Vintage shopping guide

Find yourself a second-hand steal at these fashionable treasure troves

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Britta Jaschinski

For unique style without the credit card bills, hit Paris's vintage boutiques. Rockabilly leather, '50s glamour dresses, retro sunglasses and much more will get you a slew of afforable new looks in no time, or you can simply lose happy hours rummaging through the racks, rails, baskets and piles of clothes, accessories and knick-knacks. These are all of Time Out Paris's pre-loved pleasure palaces...


GoldyMama

Finding well-presented vintage clothes that have been washed, ironed and don’t smell like dirty underpants is possible – GoldyMama is the proof. This small boutique in the heights of the 20th has retro treasures aplenty and makes an original spot for gift hunting. 1950s skirts, 40s suits, empire dresses, wacky 70s tops and multi-era accessories line the walls. The choice is as vast as the shop assistants are helpful. Then, once you’ve tried on half the shop...

  1. 14 rue du Surmelin, 20e
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Omaya vintage

The sort of shop you wished you could keep a jealously guarded secret – but Omaya vintage is well known. Opened by two brothers in 2010, it attracts its share of obsessive fahionistas: from Parisians collecting armfuls of leather boots to punks come to pick up a pair of DMs at €40. If some pieces are more contemporary, the majority of the stock comes from the ’70s and ’80s; military and denim jackets, woollen jumpers, t-shirts and more are all thoroughly organised and ranged on hangers...

  1. 29 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 11e
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Episode

The Etienne Marcel neighbourhood isn’t exactly known for its good value boutiques – rather, it's full of hip designers and specialist addresses, to the great displeasure of penniless fashionistas, who still come here for window-shopping and better inspiration than you can get from the department stores. The opening of the so-called friperie Kiliwatch a few years ago rubbed it in rather by selling second hand garb at vastly inflated prices. Nevertheless, the rue Tiquetonne is where the Dutch chain Episode chose to open its Parisian branch in 2009...

  1. 12-16 rue Tiquetonne, 2e
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La Petite Fripe

A firm favourite among Parisian vintage lovers, who are drawn to the jolly red frontage and little iron chairs set out on the pavement. Once inside, it’s hard to know where to start – hunting along the rails, rummaging in the hampers, flipping through the pieces hung on the walls and even suspended from the ceiling between disco balls and celebrity masks of Barack Obama and Elizabeth II. Elsewhere there are piles of vintage telephones, démodé mocassins, ’60s sunglasses and Hawaiian shirts. Depending on what’s in stock, you could pick up a fox fur scarf...

  1. 118 rue Oberkampf, 11e
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Mamie

Need to rent an outfit for a retro fifties party? Looking to splurge on a pair of aviator sunglasses or a ‘bibi’ hat? Then head to Mamie. Don’t be fooled by its tiny storefront decked out in pastel colours: inside, the shop has three levels, each filled with treasures from the 30s to the 60s – hats, jewellery, glasses, handbags, miniskirts, military jackets and polkadot dresses. There’s also good news for foot fetishists, with the basement entirely devoted to shoes. Everything here has been unearthed by the shop’s colourful owner...

  1. 73 rue de Rochechouart, 9e
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Iglaïne

Don’t make the mistake of calling Iglaïne’s wares ‘second hand’ in front of the owner – here it’s all about vintage and heritage pieces rather than charity shop rejects. So you won’t find dresses for €2 but a whole range of styles from 1900s bodices to ’70s/’80s blouses, sometimes for as much as €400. Big names hang on the rails – Balmain, Laroche, Lacroix – and carefully-preserved rare pieces are on display, principally intended for use by stylists and costime-makers. Mortal fashion-lovers, come here to splash out for a special occasion...

  1. 12 rue de la Grande Truanderie, 1er
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Free 'P' Star

Late-night shopping is fun at this Aladdin's cave of retro glitz, ex-army wear and glad rags that has provided fancy dress for many a Paris party...

  1. 8 rue Ste-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, 4e
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Rose Bunker

You don’t need a time machine to step back into the past – not when you’ve got Rose Bunker at your doorstep. This retro bric-a-brac shop is jam packed with formica tables, old dial phones, psychedelic lamps, flowery vases and a myriad of other objects from days gone by. As well as furniture, jewellery and knickknacks, there’s a recycled materials section and vintage clothes...

