It’s that time of year again. SALES! Or soldes, in French.
If you come from the English speaking world where sales happen routinely, you might wonder why we are excited. Sure, you have your Winter Sale, Summer Sale, Boxing Day/Post Christmas Sale, Black Friday Sale, Stocktake Sale and any other time of year that a shop hosts a sale. But France is different (surprise). Like bread prices and cheese names, even the sales are state-regulated and happen only twice a year, running for about 6 weeks.
This year the Winter Sale is from 7 January to 17 February and the Summer Sale go from 24 June to 4 August.
As we are in the Winter Sale season, we thought it would be a good time to give you a few tips about the sales and a few recommendations.
If you are in France, why not get something French. There’s nothing more disappointing than thinking you’ve snagged yourself a unique, exotic sweater from wherever you’re visiting only to get home and realize that it’s sold in the store just around the corner. To help you out we’ve got a few recommendations of stores that we love that are also quintessentially French and not likely to be found in your local mall.
- MARCEL ET MARCEL
Truly a one of a kind boutique, there is no other store in the world beyond the one in the Marais. They don't even have a website. It has been around for 9 years and full of quality clothes for men, both dressy and casual, but above all fashionable. Service is delightful and the sale prices fall below 100 euros on items that we’d usually only dream of the rest of the year.
48, rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris
One of the nice things about this brand is that everything is created in Paris and only available in France. With their elegant, basic designs and well cut clothes there is something for men of all ages.
28, rue du Temple, 75004 Paris / 56, rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 Paris / 11, rue de Birague, 75004 Paris / 22, rue de l’Odéon, 75006 Paris
If your wardrobe needs some edge or a splash of color, then this dandy-inspired shop is for you. Even though this brand is available in a few places outside France, why not get it from the source? All their clothing is designed and manufactured in Paris – how’s that for local?
22 Rue du Temple, 75004 Paris
TIPS FOR THE UNSEASONED SALES SHOPPER
- Hardcore fans of the sales will be there at 8am on the first day to get all the things they’ve had their eyes on at discount prices. Our advice, if you see something you like in your size, TAKE IT! It may not be there when you get back if you stop to think about it.
- The discounts increase as the sales continue with stores doing 2nd and 3rd markdowns. As of this publication, the second week of sales has already begun and a number of stores will have moved to their second markdown, making the bargains even better. It can’t hurt to look, right?
- Go upmarket during the sales. Items that might normally seem way out of your range could be marked down to appropriate prices. That cute little boutique that seems better suited to oil tycoons and their entourages might have something for you during the sales.