Shopping The Sales In Paris & London

Clergerie Adrienne sandals in red. Purchased during the summer sales in Paris. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Though we didn’t plan it that way, we happened to be in Paris for the start of les soldes, the semi-annual sales. These are a big deal in France, as the government restricts the frequency and types of markdowns that retailers can offer.

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Shopping Les Soldes In Paris

I might have been more enthusiastic about shopping the summer sales in Paris had it not been for the heat. We weren’t as inclined to explore on foot, and many smaller shops are not air-conditioned. I also held back because I knew I’d be having a color and style analysis with Red Leopard in London. (Look for full details in Monday’s post!) Le Monsieur managed to find a couple of lightweight linen knit shirts in the sales that he was quite pleased with.

But I did have some luck at Clergerie on rue Cherche-Midi. They still had my size in those red sandals with the gold heels, which were marked down by 50%. I’ve tried to find them online here, but so far have only found the style in black. I love that gold heel and they’re quite comfortable (heel is 1-3/4″).

Back view of Clergerie Adrienne sandals. Love those gold heels! Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Some of you have asked to see the heel detail; here it is from the back.

If you plan to visit Paris during les soldes, be aware that even at the beginning of the sales, stock is limited. Not all sizes or colors may be available. These are basically clearance sales for the current season. Be focused and discriminating, but keep an open mind. Don’t be afraid to try brands that you’re unfamiliar with, or that aren’t usually your style. You may come across a hidden gem or two. Also be aware that markdowns will increase as the sale period progresses.

Summer Sales In London

Sales were also in full swing in London, so once armed with my color palette and style direction, I managed to find a couple of things that worked.

Gerard Darel red tweed jacket with braid trim. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

My color analysis confirmed that warm and coral reds are among my best colors. So when I spotted this jacket on the sale rack at Gerard Darel, I made a beeline. It was one size larger than what I usually wear. “It’s the last one, unfortunately,” the sales associate told me. “But this has been running a little small, so you might want to try it on anyway.” I did, and it was a perfect fit, except for the length of the sleeves, which I’m having shortened. This jacket looks great with jeans!

Bloggers meet up in London. Greetje, Susan B. and Lisa. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

On our last full day in London, I met up for lunch with Greetje (No Fear of Fashion) and Lisa (The Sequinist). Both of these women love to wear color! We had a fabulous time catching up over lunch. Afterward, we perused some of the shops in Notting Hill, and I lucked into…

Maje red wool sweater. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This gorgeous lightweight wool sweater from Maje, marked down 50%. Also in my color palette and another perfect fit in a 2/Medium! While both of these pieces are available here, being French brands they were slightly less in the UK, especially after the VAT refunds.

There are quite a few summer sales going on here as well!

Anthropologieextra 50% off sale

Black Co. – Summer Sale, up to 70% off luxury accessories

Bloomingdale’s – July 4th sale, extra 50% off clearance

Chico’sSummer Sale

J Jillextra 50% off sale linen, extra 40% off other sale styles.

Lands’ End 40% off full-priced styles, code COAST pin 4825

Neiman Marcus – Last Call Summer Sale, up to 75% off

Talbot’s40% off 1 item, 50% off 2 or more

Addendum: yes, we’ve had a couple of large earthquakes here in Southern California in the last two days. Thank you to those of you who have reached out. We are fine. We certainly felt them, but had no damage. And the dogs were unruffled. 😉 🐾

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    1. Thanks! First, you ask the shop at the time of purchase whether they offer VAT refunds (“Detaxe” in French). If your purchase meets the minimum requirement (which varies) they can fill out paperwork which you’ll present at the airport when you leave the EU. At the airport, you’ll find the VAT refund desk (do this *before* you check your luggage, as they may ask to see the goods you’re claiming). You have a choice to have the refund to your credit card or in cash (Euro’s or Pounds, depending on where you’re leaving from). I always take the credit card refund, which can take a few weeks to show up.

  1. I’ve been wearing Gerard for years. Buy it in London and Paris, but Bloomingdales always has a great number of good values,watch for the the sale.

  2. I am so looking forward to seeing you in some color. In the past, when you wore color your whole face came alive!

  3. The media tends to overdo it covering our earthquakes. My family from France called, all worried. We are 150 miles from the quake site, and we did feel it, but Californians are used to the occasional shaker. On another note, I’m so glad you’re doing the corals now. I love the warm colors.

  4. Love that coral red. One of my happy colors. I just got an Eileen Fisher cashmere wide sweater in this color from and there is an end-of-season sale at

  5. I love those sandals! That gold makes them just special enough.
    Another point about the soldes–each week, the prices get marked down again. The selection also thins out, so if you find something you really like, don’t wait.

  6. Was the visit to The Red Leopard worth it ? Did you learn anything new. Ultimately I am wondering if having this ( at The Red Leopard or here in the states) is worth the money ?

  7. Oh you are so current. My post will only be up Sunday next week. Thanks for the shout-out anyway. As soon as I saw that coral colour on you I knew it was good. You look so much nicer in it than in beigey/cream.
    Glad you did the colour analysis. Can’t believe you left it so late.

    1. I like the blouse you’ve got in in the photo. I’m not normally a fan of leopard prints, but the contrast neckline and sleeves are great.

  8. Had my colors done in the early 1980s by a person who used the same color theory as Red Leopard. Great “life investment” although I don’t always follow the rules! I was sent home with my color wallet which I still have. Skin tone! Not hair or eyes (I’m a blue eyed brunette with undertones of copper)…just skin. It makes shopping easier. I’ve found that if a piece of clothing only comes in a color that’s not mine, I toss on a scarf in my color and it generally works.

    Have fun with those colors…I’m a spring! Color, color, color. No blending in with the crowd.

    1. Also I thought of my main question for you now – how to still dress according to your personality, the sophisticated and authoritative aspects, as well as the warm and fun parts that seem at first glance more easily supported by your palette?