  1. 10 rue Aristide Bruant, 18e
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Mon Amour

Sandrine Arnone and Narumi Hérisson have set themselves up in the Marais exhibiting designer pieces collected from all over the world. A pair of shoes by Yves Saint Laurent, an oriental clutch bag from the 1940s, an old dress made by a designer in their youth… all this and more can be turned up by the dedicated rummager. You can also learn the art of wearing vintage by visiting Sandrine and Narumi’s blog; friends and clients regularly serve as models on their shoots...

  1. 77 rue Charlot, 3e
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Bric-à-brac Emmaüs

The Emmaüs bric-a-brac store is hidden in the heart of the 104 cultural centre, a great little address where you can mix with hip-hop dancers and cultural performers to bargain hun in a boutique done out like someone’s apartment. The atmosphere is welcoming, and the stuff on offer more or less well organised. At the back of the main room there's a little library with books, CDs and vinyl, on top of endless rails of clothes, shoes, furniture and other bits and pieces. Everything is dirt cheap: books for €1, around €10 for a jumper. The opening hours are pretty random and it can get rammed, but you never leave empty-handed...

  1. 104 rue d'Aubervilliers, 19e, 75019
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Guerrisol

Roll your sleeves up and dig into Guerrisol’s never-ending racks of second-hand clothes. A lot of it is tat, but every so often (and often enough for Guerrisol to be the most popular shop of its kind in Paris) you find a gem. It’s particularly good for blokes in need of a suit with all sorts of styles and colours. And the ladies’ shoe section often has a wide selection. Just wash before you wear: As your nostrils will tell you on the way in, Guerrisol smells like Eau de Charity Shop...

  1. 19 avenue de Clichy, 17e
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Espace Kiliwatch

The trailblazer of the rue Etienne-Marcel revival is filled with hoodies, casual shirts and washed-out jeans. Brands such as Gas, Edwin and Pepe Jeans accompany pricey, good-condition vintage garb. Kiliwatch is also a prime spot for shoes by labels like Puma, Fred Perry and INK, designer sunglasses and even watches. In short you can get your entire look under this one (and rather hip) roof...

  1. 64 rue Tiquetonne, 2e
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Noir Kennedy

Noir Kennedy sounds and feels like a rock band. Located steps away from the Saint-Paul metro station, the store offers a wide selection of second hand clothing, but maintains a strong sense of style. Classic pieces by Cheap Monday mingle with very British rockabilly style items, and English telephone booths serve as changing rooms. There isn’t a sequined top or a pair of 1970s bell-bottoms in sight: Noir Kennedy is totally and deliciously rock'n'roll...

  1. 22 rue du Roi de Sicile, 4e
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Un amour de vintage

Full of bargains from the 70s and 80s, this small shop has been prettied up with removed wall here, a few hooks hanging there, a makeshift dressing room with a curtain and a leather sofa where you can pull on your sequined boots or roller skates. Expect to find Jimmy Choos for €40, vinyl for €10 or floral shirts in perfect condition for less than €20. The shop also relishes a challenge – size 38 Doc Martens? Iridescent leather jackets? Nothing is too much for affable and dedicated Rudy, the owner...

  1. 216 rue Lafayette, 10e
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Didier Ludot

Didier Ludot's temples to vintage haute couture appear in Printemps, Harrods and New York's Barneys. The prices are steep, but the pieces are stunning: Dior, Molyneux, Balenciaga, Pucci, Féraud and, of course, Chanel, from the 1920s onwards. Ludot also curates exhibitions, using the exclusive shop windows around the Palais-Royal as a gallery. Didier Ludot stocks his own line of vintage little black dresses...

  1. 20-24 galerie de Montpensier, 1er
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Studio W

Aesthete William Moricet's tiny shop is simply exquisite, from the vintage Courrèges and Yves Saint Laurent couture on mannequins to the glossy golden retriever who lounges among crocodile and patent leather shoes and bags...

  1. 6 rue du Pont-aux-Choux, 3rd
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