Shop Like A Parisienne (Part 1)

Shopping with a Parisienne: Susan B. and Diane from Paris Shopping Tours after a successful day of shopping. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

No surprise, I’m sure, but I always look forward to doing a little shopping in Paris. Sometimes I do more than “a little.” 😉 It’s fun to make new discoveries, and come home with pieces that I can’t find here. But it can also be overwhelming and intimidating. With so many brands now available globally, trying to suss out those truly unique items is becoming more challenging.

Add to that my shopping temperament: I tend to get overwhelmed with too many choices, or trying to sift through racks of unfamiliar items. After a while my eyes start to glaze over, and my brain stops processing.

For this trip we’d been working with a travel professional* to get some “value added” on our hotel stays. Just for grins they gave us a list of recommended excursions in Paris. Among those were the photography lesson, and Paris Shopping Tour.

Shopping Avec Une Parisienne

I jumped at the chance not only to perhaps glean some good information for the blog, but to also shop with a fresh (and French) set of eyes. A few weeks before our trip, I filled out a questionnaire about my sizes, and the kind of items and shopping experience I was looking for. Paris Shopping Tour tailors the experience to the client based on taste and budget. Our shopping concierge Diane was not only very knowledgable about fashion in general, but also about what’s on the racks currently in the shops, the prices and quality.

She had planned out our 6-hour excursion very efficiently, and we really made the most of the time. On the questionnaire, I’d indicated I wanted to discover some uniquely French brands and/or favorites of stylish Parisiennes. We started off along rue Etienne Marcel in the 2nd arrondissement, one of her favorite areas to shop.

(Because we covered so much ground, I’m going to break this up into two posts: clothing today and accessories/jewelry next week.)

Carolina Ritzler

Our first stop was the atelier/shop of designer Carolina Ritzler, who is known for her jumpsuits. I was a bit skeptical due to my short stature, but in the interest of research tried on a few jumpsuits. They really were gorgeous and beautifully made, but as I feared, just too long for me in the waist, rise and legs. I really liked this oversized houndstooth coat (yes, it’s a LEWK). And it was on sale. But I couldn’t justify buying another coat that I’d only have the opportunity to wear a few weeks out of the year back home.

Trying on a houndstooth coat from Carolina Ritzler in Paris. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

(Diane confirmed my observation that French women have warmed up to the oversized look.)

All of the pieces are made in France, and the prices reflect that. But the quality of the fabrics and workmanship is superb.

On to the next stop…


Momoni is actually an Italian brand, but according to Diane has been very popular with Parisians. Their current collection features the kind of fluid, silky pieces I love (and that work for our LA climate).

Trying on printed pants and a silky trench coat at Momoni in Paris. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I tried on a bunch of things, and did purchase a few, including a dress (😱 !!!) which I’ll show you in an outfit post soon. Those “pool shoes” I’m wearing above were everywhere on retailers’ shelves (see this post for the Monoprix versions). Diane assures me they’re considered very fashionable and chic for summer. No, I didn’t buy them, but they were very comfortable. They also had a pair of wooden soled sandals (similar to Swedish Hasbeens) that I might have purchased if they’d had my size in stock. They would have been perfect with the dress.

Paris shop window with leather 6-pack holder for bicycle. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I didn’t catch the name of this shop we walked past, but was amused by the 6-pack holder for a bicycle. It was on rue Etienne Marcel in case you’re interested.

By Marie

By Marie is a small boutique that offers both an in-house line as well as selected pieces from other brands. They originated in the south of France, and there’s definitely a relaxed feel to their collections. I was beginning to feel a bit peckish by the time we stopped here and didn’t take any photos in the store, but did leave with one nice silk top in an Asian-inspired print. (I may be getting over my print-phobia…)

We stopped for a quick bite (takeaway sandwiches from a traiteur) and had one more clothing store in the area to check out…


Floral garlands on front entrance to Sezane store in Paris. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

While Sézane is available in the US, I thought it would be fun to stop by “l’appartement” and see some of their things in person. The store is charming and by this hour was buzzing. I tried on a couple of tops that were “close but no cigar” so we moved on.

Couldn’t resist a snap of some of the decor though…

Paris Mon Amour tile inlay on floor in Sezane shop in Paris. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I was tempted by one of their cute bags, but having just purchased the other one, decided to pass.

Please note: my content is being re-published by other websites without my permission. If you’re not reading this post at, please click link to read where originally posted.

Dress like a Parisian: this blue and white stripe shirt and rust colored skirt from Sezane are very on-trend in Paris. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

BTW, here’s another nice Blue-and-White-Stripe option. This whole look fits right in with the Paris style trends I observed.

Added Value

I have to say that so much of the value of my Paris Shopping Tour wasn’t just the brands I was introduced to, but Diane’s input as well. She…

  • went through the racks and made suggestions, and quickly picked up on what I liked or didn’t. This helped save me a lot of “sensory overload” and made the experience more pleasant and productive.
  • offered some great styling advice.
  • had relationships with many of the shop personnel so we received friendly and very attentive service. (And in the case of one jewelry designer, access to their atelier to see how the pieces were produced.)

And finally, I have to give serious props to le Monsieur, who was such a good sport. He went along for the whole day, offered suggestions, took pictures and provided input. He’s a keeper!!

In the next installment: jewelry and accessories…

*Ourisman Travel, part of the Virtuoso travel network.

