We’ve hit those winter weeks when the ceaseless cold has us both frustrated and bored by repeating the same “closet staple” warm sweater. How to spruce up the wardrobe to survive through March? Head to the Marais for fabulous vintage fur.
Chanel’s Fall-Winter collection for this season suggested we dress as couture-conscious Antarcticans. Observing the voluminous, plush, line of lavishly fur-trimmed vests, coated boots and cropped-then-belted fur coats made me want to snuggle and glare with jealously at the same time. While I surely can’t afford a single strand of Chanel’s mink, let alone a full accessory, I’ve found ways of paying homage to Lagerfeld’s ascetic for the season.
RAG, a vintage gem tucked in the Marais, has an amazing selection of fur. Long coats, cropped shrugs, vests, lined boots, everything. Camel and grey toned neutrals are great accents when paired with the trés-classique Parisienne black leather boots. If you’re looking for volume, but don’t dare to embrace the fur trend, Rag also has a great selection of oversized sweaters. If the goal is Chanel-chic, skip the large button-up cardigans and look for thick turtlenecks. Fit is key- bulk does not equal volume! Perhaps one of my favorite features of Rag, though, is it’s collection of oh-so-trendy fedoras – every size, every color, every stripe width. They’re hung on the ceiling- don’t miss them!
HippyMarket is another great stop for structured jackets to replace cardigan button ups, large furry lapels and turtleneck capes. Though the store has a stronger costume-vintage flair, it’s bright and cheery array of pieces that span decades promises an enjoyable experience. This is the spot to find this season’s stiff winter dress, preferably with an open ¾ length sleeves that recall the 1950’s. Here, staffers are more than willing to help you put together and outfit and they’ll do it right. They’re fun and fabulously fashion-conscious. Shoot for a celebrity appearance on their facebook page here.
Allison & Sasha is the newcomer to the vintage fashion scene in the Marais. They offer the fresh, feminine edge more characteristic of boutiques than vintage hotspots. Handbag and shoe fanatics – consider yourselves warned and your Euros endangered. A unique feature: an incredible collection of pastel, babydoll nighties, négligées, and sexy black slips fit to clothe the cast of Mad Men for an entire season.
These are my three favorite options amongst the countless options spanning the Marais. For the ambitious, veteran vintage shoppers:
Free ‘P’ Star has anything and everything. A true vintage experience.
Killiwatch is a legend on the Parisian vintage scene, boasting Raybans, enough Levis and Pepe Jeans to clothe the city and the occasional Hermès scarf.
Episode is where to find great ascots and tapestry handbags. This is a well-known chain with second-hand boutiques all over Europe.
Shop one or all, you’ll be sure to find what you came for and the fantastic additions that you had no idea you needed.
Address : 83 rue Saint Martin , 75001 Paris
Métro: Les Halles, Rambuteau
Address : 3 rue de Turbigo, 75001 Paris
Allison & Sasha
Address: 16 rue Etienne Marcel, 75002 Paris (*3 other locations in Paris)
Métro: Étienne Marcel
Free ‘P’ Star
Address : 8 rue Sainte-croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris AND 61 rue de la Verrerie 75004 Paris
Métro : Hôtel de Ville
Address: 12- 16 Rue Tiquetonne, 75002 Paris
Métro: Étienne Marcel