Lindsey Tramuta writes about her life in Paris for her own website, lostincheeseland.com as well as for the New York Times and its T Style magazine, the Wall Street Journal and other publications. Tramuta covers everything from exploring Paris with children to much-anticipated openings—from gallery exhibitions to hotels and restaurants—and we asked her to share some insights on shopping in the City of Light.
Q: How long have you lived in Paris? What neighborhood do you live in?
A: I’m in my eighth year as a Parisian (and as of May, officially a French citizen!) and it’s also my eighth year as a resident of the 11th arrondissement; specifically, the Oberkampf section.
Q: What has been the biggest surprise about shopping in Paris?
A: Over the last eight years, I’ve watched the shopping options and brands veer from largely French with an emerging, wider European presence to predominantly international – travelers that live in or near major world cities (New York, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, etc) will notice many of the same brands in Paris that they’re likely to find at home. While globalization has been great for French clothing brands who now have outposts in a number of international cities, it also means a little more leg work is necessary to find the independent shops with truly original wares. Once you know and accept that, the shopping fun across the city can begin!
Q: Is it really possible to find deals at the famous Soldes?
A: Absolutely! But the key is to go in the first couple of weeks when the stocks of discounted items are plentiful. The promotions get more robust as the weeks go on but quantities are extremely limited so harder to find something special. The other trick is to sign up for your favorite brands’ newsletters and get alerted when they open up promotions in private sales, before the soldes officially begin. I’ve snagged a number of items that way and avoided the crowds altogether.
Photo: Shoka Muraguchi