10 Stores to Fly to Paris For
Merci's been buzzing for a few years now, but this all-in-one stationery shop, cafe, restaurant, home goods store, vintage boutique and young designer emporium really does live up to the hype. I love that you can spend an entire afternoon here without feeling like you're in the way. Oh, and it's also a charity shop—which means profits go to, well, charities. Buy an Isabel Marant blouse and a few notebooks, then sit out front and have a cappuccino. You'll love it.
111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris Metro: Saint-Sebastien Froissart Open: 10-7, Monday-Saturday www.merci-merci.com
The Parisian jewelry designer just recently opened her first-ever boutique on the Left Bank, in Saint Germain des Pres. The whole thing is very 1950s-inspired, with a striped awning and hits of teal and coral accenting the fixtures. If you never tire of Bidermann's incredible Du Brasil friendship bracelets, I suggest buying one here. Is there a better Paris souvenir?
55 Rue des Saints-Peres 75006 Paris Metro: Saint-Germain des Pres www.aureliebidermann.com Courtesy of Aurelie Bidermann
The new location in the Marais is made for those who like Steven Alan, Monocle and Wes Anderson movies. In that order. While they stock plenty of outside labels—including Boy. by Band of Outsiders—I was particularly impressed with French Trotters' own collection of 70s-inspired staples for both men and women. I also liked their home goods section, stocked with classic French linens and antique wire baskets.
128 rue Vieille du Temple Paris 75003 Paris Metro: Filles du Calvaire Open: 2.30-7.30 Monday; 11.30-8 Tuesday-Saturday; 2-7 Sunday www.frenchtrotters.fr
Before Colette, there was L'Eclaireur, a chain of "concept" stores that look more like art installations than boutiques. The clothes themselves are often like works of art, too. Here you'll find established-but-still-cool brands such as Damir Doma, Giles, Comme des Garcons and Haider Ackermann.
40 Rue de Sevigne 75004 Paris Metro: Saint-Paul Open: 11-7, Monday-Saturday www.leclaireur.com
The bookstore of my dreams, 0Fr. stocks plenty of cool indie magazines—The Plant, Mark, Self Service, Bon—and tons of great art, fashion and architecture tomes. But there's also a charming selection of fashion and home goods. I especially liked the delicately-scented Quotidiano Brillante candle (an in-house production), pastel wood frame sunglasses by Waiting for the Sun and Carre Royal leather wallets. There's also a tiny gallery in the back.
20 Rue Dupetit-Thouars 75003 Paris Metro: Temple Open: 10-8, Monday-Saturday; 2-7, Sunday www.ofrsystem.com
Sure, it's filled with tourists. Crazy tourists. But they're crazy with reason. Colette is so fun. Study the windows, which are always crazy-amazing, then head straight upstairs to the designer merch. (The best of Proenza, Nicholas Kirkwood and Céline.) Check out the gallery space—there's always something good going on—and then make your way back downstairs through the crowds. Take a look at the Japanese t-shirts, the sneaker collection, the beautiful art books, then head to the register, where you can buy a "surprise mix" of goodies—teeny toys, lip balm, stickers—for 25 euro. It feels special, which is why Colette is as popular now as it was when it opened 15 years ago.
213 Rue Saint-Honore, 75001 Paris Metro: Tuileries Open: 10-7, Monday-Saturday www.colette.fr
Le Bon Marche:
Yes, you should peruse the clothing section of this 160-year-old department store—they've got an entire section devoted to designer lingerie lines, including Marni!—but it's really the epicerie that makes me happy. Stocked with fresh juices, the best charcuterie, dozens upon dozens of olive varieties, it's fun to stop by and just walk around. Pick up a sandwich, some chocolates and sit in the park nearby, watching locals mill about this very real (if very fancy) neighborhood.
24 Rue de Sevres, 75007 Paris Metro: Sevres Babylone Open: 10-8 Monday-Wednesday, Saturday; 10-9 Thursday-Friday www.lebonmarche.com
Owned by H and M, COS is where all the fashion editors go to buy minimalist-cool dresses, coats and trousers. (It's filled with mohair sweaters, white button-ups and black pencil skirts, not crazy fast-fashion prints.)
I kind of don't want it to open in the US, because then it won't be so special.
4 Rue des Rosiers, 75003 Paris Metro: Saint-Paul Open: 10-7 Monday-Saturday www.cosstores.com
So, this is a grocery store. Not like Le Bon Marche's fancy epicerie, but a regular old grocery store, where they sell Nutella and other normal French things.
However, they also sell clothes. Really great clothes that are affordable, too. This time around, I picked up a Chloe-inspired broderie anglaise top for 35 euros. There's also a great apothecary section where you can find all those French pharmacy classics like Embryolisse Lait-Creme.
Go to Monoprix.fr for locations.
You can get Mariage Freres tea in the US, but only at a few retailers, which means visiting one of the dark, moody stores in Paris is totally worth the experience. Plus, you have more to choose from: there are multiple types of Darjeeling, multiple types of jasmine: it's like the Jo Malone of teas. And so very, very French.
Got to Mariagefreres.com for locations.