November 22, 2017Posted by Bethany Larson Bloch
When it comes to shopping, Paris is a goldmine. In fact, the options can be downright overwhelming. Instead of fretting over where to go for the best duds and accessories, follow Paris resident Haleigh Walsworth’s suggestions, and hit up these independent boutiques.
Alexandra Sofjer is a third-generation designer who decided to buy one of Paris’s oldest umbrella shops on Boulevard Saint-Germain in 2002 and has since grown it into the whimsical universe of fine objects it is today. The store is filled with exceptionally designed umbrellas, parasols, walking sticks and various leather goods such as gloves. Alexandra uses the finest of materials including ostrich skin, ebony, snakewood, organza, silk and crystals to assemble these elegant objects that are part utilitarian and part works of art. After investing in one of her pieces, rainy days don’t seem half so gloomy anymore.
Any vintage collector or admirer must pay a visit to Didier Ludot. Specializing in high-end labels, this is the place to find vintage French couture and high-end ready-to-wear from Chanel, Christian Lacroix, Balmain, Lanvin and more. One of The HUNT Paris writer Haleigh Walsworth’s favorite selections here is the racks of little black dresses, an essential wardrobe piece for every woman. And every woman is guaranteed to find something top-of-the-line and one-of-a-kind in Ludot’s fabulous treasury. Once you’ve fitted yourself out in some chic Parisian attire, the Palais Royal is just the right place to debut your new look.
Ask me who the best dressed men in Europe are and Haleigh would say the Italians. Though with the work of Editions M.R., the Parisians are giving them a run for their money. The simple and classic aesthetic of the designers focuses on top-notch materials and tailoring aimed at giving men long and slender silhouettes. Haleigh’s not sure how they manage it, but much to the delight of the wallets of the dapper gentlemen who suit up here, the prices are about a third of items of comparable quality from top luxury fashion houses. The handsome founders have already featured in Paris Fashion Week and are definitely ones to watch.
Haleigh fell in love with Fifi Chachnil back in California. She worked in a small lingerie shop and the buyer came home from Paris with some French underthings from Fifi’s boutique, and it was love at first sight. Fifi’s pastel silks and chiffons with vintage fits know how to flatter and support a real woman’s body. Nowhere is Fifi’s world of inspiration more evident than in her Rue Saint-Honoré shop with its boudoir décor. Tucked away off the street, it’s private and girly, and the staff is always happy for you to embrace your feminine side trying on marabou trimmed robes, silk corsets and ruffled knickers. When in need of something pretty, Fifi should be your stop.
La Cerise Sur Le Chapeau
From canotiers to berets to bonnets, the French are people of many hats. To invest in a piece of Parisian-made headwear, make your way to La Cerise Sur Le Chapeau. What’s so special? All the hats can be customized for you in store and, when the daily demand isn’t too high, completed right before your eyes. You can select from straw or wool options, and top them off with your choice of ribbons, feathers and other decorative touches. Just hand your selections to their hat makers and they’ll whip everything together for you in no time.
Pour Vos Beaux Yeux
It took Haleigh a while to figure out why Paris has so many stores selling spectacles, but apparently everyone’s glasses are subsidized by the French healthcare system, so it’s essentially their birthright to sport great designer eyewear. Amongst all the options though, there’s no other like Pour Vos Beaux Yeux. Their impeccably sourced vintage stock features the likes of Dior, Chanel, YSL, Balenciaga and Persol from decades past that you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Each drawer is organized by brand and decade, and the friendly staff is always happy for you to try as many pairs as you like until you find that something to complement your beaux yeux.
About The HUNT Paris Writer: Haleigh Walsworth is a writer and photographer who moved to Paris on a whim. A bit of a romantic, she thought it would be the perfect place to live. Now a true Francophile, she feels more at home in the French capital than in her native California. Most of her time is spent producing lifestyle content for French fashion and beauty houses. When not at work in Paris or abroad, you can find her at home drinking lots of tea and writing short stories.