La Veille Jupe Françaises

La Veille Jupe Françaises

By: Virginia Eader

People always ask me “Virginia, what is the best thrift shop you’ve ever been to?” (Actually only one person asked me this, and it was myself 5 minutes ago).

The answer to this question didn’t take much thought. I’ve been to a lot of thrift stores in my 28 years, but the one that stands out far above the rest in my mind was in Paris, France. Yes, I know, of course it was in Paris, because everything in Paris far exceeds anything else, but still. It was really, really awesome.

I found the place by doing a Yelp search in the Marais neighborhood, which has tons of unique little shops. The next day my only mission was to find this place called Free ‘P’ Star.

Photo via

Even before I could get both feet in the door I knew it was going to be good. The place was jam packed with colorful vintage prints, lace, velvet, sequins, and old t-shirts (which to my dismay were mostly American). I was overwhelmed with excitement, claustrophobia, and the glorious smell of my grandmother’s closet.

As I made my way toward the back (I like to do a mental inventory of all the goods before settling in on a particular rack) I noticed a small gap in the floor where people seemed to be appearing from. Like some sort of Chronicles of Narnia trap door to another world, I took a good look around me and decided to follow the next person down the hole.

I lowered down onto the first steep step and onto the next following the spiral down. I couldn’t even get a good view of what I was stepping into because the staircase was so narrow and the woman’s big hair in front of me blocked my peripheral. But as soon as I got a glance I screamed  “QUE JE VIENS
DE MOURIR ET D’ALLER AU CIEL?!!” Or rather, I thought to myself “Did I just die and go to heaven?”

It was the BARGAIN BASEMENT, which was jam packed with boxes and racks full of the same killer stuff from upstairs. Now, a bargain in Paris, France is not exactly comparable to the bargain bin at your local Senior Center thrift shop, but  5-10 Euros from some old French stuff is a bargain in my book.

And I found one my all time favorite skirts there.

Quelle affaire!