which was near where we were staying in Montmartre (totes done on purpose as this was where I’d shopped before). There are a couple of BIG fabric stores, five floors high filled with pretty much everything you could want, from upholstery and curtain fabrics, to couture silks and cotton prints. The Tissus Reine store is probably the larger of the two and more commonly recommended on other blogs. The variety is plentiful but I found the prices to be a bit higher. I didn’t end up buying anything from here. The second store Marché St-Pierre was more to my budget and I bought about 12m of fabric from here alone! This store has been selling fabric here for 60 years!
If you want fabrics at an even more discounted prices, then the shops selling coupons would suit you. These stores pre cut fabric into 3m lengths, each with a set price. It can be as little as €10 for a 3m length of cotton which isn’t bad at all. I went a bit nuts a bought far more than I could carry easily home!
For something a bit more special, head to Mahlia Kent on Avenue Daumesnil in Le Viaduc des Arts. We found this place quite by accident- we were visiting the Coulée Verte (or Promenade Plantée) which lies above this row of speciality art shops and studios and just happened to wander past this place. Here, they sell mostly remnant pieces off high end hand woven couture fabrics. These are made in France (near Lyon if you must know) and have been used by Chanel, Lagerfield, Givenchy etc.
I was so excited to find this place! And the prices are so reasonable! It’s €10 a metre for the remnant pieces, though if you want to buy off the roll it’s €30/m. We found some amazing pieces and came home with a few too!
In total I bought just under 30 metres of fabric. It was not a fun trip lugging that back home!
Note to self- bringing a larger luggage bag and someone strong enough to carry it next time!
Vintage shopping was a bit different! (My hairdresser actually suggested it when I was getting my roots done the week before…). We headed to Le Marais where vintage shops are plentiful and aimed to get to at least one of the three Free’p’star branches where I’d been advised some great bargains were to be had (they have €1 bargain bins). Don’t just go there though! We wandered around the area and there were lots of vintage shops around! I think the stock available in Paris was generally a bit better than here in London. It helped that there were many stores within a small radius- increased our chances of finding something good! I ended up picking out a cream open knit sweater and Cat found a cool midi length skirt (with stitching you just can’t get nowadays!) for just €5 each.
Get off the metro at Anvers or Pigalle for shopping in the main fabric store area.
Get off at Bastille for Mahlia Kent/ Le Viaduc des Arts.
Get off at Hôtel de Ville for Le Marais