One of the best souvenirs from Paris is a scarf. It happens to be the perfect thing to pack for Paris, too. (Photo: Getty Images)
Souvenir is French for “remember” and there’s no better way to souvenir than by hitting up the Paris shops. Here are some tips to pack smart and leave room for some memorable loot.
Make Sure Your Paris Style is On-Point
Classic probably best defines Parisian style and if you want to blend in like a local, the layered look is the way to go. Depending on the weather, a stylish trench coat is a great layering tool. In the summer, cute sundresses for women and casual shorts are seen along the streets. If you’re still stressing over what to pack, don’t forget that denim is always a safe bet no matter what the season. And, if you left any thing essential at home, use it as an excuse to shop for perfectly paired ensembles on the Champs-Élysées and strut your stuff at the only five-star hotel on the boulevard.
Walk This Way to Paris Shops
Parisians demand head-to-toe perfection from their wardrobes. Men: think leather in browns and blacks. In cooler weather, ankle boots are stylish for both sexes. Ladies will want very high heels to fit evening venues, though stylish sneakers work for casual strolling. Yes, Parisian women wear chaussures de tennis. Don’t pull a Carrie Bradshaw; limiting yourself to three pairs can get you fashionably through a week while leaving space for a good haul.
Wrap This Around Your Head
When the city shakes off its summer heat, Parisians don an array of scarves in varying patterns and fabrics. This applies equally for men; wear a scarf and you’re in the club. Parisians seem to cultivate their own style when it comes to scarves. Pack a variety and have fun creating your own look.
Sniff Out Some Parisian Fragrance
Smell is the strongest memory trigger of all our senses. Paris sets the bar for fragrances, so leave your perfume or cologne at home. Upon landing in the city of lights, sights and smells, go shopping for your new signature fragrance. Wear it throughout your stay and you’ll remember the dazzling cityscape every time you dab your wrists back home. Napoleon III’s favorite was Jean-Marie Farina cologne, and you can still get this classic scent at nearby Roget & Galet. Print out their homepage and you’ll be presented with a gift upon arrival.
Shop Cutting-Edge Paris Fashion at Galeries Lafayette
Stay ahead of the curve on Boulevard Haussmann. Here, Galeries Lafayette offers 350 fashion brands just for ladies. Wear comfortable clothes to ease the burden of trying on everything from Armani to ZAPA. This is one of the largest department stores in the world and you can download their app to help you plan your visit.
Show your passport at customer service and you’ll receive a 10 percent discount card. Plan to arrive early and depart before 2 p.m. when the tour buses arrive.
Hemingway and Sartre once held court at the café Les Deux Magots, but the St. Germain des Pres neighborhood now hosts top fashion houses Ralph Lauren and Lagerfeld. Try Sabbia Rosa for French lingerie. It’s the real deal made with French silk and lace cut to a woman’s natural curves. Ooh la, la!
Avez-Vous du Grey Poupon? Translation: Have You Any Grey Poupon?
The well-known Dijon, (you know, the spicy mustard you taste in almost every vinaigrette?) is now owned by Illinois-based Kraft. So, for French authenticity, visit Fauchon where they’ve offered innovative mustards and house-brand creations at the same location since 1886. The Arabian nights duck foie gras is prepared with exotic Eastern spices, taking your taste buds on a magic carpet ride. It’s sealed, making it ready for take-off and your dining pleasure at home.