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... 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... Episode The Etienne Marcel neighbourhood isn’t exactly known for its good value boutiques – rather, it's full of hi
Galleries and good times in the heart of Gay Paree For the last two decades the Marais (sandwiched between St-Paul and République) has been one of the hippest parts of the city, packed with modish hotels, vintage boutiques, restaurants and bars – in no small part due to its popularity with the gay crowd (this is the only part of Paris where the blokes get winked at more than the ladies). But it's also prime territory for art lovers, with a vast concentration of art galleries (both small and important) and museums, more often than not set in aristocratic 18th-century mansions spared by Haussmann. Two of the most sumptuous hôtels particuliers, Hôtel Guénégaud and Hôtel Carnavalet, contain (respectively) the wonderful Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (hunting museum) and fascinating Musée Carnavalet, which retraces Paris's history. The Marais has also long been the focus of the Jewish community: amble along rue des Rosiers, rue des Ecouffes and rue Pavée (where there's a synagogue designed by Guimard, the brain behind Paris's iconic Métro stations) and the air fills with the scent of falafels and sizzling shawarmas, sold in their hundreds from stalwarts Chez Hanna and L'As du Fallafel. The Marais's western neighbour is Beaubourg, whose focal point is the Centre Pompidou modern art museum, a benchmark of inside-out high-tech design signed Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano. This is also where you'll find the Atelier Brancusi, the sculptor's former workshop left to the state, and
There's oodles of vintage to be found in Paris, but the really savvy will plan their shopping sprees around these dépôts-vente: handy second-hand stores where you can drop off your good, high-quality old clothes and, once some else buys them, recoup a percentage of the profit. Of course, the stores themselves are crammed with enough goodies that you'll spend more than you earn, but it's still getting paid to make more room in your wardrobe...
Fleux' Suffering from IKEA fatigue? Don’t panic, there is furniture made outside Sweden. Spread over nearly 350 square metres, Fleux offers a plethora of decorative and colourful design pieces. Opened in 2005, Luc Moulin’s and Gaétan Aucher’s boutique focuses on two key concepts: the superfluous and the luxurious. So rather than practical flat pack, expect to find anything from ceramic owls to green deer heads and paper lanterns. But it’s not all impractical gewgaws – even if the keyword here is derision, many pieces also serve a purpose, such as bird hooks (€15.50 for two), lamps in old jars and hand-shaped bookends... La Belle Hortense A tranquil boozy and literary escape from the frenetically trendy streets of the Marais, La Belle Hortense with its pretty blue frontage is all about settling down with a good book and a nice wine. Hosting readings and literary events, the walls are lined with bottles and books, including new releases, rare volumes, independent poetry and classic collections. The wine list is enormous – quite pricy by the glass but much better value by the bottle or carafe – try a white Mâcon Solutré from the Bourgogne, a red Morgon Flache Somay, or splash out on top vintages like Saint-Emilion and Margaux... Ofr. Adored by fans of fashion and contemporary arts magazines, Ofr. bookshop stocks fanzines, arty postcards, boutique publications and fashion accessories. You can find everything from the latest issue of Love to the best street style shots of Facehunt