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored nor did I receive any compensation or consideration from Paris Shopping Tour, or any other entity.

Please note: my content is being re-published by other websites without my permission. If you’re not reading this post at, please click link to read where originally posted.

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  1. What a fun post; you are a Shopping Goddess! I have not been getting your posts delivered to my inbox lately. Could this be related to your problem with someone republishing your content???

    1. Hi Linda, thanks! I’ve resent you a confirmation email…you just need to open and click the link to reactivate subscription emails.

  2. That sounds like an excellent way to spend a day. I look forward to seeing the dress. That flowing trench is really pretty–just needs to be shortened a little.

  3. I’m drooling over your shopping experience! I want to see the Asian-inspired print top you bought, and the dress.. and everything else! I’ve been to Paris once–in ’07. Brought home a short jacket and a sweater. It is a dream to go back and stay for several months!

  4. What a wonderful experience, and how wise it was for the travel arrangers to have an option to include a shopping day. It sounds like it was fun and worth it. I’m like you, I don’t have a high tolerance for sensory overload.

    1. My dream vacation is contained inside this post! How incredibly fun and kudos to your husband for coming along and offering his photography talents and observations….not in 100 years and all the potatoes he could eat would my husband EVER do that! In fact, he would expect me in and out of the shop in 10 minutes. I have been honing my shopping skills which is how I explain all the packages arriving at the door…for our next vacation. Thank you for sharing this delightful experience…it made my day!

      1. I’ve got the same kind of husband. I had to laugh at the thought of my husband spending a day watching me shop. He’d rather get root canals for eternity than do that!

  5. What a great idea to have shopping help, Paris has so many wonderful options it’s hard to know where to go. I found two boutiques that had vintage looking fit and flare dresses, in cotton, designed by the boutique owners, I bought two! They work in my hot climate, and are beautifully made. I lucked out! So happy

  6. Wow!!! I am so glad that you went on this adventure! That coat is beautiful and looks amazing on you! I am impressed that you had the self control to know that you would not use it enough in California. So exciting to see all the shops and the variety of clothing!

  7. I love the blue and white striped shirt and brown (linen?) skirt. I am going to make this shirt!

  8. Who is the other woman in the photo at the top of your post? She is beautiful and I love her style. Effortless, casual and polished. No loud colors or prints. Her shoes appear to be a very neutral athletic shoe?

    1. That’s Diane from Paris Shopping Tour. She was delightful. And yes, she has “casual chic” nailed. Yes, those were athletic sneakers she’s wearing. We did a lot of walking!

  9. What a delightful insight into shopping in Paris. Thanks for allowing me to share a bit of your vacation. I agree with Lily’s observation of the casual style of the woman in the striped shirt.


  10. the oversized look never looked so polished! I love the oversized trenches and striped shirts–the latter is having a moment in the states as well. I like a more structured look on me. I may need to find a pair of those flowy wide-legged pants that are not overwhelming and understated, something I would reach for time again. I wil be a watcher in Paris and a grazer.. . . . .

  11. I like the Sailor collar on the blouse/jumpsuit in the Ritzler photo.
    Statement blouses with big collars are nice to wear at work in air conditioning. You get some “presence” without a bulky hot jacket. It could go with a collarless sweater too. After years of Breton stripped shirts it’s a new twist on a Naval style.

  12. Great idea for a quick boutique shopping. Monoprix, Galerie Lafayette, and rue Saint Honore were my haunts when I lived there in the 70s. They never disappointed. The children outfits at Monoprix were terrific and highly affordable. Most everything made and finished by the French is a quality product that lasts forever.
    One word of caution: Oversized trenches, tops, etc… can easily overwhelm a short person, and then one disappears inside them. One should always tailor them accordingly!!
    As you probably know, if you want a more sophisticated look head for Ruti in SM and Venice. We have RUTI here in SF and two more in the SF BAY AREA. She never disapppoints.

  13. Adore the round bag Diane is wearing in the top picture! Brand and where can I get it, please.

  14. If you don’t mind can you tell us how much the half day and full day cost of this service was? Merci!

    1. Hi Alexandra, because we did this as part of a bundled travel package, I don’t know the exact cost of this particular excursion. I’m sure Diane would be happy to provide pricing information for half and full days.

  15. This was fun. Because of all the links, you gave us some Paris shopping experience too. Very dangerous.
    Kudos to le Monsieur, not many man can be that supportive.
    Loved the black and white coat and the silky coat.

  16. I’ve been looking to find a travel advisor-what perfect timing that you mention it! Would love it if you would consider sharing your experience with a travel team in an upcoming post.

  17. Love the six pack holder, but what I *really* love is that it is holding *australian* (non alcoholic) ginger beer!! It’s my son’s favourite soft drink!

  18. I loved this post. What a fun day it must have been! Regarding others posting your content, I guess imitation (or flat-out stealing) is the sincerest form of flattery?

  19. Wish I’d seen this earlier. I just spent a week in Paris and a week in London and bought NOT ONE THING! It was just too overwhelming. It doesn’t help that my hubby is not a good shopping partner. Even when I was alone, though, I just couldn’t muster up the energy to try things on or decide between the thousand fabulous items in front of me. Next time…I DID, however, see the Princess Diana collection at Kensington Palace and that made me happy.

  20. Wondering why I got this old post in my email from you? Was something amiss with the blog today? Love Sezane by the way!