Paris is famous for its high-end fashion, but it is also a great destination for thrift and vintage shopping enthusiasts. While you can indulge in luxury shopping at the upscale boutiques located on Rue Saint-Germain, many vintage shops offer affordable couture items with a rich history. If you are a bargain hunter, read on to learn about some of the best thrift stores to visit in the City of Light.
However, it is important to note there are many, many thrift stores in Paris, and everyone will have their favorites. These stores were selected based on their consistently high ratings, diverse clothing options, and reasonable or sometimes extravagant prices. Moreover, they come highly recommended by popular travel sites and guidebooks.
100 rue des Martyrs, 75018
Located in the legendary Montmartre art district, the Chinemachine is a colorful shop that sells handpicked clothes for men and women. They have an incredible collection of unusual and vintage clothes, including clothing you will not find anywhere else.
The vintage shop has a spiral staircase leading down to a packed basement for those who enjoy digging during thrifting. Chinemachine also buys clothes from customers and issues either store credit or cash. Furthermore, their prices on most items are typically below twenty euros.
32 rue de Maubeuge, 9e
The Red Cross has a number of Croix Rouge (Red Cross) charity shops throughout the city. Volunteers sort through donations, ensure that everything is in good condition, and sell items for ten percent of the original price. All of the Croix Rouge's profits are used to help the poor and disadvantaged.
While it might not be the best place to find vintage clothing, you will find recent clothing, sometimes designer, for incredible prices. While prices vary, skirts range from 3€-5€, dresses cost €5 or €6, and most shoes are priced around €7. Furthermore, these shops also sell music and videos. However, DVDs from Europe require an all-region DVD player.
20 rue de Rivoli, 75004
While the three Free’p’Star stores in Paris are unorganized and almost always crowded, Parisians love these stores for their eccentric fashions and low prices. This store chain focuses on clothes from the 1970s through the 1990s, but there is a variety of choices for men and women. Furthermore, there are great deals with most items priced between €5-€15, including for name-brand items.
The Hippy Market
41 Rue du Temple, 75004
There are four Hippy Market shops in Paris. While the items sold in their shops are more expensive than those sold at other thrift shops, they have a large collection of vintage items from all decades, but especially the 1960s and 1970s. As a result, they focus on “Flower Power” fashion by selling hippy staples like incense and tie-dye t-shirts. Apart from used or vintage clothing, they also stock new items.
They also offer a 10 percent student discount. Furthermore, if you get hungry, you can eat there, too. Open seven days a week, the most popular Paris location is near the Sacré-Cœur. There are also locations near the Hotel Paris Bastille and Hôtel Bastille Speria, two popular tourist hotels in the city.
The King of Frip
33 Rue du Roi de Sicile, 75004
The King of Frip is another popular thrift store located in the City of Light. It is usually crowded, but shoppers report finding designer brands like Burberry at reasonable prices. The store sells clothes for both men and women and also has an impressive collection of accessories. Most of the items in the store are priced between €5 and €10. The store's funky atmosphere is a major draw for both locals and tourists.
39 Rue Labrouste, Paris, 75015
Many of the shops on our list are small and crowded, but Ding Fring is a thrift chain that offers large stores with plenty of space. You can find large bins full of clothes for as little as €2. The chain has seventy-three stores in France and offers a loyalty card, so if you plan to travel in France, you can visit more than one store and take advantage of the benefits of the loyalty program.
32 Rue des Rosiers, 75004
While the storefront looks like a hair salon, and the name means “coiffeur,” the Vintage Désir thrift shop in Marias is actually a beloved vintage store. This shop is bursting with cheaply priced finds, from dresses to leather jackets. In addition to the clothes, the shop also has a huge variety of accessories. New items come in to the shop every day, which is probably why it is always busy.
57 Rue Condorcet, 75009
If you are looking for high-end vintage fashion, Retro Chic has gently used couture, everything from Chanel bags to vintage Yves Saint Laurent jackets. It is costly; however, Parisian influencers sing the store's praises. French fashionistas even gave it a shoutout in French Vogue.
In a story straight out of a French film, the owner, Yan Durand, began wearing vintage clothes at the age of 12. When he moved to Paris at the age of fifteen, he worked in a high-end department store and discovered he had a gift for dealing with wealthy clients. Durand established his store in 2012, which also has an impressive website.
Tips for Thrift Shopping in Paris
Whether thrifting in Paris or your local thrift shops, here are some tips for a smoother thrift store shopping experience.
- Make sure to plan your thrift day with ample time for treasure hunting to avoid feeling rushed and increase your chances of finding that special piece. If the thrift store has a website, it may be helpful to check their online inventory for available items.
- If you are going to multiple places, it helps to bring a large shopping bag or backpack. Not only will you be helping the environment by not using store bags, but it will be easier to carry your finds.
- When you go on a trip to another country and plan on buying clothes from thrift shops, it is important to know your exact measurements. Clothing brands can differ greatly, and Europe uses a different sizing system compared to the United States. It is recommended to try on clothes when shopping abroad, but if you know your measurements and can assess the fit of the clothes, you can save some time in the dressing room.
- Seasoned travelers and thrifters probably already know this, but be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing, especially if you will be shopping all day.
If you are traveling to Paris, or if you are lucky enough to live there, many wonderful thrift shops are catering to every kind of thrifter. Whether you're searching for vintage styles or a deal on name-brand items, you'll find something, even if it is unexpected.
As a seasoned thrift shopper, you know that half the fun of it is the excitement of discovering hidden gems. Not only is thrift shopping budget-friendly, but it can also result in some amazing fashion finds. And if you happen to be in the fashion capital of Europe, then the possibilities are endless. So, bonne chance and happy thrifting!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©NicoElNino/Shutterstock.com.