The Vintage Shopping Mistake French Girls Never Make
It’s no secret that some of the best fashion finds can be discovered at the many vintage stores and flea markets scattered throughout Paris. The shops are often lined with Chanel jackets from the ’80s, full aisles dedicated to worn-in Levi’s, and even rare bags from the likes of Dior and Balenciaga. But knowing how to navigate them can at times be a challenge. To assist, we turned to Sabina Socol, our resident French style expert who is well-versed in all things vintage.
Her number one piece of advice? “To NOT go with your gut!” she told Who What Wear. “I still regret not buying a minidress in a vintage shop 10 years ago. [Laughs.] If you love something, get it! You won’t find it again.” And this certainly rings true. What makes vintage pieces special is that they’re one-of-a-kind and you likely won’t be able to find them again. So, you need to be decisive.
But there are also a few more rules Socol follows. First, “not buying anything stained, even if you really like it (except if it’s a small stain you’re absolutely sure it will come off).” And her second rule comes down to fit: “Sometimes vintage doesn’t fit perfectly because of the size. But if you feel it’s a truly rare find, you can always have it reworked by a professional to fit like a glove.”
Lastly, if you fall in love with a vintage piece, it can be easy to rationalise buying something that isn’t perfect, but it’s important to make sure it’s something that can still work into your wardrobe.
Ready to do some shopping now? Ahead, Sabina Socol is sharing her favourite Paris vintage stores.
“It’s a vintage shop owned by my friend Carole that’s right by my apartment. I absolutely adore how she curates her garments—it’s pretty much all rare and punchy designer finds from various decades. Also, she’s super friendly and knows her fashion, so it’s a real pleasure to hang out there.”
“Very, very different vibe for this little vintage shop that I also love in Le Marais. The owners are passionate about what they do (which I love), so they always try to find super rare pieces like Edwardian blouses, rock T-shirts, or kimonos. Perfect for one-of-a-kind stuff (and a wow effect).”
“Also, super different, as this one is pretty big and holds a variation of offers in it. It goes from high end designer to non-tagged stuff. It’s huge, so you can spend hours looking for something, but you rarely leave it empty handed. Also, it’s super organised!”
Re/Done Cindy Crawford The Crawford High-Rise Straight-Leg Jeans ($240)
Available in sizes 24 to 30.
Chloé Embroidered Cotton-Blend Velvet Straight-Leg Pants ($1495)
Available in sizes 34 to 44.