preview: an afternoon avec amies

shopping in France
considering the options at Babette’s boutique

This is going to be just a little teaser, as we’re down to our last day in Paris and I’ve promised le Monsieur that I’ll be off the computer by the time he’s ready for breakfast. 🙂 But it wouldn’t be a trip to Paris without spending an afternoon with my dear friend Tish Jett. Tish as you may know is the author of an incomparable blog about style, life in France, les femmes d’un certain âge, current events and beauty. She wrote the best-selling book Forever Chic: Frenchwomen’s Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style, and Substance. We first met many years ago through our blogs, and have spent time together each time we’ve come to Paris (and even once when we didn’t….thanks to the Eurostar I was able to pop over from London for lunch). She is as delightful and charming as you’d imagine from her blog, and our time spent together always rushes by in a whirl of conversation, always over too soon!

driftwood horse sculpture
lovely sculpture on the restaurant patio

This time Tish had something special planned: lunch with her good friend Sharon Santoni who writes the absolutely gorgeous blog My French Country Home, and then a bit of shopping, French-style. Sharon is as lovely as her blog, and we hit it off right away, just as Tish had expected we would.

Shopping with friends is something I don’t have the opportunity to do often, and it was especially delightful to do so with women who have such a great eye for style and a French perspective. Friends can sometimes see you without all of the body baggage and mother’s voice in your head (“you should never wear ____”). There were some hits, some misses…but I’m getting ahead of myself. Check back for the full scoop next week!

I plan to make the most of our last day here, including parking myself at a cafe to snap some Parisian street style. 😉

Do you prefer to shop with friends or solo?


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  1. I prefer shopping with you as long as it includes lunch and a glass of wine prior to the adventure. xox

  2. Solo! My friends and sister are different sizes. I shop in petites and they don’t (even when they should). So, lot of time spent hanging around when I can’t even browse the racks. And I find they like to see on ME what looks best on THEM.

  3. What a lovely trip you are having, I am enjoying every day you are posting about it. I prefer to shop solo, first because I am quick about it. I usually skim through racks with a discerning eye and I know my color preferences. So I can do maybe 5 stores in the time it would take to do one with friends. I guess the answer depends on what the purpose of the shopping is. I have had days with my daughter and friends that involve a more social motive and shopping is always accompanied by a leisurely lunch and a late afternoon coffee or drink. If I am on the hunt for outfits for the blog or an event always prefer to go solo.

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  4. I always shop solo but I will go shopping with friends who ask me to help them. For some people, it is hard to imagine an outfit. I read Sharon’s and Tish’s blogs regularly and they transport me to France. Enjoy your last days in Paris!

  5. I prefer shopping solo when I’m on the hunt for a new outfit but shopping with friends, well, in my eyes there is no better way to spend an afternoon. Shopping with friends equals, laughter, endless browsing, sparks of new inspiration, and the pure joy of being with girlfriends. So glad you were able to do this once again. Looking forward to seeing what purchase came about as well as your cafe people watching snapshots. Enjoy!

  6. I just bring my friends with me in my imagination;). I love the thought of you shopping in what I’ve always though of us “Tish’s store;)”

  7. So much fun to see you in that charming shop we’ve seen on Tish’s blog. As for your question, I generally prefer shopping on my own, although I have one daughter who can be really helpful.

  8. I prefer to shop alone for myself–but enjoy shopping with my daughter in laws or with friends when the shopping is for them.

  9. Love shopping with my stylish daughter! Just had a shopping trip to San Francisco during which time I told her about you and your blog and what fun it was….and on an off note, I loved bag in one of your blog photos…Balenciaga….which I have desired for ages, so on my SF trip I bought the City bag….thanks for the “permission” to be une femme d’un certain age!

  10. If I’m looking for something specific, I prefer to shop alone but I love browsing with friends and have unexpectedly found perfect pieces in that way. When I was shopping for a dress for my son’s wedding, I took 3 friends of 3 different ages…one exactly my age, which at the time was 63, one who was my son’s age, late 30’s and one in her mid 20’s. It was good to have the varying opinions.

  11. I like the petite pois dress! 😉
    I usually shop alone since my friends are scattered far and wide. Once a year, if I’m lucky, I get to shop with two very dear girlfriends. We usually spend the whole day shopping and if we’re visit is a week long and we have time, we’ll shop two days (this only happened once I think).
    This is a wonderful post and now I’ve signed up for My French Country Home–charming!!

  12. I use a personal shopper at a store, so while I prefer to shop solo (I buy things that are more expensive than my friends’ or sisters’ budgets would allow), I’m not really alone and I get the benefit of a “friend” who has a great eye and knows what is au courant.

  13. Definitely alone, for clothes. I don’t get anything done otherwise, and as much as I love my friends, I find that outside opinions muddy up my vision. Cosmetics and costume jewelry are fun to shop for with friends!

  14. I shopped with my husband for so many years, I haven’t really shopped alone since I have been back in the US and a widow.
    I think it will be bittersweet and perhaps annoying not to have an honest opinion on how something looks … (does this make me look fat ? )

  15. I totally agree with you… Shopping with friends is the best. I do it often as you know haha.
    Isn’t it great the connections with beautiful people you make through blogging?
    PS are you going to buy an extra suitcase? To haul all your shopping back to the states haha.

  16. Clothes shopping, almost always alone. I don’t think of it as recreation. We do have some very nice shops nearby with jewellery created by artisans, and of course we have the Jean-Talon Market where I often go with friends, also to have an espresso or capuccino and sometimes share baskets of fruit or veg that are too much for a single person.

    Those are both fine blogs, but I’m more interested in small-space urban living, so I don’t look at country life blogs very often – just as eye-candy. But I spotted a clafoutis in Sharon’s blog, as well as a very cute dog. I love making clafoutis – it isn’t difficult, and one needn’t use much sugar. Clafoutis is better with the pits, but I pit cherries if small children or forgetful elders will be eating. It isn’t technically clafoutis but I make the same thing with susini (small dark Italian plums).

  17. How I miss shopping with my best friend (we’ve been besties for 50 years!), now on opposite coasts. She is tall and long limbed and I am.. the opposite so we never threaten to usurp the other’s coveted item. More than that, after all these years we easily go into dressing rooms and share our new finds and with pure honesty offer our opinions. The Golden Rule, it must flatter (fit very well) and be the right color for our complexion (how many times have we bought something because a) the price was so good or b) it was such a great item – but not for us). A best friend keeps it real. After which, there’s somebody to have a celebratory dinner!

  18. Hi Susan, I so enjoyed our lunch together and the chance to get to know you in person. And of course to see the champion shopper in action too!! It was great to have a bloggers lunch, there is always too much to discuss and not enough time. Next time you’re in Paris, maybe you’d like to come out here for lunch

    enjoy the rest of your trip
    with love