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Found an area of the Marais that appeals more to my fashion sensibilities. Rue de Rosiers and the little streets surrounding it. More chic and not full of cheap clothes. I love bargains but I hate cheap quality. Get off at Metro Saint-Paul, cross over Rue St. Antoine/Rue Rivoli walk a few blocks to Rue du Temple Vielle, and head into the Marais.

This area of the Marais is full of casual clothes that have something interesting and unusual about them. The prices are not cheap but also not horrible. Most of the items fall into the $50-$300 American range. I am relieved to find clothes that have a little more classic chic going for them instead of the endless boho and French country aesthetic I’ve been seeing in stores elsewhere. I’m just not a wholesome winsome peasant-y type. I need something with edge and a little tailoring. And no sleeves; I’m hot, y’all. Literally.

I’ve been reluctantly shopping the soldes (sales) because I just didn’t pack properly for summer in a steam room. It’s the end of the summer season, so it’s not that easy to find stuff, particularly since I’m at the outer limits of normal sizes for Paris. I really didn’t want to spend tons of time shopping in Paris. However, I have to admit, the little purchases I made are already helping me to cool off and giving me options since I’ve been changing my clothes three times a day due to the heat.

Just a little thing you should know. I love giving my business to the little boutiques. And this area is all little boutiques. But there is a down side, particularly if you are a giant American size 10 (XL in Paris).  Sometimes the stores have fitting rooms that aren’t exactly modest. So you’re stuck in a makeshift curtained closet with drapes that don’t even completely close and no mirror. Meaning you’ve got to parade out of the dressing room in something that likely makes you look like a cow for the rest of the world to see. Ugh. And moo. Not to mention the shops are mostly not air conditioned. Put yourself in a tiny curtained area and it’s even hotter. But I digress.

Things I bought … a linen skirt with big pockets, a cotton sundress, a linen chemise, two tank tops and a black skirt with big pockets. Big pockets are good to have in Paris, trust me. You have to lug a lot of stuff around because you can’t keep things in your car.

Stores I loved:

Coatz ze (Coatzze?) Boutique, 21 Rue du Bourg Tibourg – This store had impeccable, beautiful, unusual clothing. There was not a single item that I did not think was chic and amazing. Unfortunately, it’s a small store, and she was out of almost all her summer stuff already. What remained was either a size 2 or fall clothing. So I bought nothing, but I would definitely DEFINITELY recommend this shop.

Noriem, Rue Vielle du Temple, funky and chic.

Minsoo, 18 Rue des Ecouffefes, a new store with very original Japanese-influenced clothes and a sweet, helpful woman who was either the owner or the manager.

Kookai, Rue Rosiers, chic, affordable, well-made casual clothes

Naracamicie, Rue Temple?, unusual casual blouses

Cecille Jeanne, a French designer who makes lovely jewelry and unusual purses. Two stores in this location, one more jewelry focused, the other more bag focused. Prices from about 50E to 200E.

Crea Concept, 2 Bsi Rue des Rosiers, chic and casual knits and synthetics. A very nice salesgirl waited on me and helped me with my French, thank you!

A little further away, there’s also a Bensimon store with excellent service, nice casual clothes and decent prices.

Also on Rue Rosiers there are fabulous street falafel dealers (and it isn’t far from an Amorino’s gelato location. I’m just saying).