My Favorite Things: Paris

Well, it's official. This is my last day in Paris. I've learned a lot and met some incredible people along the way, including Jenna from Paris Cheapskate, a writer from NYC who has moved over to this amazing city to stay only as long as her money will last her. She and her website have been amazing resources in getting inspired and excited by Paris. So let me hand it over to Jenna who I am thrilled to have as a guest on the blog today... We all know that Paris is a dreamworld when it comes to shopping: lingerie, haute couture, shoes, vintage, and it even has its fair share of thrift stores. And, believe it or not, I haven’t always been a cheapskate. Here are a few of my favorite Paris purchases.

This is actually two of my favorites, though the dress is kinda hard to see. I got the dress, a form-fitting vintage number with a twirlable skirt, covered in a pink-and-earth toned jungle pattern, at Vintage Desir (aka Coiffure) in the Marais for a scant 10€. That place is a goldmine. Paired with a braided brown belt, it is the perfect outfit for a daytime date, picnics, and, as you see above, toodling around on a bike in Giverny.

This adorable hat I also got in the Marais, though I’m hard-pressed to remember the name of the boutique. I have an embarrassingly small head and it’s humiliating to try on hats. Sometimes my best friend likes to take me to Target and just laugh at me while I try on hats. This is the only summer fedora style I’ve ever been able to find that actually fits my head, and it’s come in handy on many a sunny day to top off a casual about-town outfit.

On my first trip to Paris, I figured I should come away with at least one chic bathing suit to end all bathing suits. There is nothing that assures you more that you’re okay with your body than to spend two hours at Le Bonmarché trying on every single thing they have and walking away with three new swimsuits (oops). This one by À La Plage, however, remains my favorite, with its adjustable bottoms and an old-fashioned top that boosts my bust.

When I completed my first novel, my wise mother told me I should splurge and buy “a little something” to commemorate the experience, so that whenever I wore it I could remember the achievement. This is a good reward habit to form, and after keeping my eyes open to little baubles and simple rings around Paris, when I found this lovely necklace at Cécile & Jeanne, I knew it had to be mine. Imagine my delight when it turned out to be 50% off. Its unique gold edges and bright rubies bring a little black dress to a whole new level. When I wear it, I feel beautiful, elegant, and, inside, proud of myself.

Shopping in Paris can be overwhelming, and sometimes it’s easy to feel like you’re O.D.’ing– there’s just too much good stuff. But here’s some sage advice: buy only what you believe you would never stop thinking about if you didn’t get it. If you do that, whatever you pay for your wearable souvenir will be worth every penny. And you will always be able to rejoinder the inevitable compliments with a casual “Oh this? I got this in Paris.”

Read more from Jenna, get the best cheap-chic insight on Paris and check out my guest post this week at Paris Cheapskate.

(All photos courtesy of Jenna-Marie Warnecke.)