It is only fitting to start off my first post in the New Year to talk about shopping and Paris – two of my favorite things! The tourist crowds are gone and yes, the weather is cold (but not as bad as New York!) but deals are to be had. Winter sales started this past Wednesday in the city of lights (a bit earlier this January than past years) and will last for five weeks so if you are looking for an excuse to fly across the Atlantic, this is it! If you need a further incentive, just look at the low airfares and steep hotel discounts on Orbitz (or a chance to check out the new wing and rooms at the Bristol!).
According to Bonjour Paris, a terrific up-to-date online resource devoted to everything that is Paris (including indispensible shopping tips), dates of sales in Paris and across France are now to be standardized so no more guessing games. Winter sales will begin on the second Wednesday of January unless it falls after the 12th and will continue for five weeks rather than six.
If you need a bit of hand holding or are overwhelmed about where to start, look no further than PrivateChicShopping (part of French Links, which I wrote about last month in my culinary blog, which also does incredible chocolate tours) for private shopping guides and tours. They will customize your shopping experience to whatever your heart desires.
If you want to shop like a Parisian, make a pit stop at Tati (24, boulevard Rochechouart) the capital’s discount department store – it’s loved by everyone from Catherine Deneuve to Sonia Rykiel. No designer names but you can be sure to find something chic. Then, stop at the new concept store that opened last June – Merci (111, boulevard Beaumarchais), a loft-like boutique created by the owners of Bonpoint, to pick up some vintage or designer items. They also have books, home furnishings and accessories. Feel free to go crazy and feel good about it – all the profits go to charities.