© 2014; 2005 Connecting: Solo
Travel Network & Irene Woodbury. Information
Note: This article is reproduced here for inspirational value alone and will not normally be updated.
Therefore, all facts, figures, and author's opinions are subject to change as time goes on.
Update: January 2014
Paris Resale Shops – A Solo Travel Report
By Irene Woodbury
Every time I went to Paris, I looked for haute couture in all the wrong
places. I'd sit for hours in smoky cafes, studying Parisian women, hoping
to see traces of the legendary style shown in fashion magazines and films.
But the vast majority of looks were pared down and polished, with minimal
accessories – not the high voltage glamour I'd expected in Paris.
Then, on a recent trip, I decided to visit some of Paris' many resale (upscale
second-hand) shops. Voila! Here was the distinctive style I'd been searching
for – the dazzling designer creations usually seen in glossy magazines
or expensive boutiques. Looking at, touching, and trying on these beautifully
made items – in a hassle-free environment – was a "fashionista's" dream.
Most of the clothes in these shops (known as depots-vente) are European
or Japanese ready-to-wear, with a sprinkling of haute couture. Most pieces
are fairly new and in good condition; some are brand new designer samples.
They come in a variety of sizes and styles and generally cost a quarter
to a half of the original price: You can pick up a $3,000 Chanel suit for
$1,500 or a $1,000 Burberry coat for $250.
Men's Departments, Too
The shops are all over the city. Many have men's departments and most sell
shoes, belts, bags, scarves, and jewelry as well as clothes. Although a
few I visited had clothes that looked worn or faded and seemed too expensive,
the best offered a good balance of designer ready-to-wear pieces and more
affordable fashions from lesser known labels. Most of the shops are open
Tuesday-Saturday; some are closed in August.
- Réciproque, 88-101 rue de la Pompe, Paris 75016. Tel. 01-47-04-30-28.
Metro Stop: Rue de la Pompe. Located in the elite 16th arrondissement (district),
this is the grande dame of Paris resale shops. Its seven boutiques each
specialize in a different type of clothing, but coats, shoes, boots, accessories,
and men's clothing are among the best buys. I found a red tartan Christian
Lacroix suit for $385. I perused a rack of Chanel suits, sweaters and skirts
arranged by color. A raspberry boucle jacket was paired with a simple black
gabardine skirt for $811; another suit in classic pink wool with black
braiding around the collar and pockets was $825. On this floor also were
enough racks of Hermes, Prada, Thierry Mugler, Issey Miyake, Dior, John
Galliano, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana to make my head spin.
On the lower level, a half-dozen shoppers swarmed around shelves spilling
over with shoes and boots by Ferragamo, Karl Lagerfeld, Emanuel Ungaro,
Bruno Magli, Bally, Manolo Blahnik, Stephane Kelian, Miu Miu, and Dior.
The racks in the coat store bulged with wool and cashmere creations by
Hermes, Lacroix, Moschino, Versace, Dior, Prada, Burberry, Louis Vuitton,
In the accessories shop were glass shelves holding extensive collections
of Chanel, Dior, and Vuitton bags.
Depot Vente du 17eme (17th arrondissement), 109 rue de Courcelles, Paris
75017. Tel. 01-40-53-80-82. Metro Stop: Pereire or Courcelles. This large,
bright shop is in a sedate, middle-class area amid imposing, century-old
buildings. I followed a stream of elegant young women from these grand
On the well ordered racks, I spotted a crisp Armani black and white tweed
jacket priced at $220, an extravagant, navy, quilted silk Dior jacket for
$396, and an ankle length, lemon yellow Sonia Rykiel raincoat for $300.
Lesser known labels were priced well: jeans or black and beige pants were
$45 to $90 and jackets, $110. Everything was clean and in good condition,
and the sales staff was gracious.
Misentroc, 63 rue Notre-Dame des Champs, Paris 75006. Tel. 01-46-33-03-67.
Metro Stop: Notre-Dame des Champs. Located on a trendy Left Bank street
amid patisseries, boutiques, antique stores and cinemas, Misentroc offers
a dynamic mix of classically elegant fashions and trendier pieces. Glistening,
black lamb's leather skirts were $77 to $110; a whimsical white Lacroix
dress was $200; a chocolate brown cotton-eyelet blouse with a matching
skirt, $132; a sleek Vivienne Westwood dress, $143, and Versace jeans,
$50. While I tried on clothes, long-haired students and willowy actresses
wandered in – regulars who love Misentroc for its eclectic shopping, hip
location, and friendly atmosphere.
Alternatives, 18 rue du Roi de Sicile, Paris 75004. Tel. 01-42-78-31-50.
Metro Stop: St Paul. Located near the Place des Vosges in the bohemian-chic
Marais district, Alternatives offers a tempting mix of well priced designer,
ready-to-wear and lesser known labels.
In the designer category was an olive green silk, knee length Yohji Yamamoto
skirt for $440, while a peach colored Martine Sitbon cotton blouse was
$50. A sparkly but sporty Marc Jacobs pale blue blazer was $143; Louis
Vuitton, Hermes, and Prada trousers were priced from $92 and a staggeringly
chic, knee length, black skirt with flared hemline turned out to be Balenciaga
– at $143. Dresses, coats, bags, shoes, and men's clothing are also offered.
The small, well organized shop is surrounded by narrow streets full of
bistros, salons de thé, bars, and cafés.
My visits to Paris resale shops validated my lifelong fashion fantasies.
Haute couture is accessible to me, and I don't have to be a duchess or
a movie star to dress like the fabulously rich and famous.
>> From Debra LeCompte. What a kool site you have! I have found so many neat web sites and blogs since I started researching for my move to Kuwait. Look what I found this morning!
Con Fashions From Kuwait.
>> From Shelita Young. Thank you so much for sharing this information about the whereabouts and types of upscale clothing and their costs in "depots-vente" shops in Paris. They are better known as consignment shops.
>> From: Edna Ezonbodor. Fantastic! Very helpful. I have been looking for these shops for ages. Thank you.