Insider’s Guide to Vintage Shopping in Paris
Anyone who knows me personally knows that I love a good vintage store find. There’s just something about hunting through racks and piles of clothing to find that perfectly unique piece.
I’m sure I wouldn’t be alone if I mention that cringe-y feeling you get when you’re walking down the street and you see someone wearing almost exactly the same thing as you, most likely found at a chain store. The perfect way to avoid this is to head into a vintage or thrift shop, where the diversity can be a breathe of fresh air to your wardrobe.
Another bonus about vintage shopping that I love is that with consumerism being the norm in many societies, this is an alternative but stylish way to go green and help the environment.
There’s no shortage of vintage shops in Paris, as with any major city! That being said, sometimes the sheer volume of stores can feel overwhelming. I’ve done the heavy lifting for you all, after 5 years of living in this vintage treasure trove.
Keep on reading for my insider’s guide to vintage shopping in Paris!
Before you go
Before you hit the streets to go shopping, I always suggest that you take the time to create a list of what you are looking for. There have been so many times that I’ve gone on a shopping trip, and end up finding nothing at all because I don’t have an idea of my mission of the day. Too many choices without a clear sense of direction can be a recipe for disaster and also a waste of money if you end up buying something you eventually won’t have much use for!
If you’re not much of a list maker, at least try to find some photos of styles you like and that you’d like to emulate. Checking out websites like Tumblr or Instagram can inspire you it is normally where I start, if I want some help figuring out what styles I like.
Being open-minded and creative is also essential to having a successful day of shopping. I know that not all of you reading this are master seamstresses, but a simple cut and hem here and there can really go a long way!
Vintage shopping doesn’t necessarily need to be about digging through piles of clothing to find what you’re looking for (although for me, this can be my favorite part!). There are many shops in Paris that have done the hard work for you, and really curate their selection. Let’s check them out below.
1. Thanx God I’m a V.I.P.
While this store is definitely on the high end of my budget, their selection and organization is definitely a plus.
The store is owned and run by a former night life organizer, which may be one of the reasons why there is such a cool and trendy vibe here, as soon as you walk in the door!
With racks color coordinated to the extreme, Thanx God is an OCD lovers paradise. Everything in the shop is of very good quality, making their collection ready to wear, right from the rack.
Expect to pay between 100-300 euros for a single item in this shop.
12 Rue de Lancry, 75010
Open: Tuesday-Saturday 2pm-8pm; Closed Sunday and Monday
2. Rose Market Vintage
Rose Market Vintage specializes in haute couture pieces from the likes of Celine, Chanel and Dior. This shop is also very well organized and you have the impression that you’re in a high-end boutique and not a vintage shop!
The owner of Rose Market collects her pieces in major cities from all around the world. With clothing pulled from locations such as Paris, London, New York, Berlin and Tel Aviv, it means that there is plenty of diverse fashions to go around!
Their stock is constantly being replenished, so don’t be afraid to visit this shop often!
19 Rue Milton, 75009
Open: Tuesday-Thursday 1pm-7pm; Saturday 2pm-6:30pm; Closed Sunday and Monday
3. La Mode Vintage
The owner of this shop is a veteran fashion designer, so forget about having to repair or restyle the pieces you find at La Mode Vintage.
Again, be prepared to spend a lot more to get the high quality designer pieces you’ll find here. Organization is clearly key with these higher end shops, making the shopping experience easy and relaxing. The shop is only open two days a week, but trust me, it’s worth waiting out Friday and Saturday to take a peek at what they have to offer!
12 Rue Rochebrune, 75011
Open: Friday & Saturday 11am-7pm
Bare in mind, with this type of selection, the prices in these stores tend to be a bit higher than those 1-10 euro finds you may be hoping for in a vintage shop. If that’s more your price range, read on!
Where to Find Those Rare Gems
Now, if you do enjoy rummaging through crammed clothing racks and piles of fabric, these stores are for you! Prices here are a bit softer on your wallet, and while they may not carry a designer label, I always find my most interesting pieces at places like the stores below.
My overall favorite vintage store in Paris is by and large Free’p’Star. There are multiple locations across the city, but my preference is definitely their shop at 61 rue de la Verrerie in the Marais.
My best find? A leather trench coat for just 1 euro. Yes, you read that right! The store has two 1 euro sections, where everything will cost you less than a cup of coffee at most cafes in Paris.
My advice? Enter the store with an open mind, and be prepared to do some digging. The key for me when I enter any vintage store is to be ready to hunt for those pieces that you know you won’t see other people wearing. That’s probably what I love most about doing my shopping at these stores, unlike big department stores, their pieces tend to be one of a kind.
Bonus for all of you amateur sewers out there, the other amazing part of Free’p’star’s 1 euro section is that because it’s so inexpensive, you don’t need to worry about taking a bit of creative licence with the clothing that you buy. Did you find a dress with fabric you love, but wish it was a bit shorter? Don’t be afraid to trim a little off of the bottom!
