French Retail Therapy

One of the things I look forward to most when I return to Paris is visiting my favourite stores for a little retail therapy.

I know, I know, it isn’t French, but in my mind, there’s nowhere better to shop for well-cut basics and fun on-trend pieces. And the best part is, whether your purchase makes it into your weekly wardrobe rotation (like the made-for-me black jeans I bought last January), or comes out to play only when one is in a particularly frivolous mood (like that fluoro yellow blazer, for example) – the price is low enough that you never encounter post-shopping spree guilt.

And there’s just something so appealing about the navy blue and tan paper carrier bags. Zara recently opened a store on Bourke Street, but the strength of the Australian dollar seems to have elevated the prices without a corresponding change in quality, and for me, the magic just isn’t there as it is in Paris.

Kookai in Australia has long been a favourite haunt of mine, because of their forgiving fabrics, range of staples in every colour under the sun and regular heavy discounting. But I was unprepared for just how much I was going to love the French version. Whilst the layout and overall feel of the store was familiar, the fabrics and style leans decidedly more towards pleasing a French audience than an Australian one, which is fine by me.

On my first trip to Paris I fell instantly in love – with a gorgeous taupe leather jacket. At full price it was sadly, a little outside of my holiday shopping budget but the mercy of summer sales prevailed and by week three of my Parisian stay it was mine. To this day, I never manage to wear it a full day without someone commenting on it, and asking where I bought it.

Comptoir des Cotonniers
When I’m in the mood for something a little more special, like a new dress, this is my first stop. Their use of quirky fabrics and a variety of silhouettes means there’s a look to suit just about any body. Their mid-season trench coats always rank high on my wish list, and on my most recent trip to Paris I picked up a gorgeous mad-men-esque cinched-waist patterned dress, that never fails to lift my mood on a dreary day. And isn’t the name just super fun to say?

Where do you head to first when you’re in the mood for some retail therapy in Paris?


Window shopping image courtesy of Joe Shlabotnik on Flickr.
Zara store image courtesy of Richard, enjoy my life! on Flickr.
Comptoir des cotonniers store image courtesy of whistlepunch on Flickr. 


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