Rachel Khoo

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Posted by Rachel

May 1st, 2013

Hunting for (vintage) bargains

Antiquities market in Paris

In Paris, there’s a real art to vintage shopping. And I’ve found that practice makes perfect! When I first moved to Paris, I was on a tight budget, so I did almost all my shopping at vintage, charity and second hand shops and at the various different flea markets. I’m one to love digging around in a pile of stuff to find a treasure and I’m not shy of haggling for a better price either!

Today I still try to do most of my clothes shopping at vintage markets and boutiques, both to keep the price down, and also to try to add some unique pieces to my wardrobe. I’ve always been a fan of buying vintage clothes, and combining them with high-street pieces as well as the occasional extra-special purchase.

And why stop at clothes? Keeping an eye out for vintage or second-second bits and bobs opens up opportunities to source cute finds for your kitchen and home too.

Basically when it comes to vintage shopping in France, you can either hunt down little vintage boutiques (which are mostly tucked away in amidst other boutique shops and regular high-street stores), visit a brocante, take a trip to one of the many puces (flea markets), or check out a vide grenier (France’s version of a car boot sale, minus the car). Here’s my run-down on vintage shopping in Paris:

Boutiques

This is by no means as extensive list of the vintage haunts in Paris, just some that I love. And keep an eye out for vintage salons and fairs too.

Kilo-Shop (your purchases are weighed by the kilo to determine the price)
125 Boulevard Saint-Germain
75006, Paris

J’y Troque (good second-hand jackets and often you’ll find Isabel Marant pieces)
7 rue Villedo
75001 Paris

Coiffeur Vintage
32, Rue de Rosiers
75004 Paris

Free ‘P’ Star
8 rue Ste-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie
75004 Paris

Fripes Star
1, Rue de la Verrerie
75004 Paris

Omaya Vintage
29 Rue Jean Pierre-Timbaud
75011 Paris

Emmaüs
There quite a few of these charity shops dotted around Paris (map here).

Les Puces (flea markets)

My tip? To boost your chances of having a successful trip to a flea market, you need to arrive with the right attitude. Sometimes, you’ll find  a whole bunch of fabulous pieces and instantly fall in love, other times – you’ll leave empty handed. Best to not have too high expectations – rather, focus on soaking up the atmosphere and aim to have fun.

In the north of Paris you’ll find flea market heaven – the Marché aux puces de Saint-Ouen. Keep a careful eye on your wallets, and be prepared to be overwhelmed at how big the markets are!

Another tip: if you need a break from bargain hunting, the Pierre Cardin museum is located at the Puces de Saint Ouen (open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 2pm to 5pm).

Sunny vintage pieces in Paris

Brocantes

Paris (and the rest of France for that matter…I found some fabulous second-hand finds in Bordeaux recently) is home to a huge array of fantastic brocantes. These weekly markets are always packed full of second-hand books, tea cups, beautiful cutlery in perfect condition … really any kind of trinket you could hope for. You can find out when and the where to find the next brocante in Paris here.

Bits and bobs from a brocante in Bordeaux

Brocantes are usually stocked with good-quality stock (so you don’t have to rifle through odds and ends), therefore this can mean that the price point is higher than your regular vintage market. Although, if you can visit a brocante outside of Paris, you’ll notice a huge drop in prices! I find them especially good for adding to my (never-ending) tea cup collection :)

 

 Vide greniers

Vide grenier season is back! Now that the weather is warming up, keep an eye out for notices advertising local pop-up  markets. I’m a big fan of hunting for a bargain at a French version of a car boot sale, and a lot of trinkets in my Paris apartment and kitchen I’ve sourced from vide greniers in my quartier.

I find the Brocabrac iPhone app handy (you can search for the antique markets and vide greniers that are scheduled in your neighbourhood).

Happy bargain hunting!

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6 thoughts on “Hunting for (vintage) bargains

  1. Off to Paris with my 5 year old daughter this weekend, looking forward to visiting many of the places you recommend. As my daughter keeps saying we are going to Rachel Khoo’s Paris. You have really inspired a liitle girl to cook Rachel.

  2. Love your work . Very inspiring!
    Can’t wait for my next trip to Paris .
    You make it all seem that much closer fom Australia .

  3. Im heading to Paris for the first time, in this coming February, 2014

    Any advises or recommendations for good places and other good vintage/antique shops?

    Thanks :)

  4. hi there great blog, nice to share what u know, im looking to buy for selling mainly vintage clothing and jewellery where wd u recommend for this? xx

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