Wandering and Window Shopping in the Marais and St. Germain-des-pres

In the interest of time, I did not go in to many stores but I was able to do some window shopping, while strolling through the Marais and St. Germain arrondissements.

I did visit one boutique in the Marais called L’Eclaireur. It is renown for being very exclusive and very cutting edge in terms of fashion. In the Kevin Kwan novel, Crazy Rich Girlfriends, which is the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians, the characters have a private showing at L’EclaireurCome to think of it, the only customers in the store with me were Asians–and perhaps they were crazy rich, as they were trying on crazy expensive clothing! The boutique is as much about avant garde decor as it is about high end fashion. I enjoyed perusing the racks of very beautiful designer clothing.

40 rue de Sévigné, 75003

LECLAIREUR Sévigné 40 rue de Sévigné, 75003 Paris 


Sandro  50 Rue Vieille du Temple, Paris   https://fr.sandro-paris.com/fr/femme/

Sandro is an on trend, youthful clothing line that is available in the US, but it began in the Marais on a street named Vielle du Temple, a good street for window shopping, lined with many tempting boutiques. Here are some outfits from their fall line.


Indies75 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003, Paris   https://www.indies.fr/fr/lookbook

I passed by Indies without going in and thought the windows looked promising, so will have to return to browse at leisure. I found a sampling of the winter collection online.

56 rue Vieille du Temple, 75003

Hartford56 rue Vieille du Temple 75003, Paris      https://www.hartford.fr/#

Hartford is a clothing line also available in the US but it was first launched in France. Here you find American classics re-interpreted and imbued with a Parisian je ne sais quoi.

Another store that looked promising is called Ba&sh.   106 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 Paris. https://ba-sh.com/us/collection/.

It has stores worldwide, including in the US. 

In the Marais, I was strolling down rue des Rosiers , which has lots of falafel restaurants and interesting boutiques.

Rue des Rosiers
Rue des Rosiers

On one corner of rue des Rosiers is Crea Concept, a boutique of separates for those skilled in layering. I first encountered this brand in Chinatown in Honolulu (yes, I know, an example of the globalization of fashion!). It was a beautiful black cardigan with interesting detail and asymmetry that will prove to be timeless. I was happy to find an entire store of such items, arranged by color and pattern.

store front

Crea Concepts 2 bis, rue des Rosiers 75004 Paris    http://www.creaconcept.com/

7179148878_cdfff9b160_o (1)

This is a selection from their Fall/Winter 2018 line, with an easy fit, over sized silhouettes, and lots of layering.

Just around the corner from Crea Concept, I popped into a store, intrigued by its colorful windows. It is a Spanish store, Bimba y Lola and this fall’s collection is called The Dream. It’s youthful and fun, with color and patterns, along with bags and accessories.


Bimba y Lola  17 Rue Pavee 75004, Paris   https://www.bimbaylola.com/es_en/lookbook-collection-fw18-19

This is a sampling of their fall/winter 2018 line.

Onward to St. Germain-des-Pres, where the first stop was at an Arche boutique to pick up a pair of boots for the rain– that never materialized. Arche proves that you don’t need to sacrifice style to get comfort. While Arche is available in the US, you can enjoy some savings by shopping in Paris, where there are several boutiques.


Arche 93 rue de Seine 75006 Paris.  https://www.arche.com/univers/collection.html

Maje is a sister boutique, literally, started by Sandro’s sister. There is an outlet in St. Germain, Maje Stock, on a street named Rue du Cherche-Midi, that also has a Robert Clergerie shoe store.

6 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 Paris, France

Maje Stock,9 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006    https://fr.maje.com/

These photos are from the current Maje fall line.

Robert Clergerie 5 Rue du Cherche-Midi     https://www.clergerieparis.com/

It’s very clear that Paris will always have many more boutiques worth investigating! 

Michel Léger, Paris Boutique, St. Germain-des-Prés

Happenstance led me to discover another designer, Michel Léger, while wandering around the Left Bank, on my way to Mariage Frères, where I sipped my favorite tea and nibbled on pastries.


Michel Léger greeted me warmly and enjoyed showing me his simple and unstructured separates in natural fabrics like silk, wool, linen and a beautiful high end synthetic with the drape of a wool crepe. These are easy to wear, throw on pieces that are both classic and elegant. The sizing is very generous and forgiving. Neutrals coordinated beautifully with prints and strong colors and helped them pop. There are complimentary scarves as well. Kyoko was the charming salesperson from Japan who helped me, and who confessed that her dream is to visit San Francisco!


The boutique is on the ground floor of a 17th century building in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Pres, at 19 rue des Grands-Augustins, Paris 6th.

After shopping, you can rest your feet and have tea at the nearby Mariage Frères.




Reciproque, a consignment store disappointment


IMG_3947.jpgReciproque is the largest luxury designer consignment store in Paris, with over 7,500 square feet of sales space. It’s touted as the destination for designer bargains and not to be missed if you are a lover of fashion. I would have to demur and say, yes, it can be missed.

I trudged up to the 16th arrondissement with great anticipation.


I found rooms stuffed with tired, outdated designer stuff.



The prices were not that tempting. While it’s true that they are well stocked, (i.e. lots of Hermes scarves) Reciproque’s jammed packed inventory does not invite the thrill of the hunt but instead seemed like too much work. So after a cursory review of the goods, I left empty handed and disappointed.

I went across the street to see their luxury jewelry store, but again, was disappointed with the selections, which all seemed like costume jewelry.

Perhaps one needs to keep on checking back for fresh merchandise. It’s obvious that I will need to return to Paris to scout out other more promising consignment stores.