Pret-à-Porter for the True Parisian
It’s no mystery Paris is revered for being the most fashionable city in the world. No one does effortless class the way the Parisians do. The French know how to make everything look chic, in fact the typical Parisian woman could probably cut sleeve holes into a potato sack and make it look like it came off the runway. Shopping is not a chore but a hobby for the Parisian, so it’s no wonder most of the top fashion brands got their start here.
Though your mind may immediately jump to some of the most famous, extravagant, yet extremely unaffordable, like Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, and the rest of the top fashion houses, there are some extremely classy yet a bit friendlier on the wallet alternatives aimed towards the middle market.
If you’re a true Parisian, or looking to dress like a true Parisian, you need to know about the top French clothing brands offering each their own unique glamour, with dozens of locations. These brands will make you feel like a million bucks without costing it. Though they’re not necessarily cheap, the quality is unmatched and with every purchase, the amount spent is worth it because you’ll have these key pieces in your closet forever. And if you’re shopping in Paris at one of the hundreds of shopping streets, take advantage of these prices as the items are more expensive if you’re purchasing outside of France. Be sure to also shop during the sales, as these are when you’ll get the best deals.
1. Maje- For the Resolutely Feminine Spirit
Maje is the epitome of French femininity. Founded in the late 90’s by Judith Milgrom, the iconic brand is largely successful because of its transgenerational collections, appealing to all age groups. The designs are created for women to be able to express femininity throughout the day, in every outfit. The clothes are modern with a hint of modesty, and also versatile. During the different seasonal collections you’ll find a lot of color, floral, and patterns that are unique the brand’s aesthetic.
The clothes are not cheap, but they’re also of high quality, meaning your dress will last multiple seasons of wear, unlike some of the cheaper brands in Paris, in which will the pieces might last for one season. In Paris, women are always on the move, so it’s important to have those staple items in your wardrobe that are sure to last a while.
For your shopping trip, prepare to spend anywhere between 150 € – 350 € per item.
2. Ba&Sh- For the free, joyful elegant bohemian
Ba&Sh (pronounced Bash) was founded by two best friends, Barbara and Sharon, and the two had the same dream. Create a fashion label of ready to wear clothing with a bohemian, rocker chic aesthetic for women around the globe. This is a success story of two women who built a business with the goal of creating a brand truly made by women for women. The flowy dresses and lighter colors in the collections showcase the happiness of the woman wearing them. The brand now has over 400 stores worldwide, with an extremely large following.
The collections all follow the boho aesthetic, so you’ll find elegant dresses year round but have the option to find some edgier pieces once the fall/winter collection coats, jackets, and boots are out.
If you want to be in touch with your elegant, bohemian, free spirit Parisian self, splurge a little on a dress from Ba&Sh. You’ll walk down the cobblestone streets feeling like a true Parisian princess.
Items go for about 120 € – 375 € , depending on the type. Dresses are usually more expensive but worth the splurge. A dress from Ba&Sh will likely be a staple item in a Parisian woman’s wardrobe for years and can be worn to numerous events.
3. Sandro- For the urban, feminine, and naturally cool
Sandro was founded by Evelyne Chetrite, a French woman who grew up in Morocco. It’s part of the three sister brands SMCP (Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot). Sandro’s motto is “The elegance of discretion”, so you’ll find a more neutral aesthetic in these collections. The brand’s essence is to for its clients to embody the cool chic Parisian spirit, with an effortless appeal. The Parisian woman might wear a Sandro dress to work, an after-work soirée, brunch, or just a stroll at one of Paris’s lovely parks.
The clothes are often embroidered and can be worn during many seasons. French girls love to wear dresses with sneakers, and all of Sandro’s dresses look amazing with a set of white fresh Adidas or Converse.
As with the rest of the stores on this list, pieces go for about 120 € – 475 € , with materials such as leather being on the pricier side. The quality of this brand as with the others on this list make spending more worth it, and Sandro has some amazing leather jackets!
4. The Kooples- For the Parisian prep, rocker grunge
Embrace your inner rocker princess in The Kooples. The brand features real life couples in their ads, and have expanded globally in recent years. The founders are three French brothers named Alexandre, Laurent, and Raphael Elicha. Fashion clearly runs in their family as their parents are Tony and Georgette Elicha, the owners of the another famous French label, Comptoir des Cotonniers. The aesthetic of The Kooples is very much inspired by rock and roll, with a lot of dark colors. During the summer, you’ll also find some gorgeous floral dresses for a more boho look. Pair the dress with some black leather boots for a real Kooples look.
The brand is on the pricier side. Be prepared to spend between 200 € and 450 € per article. The boots and the bags are all authentic leather and of top quality. Definitely shop here when you want to treat yourself or a friend!
The best part about all of these brands is that they have dozens of locations all around Paris, and the customer service is of top quality as well. Let us know which style is your favorite!