Many locations: 52 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004; 61 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004; 20 rue de Rivoli, 75004
Open: Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 12pm-8pm
2. The Kilo Shop
Kilo Shop may not have a 1 euro section, but the idea behind the store is to sell their clothing by weight using a color coded system (although they do sell some things individually as well!).
There are different tiers of prices, meaning there is something for every budget. For example, if you choose items that fall under the 10 euros per kilo tier, and you purchase 2 kilos of clothing, it will only set you back 20 euros. Their concept is definitely unique, I’ve never come across a boutique that uses this type of system!
The store is more organized than Free’p’star, but be prepared to do a lot of browsing. There are 5 stores in Paris, and 10 in total in France!
Many Locations: 10 boulevard Montmartre 75009; Saint Germain 125 boulevard Saint-Germain 75006; Kilo Shop Kawaii 30 rue des Rosiers 75004; Kilo Shop Kawaii 65 rue de la Verrerie 75004; Kilo Shop Le Marais 69 rue de la Verrerie 75004
Opening hours vary by locatio but usually open Monday-Saturday11am-7:30pm; Sunday 2pm-7:30pm
3. Tilt Vintage
Tilt Vintage has two locations throughout Paris. The boutique in the 6th arrondissement, located not too far from the Luxembourg Gardens. It is clean, open, and filled with racks and racks of vintage gems just waiting for you to sort through. For me, it has a vibe that lands in between Free’p’star and the Kilo Shop. While there is a lot to choose from here, you don’t get that suffocated feeling you can sometimes get while hunting for vintage treasures.
My favorite find here? Their Levi’s jeans for just 35 euros. All of my vintage clothing lovers know that a good pair of Levi’s is essential!
Tilt has also bridged the gap between vintage hunting and online shopping, as they also have an online shop.
Two locations: Tilt Vintage 6th 10 Rue Saint-Placide, 75006; Tilt Vintage 4th 8 Rue de Rivoli, 75004
Opening hours vary by location but usually open Monday-Saturday 11am-7pm; closed on Sunday
For the thrifting expert
In addition to the more curated vintage stores, there are dozens of second-hand shops in Paris that are worth checking out for the experts among you. If you don’t mind having to wash your finds before wearing them, and heading off the beaten tourist path, these following places are for you.
Guerrisol definitely has a more second hand shop feeling than all of the stores thus far mentioned. Their prices are excellent, and if you’re willing to do some digging, and if you have an open mind, their stores are for you!
This is my go-to spot for cozy oversized sweaters, and cool button-up shirts. Their prices vary from 3-25 euros, and one of my good friends scored an amazing down filled coat for just 15 euros!
Geurrisol is a worldwide chain of stores, and the company prides itself on the fact that they lessen their carbon footprint by recycling clothing. Vintage shopping is one stylish way to go green. There are 10 locations throughout Paris. My favorite has to be their Place de Clichy store!
19 Avenue de Clichy, 75017
Open: Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm; closed Sunday
2. Unité Locale Paris X Croix-Rouge française
The Red Cross is a worldwide foundation with a mission to “to protect human life and health, to ensure respect for all human beings, and to prevent and alleviate human suffering.” One way the organization does so is through their second hand clothing stores! There are quite a few Red Cross locations throughout the city, but their Place de la République location is my top pick.
The Unité Locale is similarly set up to Geurrisol, and their price point is about the same. My favorite find at this store was a purple straw bag which turned into the perfect beach bag for the summer.
Want to support your fellow mankind? All of the proceeds from the shop go towards helping the Red Cross charity!
40 Rue Albert Thomas, 75010
Open: Monday-Saturday 10:30am-7pm
3. Emmaüs Boutique
The idea behind Emmaüs is similar to the Red Cross. The charity collects donations of clothing, furniture, and other necessities to either donate, or to sell at low prices. All of the proceeds from their shops also go back into the charity in order to help others!
There are several Emmaüs Boutique locations throughout Paris. The largest, and my personal favorite, is located in the 9th arrondissement.
Prices are low, and you’ll have to do some hunting as with the other shops in this section, but I’ve personally found quite a few gems here!
As mentioned, the stores also carry furniture! So for all the vintage hunters in Paris and Parisians on a budget, this is the perfect place to go if you find yourself in a non meublé (unfurnished) apartment!
27-29 Boulevard de Rochechouart, 75009
Open: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 1:30pm-6:30pm, Saturday 10am-6:30pm, 2pm-6:30pm; closed Sunday, Monday and Thursday
Whether your on a tight budget or ready to make a splurge for one of a kind pieces, there is something for everyone in Paris. With so much history running through this city’s bones, it should come as no surprise that there is so much to discover, especially on the vintage scene! You’ll never know what you’ll find.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my insider’s guide to vintage shopping in Paris. Are there any shops that I’ve missed? Don’t be afraid to comment with your thoughts!
Updated by Farah in June 2022