If the flashy high-end boutiques of the rue Saint-Honoré or Saint-Germain aren’t really your (or your wallet’s) thing and you prefer your clothes, bags, shoes, and accessories to have a bit of history behind them, you’ll want to be make a beeline for Paris’ finest vintage stores. Here we’ve gathered together nine of the best for your perusal, spread across the many outstanding shopping districts of the French capital.
Chinemachine | Courtesy of Chinemachine
Tucked away at the top of one of the 18th arrondissement’s coolest streets, Chinemachine is a beloved Montmartre institution. Everything in the boutique is hand-picked, and there’s sure to be something in its regularly refreshed inventory to suit your taste and budget. On the men’s and women’s racks, there are luxury labels, the work of local designers, jeans, leathers, the best of the high street as well as one-of-a-kind pieces. If you have some clothes that you think might suit its eclectic mix, you can take them along on Monday to Thursday and see if you can trade them in for cash or store credit.
There’s nothing like a bit of celebrity endorsement to bolster a brand’s reputation, and British pop singer Paloma Faith—known for her own distinctive vintage style—has done just that for Mamie Blue. More than just a retro clothing store, Mamie Blue provides makeovers and styling, including hair and makeup, a restoration and alteration service, and guidance with costume creation to help you achieve the perfect look for your fancy dress party. The store has clothes to fit every significant cultural era from 1900 to 1980.
The Kilo Shop concept is simple: choose it, weigh it, buy it. Everything in the store—jeans, furs, accessories, you name it—is color-coded according to its value, and the final price is a function of the weight of the items per color group. It’s a fun place to shop if you love fashion, and even more fun if you love math. The chain has four other locations in Paris as well as shops across France.
Tilt Vintage specializes in the four decades between the 1960s and 1990s and also runs a large online operation. The clothes are reasonably priced and in mint or near-mint condition. New arrivals come in on Thursdays, so time your shopping outing accordingly to get the pick of the bunch.
Thanx God I’m A V.I.P. (a.k.a TGV) is a 400-square-meter luxury vintage boutique with an exquisite selection of clothing and accessories that are meticulously chosen, diligently cared for, and helpfully color-coordinated for easy browsing. Its present incarnation just west of the Place de la Republique in the 10th arrondissement is the culmination of more than 20 years of experience in the Parisian fashion and nightlife industries by owners Sylvie Chateigner and Amnaye Nhas. Since joining personal and professional forces in 2005, the couple has built a formidable business that combines their passion for killer threads and beats, making it a must-visit destination in the French capital for lovers of both seeking new inspiration.
Those with the will to dig for buried treasure will be well rewarded at Free’P’Star, and nowhere is this truer than in their one euro bins. There’s a lot on offer for men and women crammed into a small space so take your time and sift to your heart’s content.
Colorful rails at Rose Market Vintage | Courtesy of Rose Market Vintage
The Rose Market Boutique is an haute couture vintage clothing store carrying pieces from all the famous fashion houses you can name: Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy—the list of luxury labels on hand is practically endless. You can also shop for timeless dresses, suits, skirts, coats, bags, and more on their carefully curated website.
Kiliwatch Paris has developed its brand in Paris over the past 20 years. It combines quality second-hand pieces gathered from around the globe, featuring major names like Christian Lacroix, Paul Smith, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Isabel Marant, with exciting new designs from up-and-coming fashion stars. There’s an unbelievable amount to discover across its 600 square meters, so think about setting aside some serious shopping time to get the most out of your visit.
The last store on our rundown also happens to be the one with the most perfectly to-the-point name: Vintage Clothing Paris. The simplicity of the name is reflected in the effortless elegance of the high-end range of womenswear available in this 11th arrondissement gem.