My Corner of Paris

Okay, who would turn down a stay at the George V (Fours Seasons) in Paris? Not me, such a beautiful elegant hotel with exceptional staff, but if I am paying for the stay my little corner of Paris as well as my heart is in Saint Germain. I just love this arrondissement (6th). It has everything a Style Spotter desires – style, energy and culture.

There is exceptional shopping, relaxed crowds during the week with increased energy on the weekends, a fabulous park (Jardin du Luxembourg), and patisseries. I can just smell the apple turnover at Poilane. It was a tough decision but I just could not polish off a 4 pound loaf of their magnificent bread. The gentleman in front of me purchased an apple turnover and immediately turned around and handed it to a fellow standing near the doorway. What a good samaritan! And take my word, it was worth the calories.

Or what about a fantastic chocolate baguette (yes, you read that right) at the bakery on Rue du Dragon (mid-way up the block) or the best Parisian salad of warm roasted garlic potatoes on top of a chilled salad with roast beef (located on Rue du Four opposite from Pataugas Shoes). I should have taken a picture of this work of art but consumed it before the idea came to mind. And yes, I ate there several times on both my solo trips. It’s worth the hunt for these two shops even without their names (sorry).

You have your pick of shopping establishments – from a unique boutique to Le Bon Marche from known brands (Hermès, Prada, etc.) to boutiques with a few stores. On my first day in Paris this past summer, I happened into COS at 3, Rue de Grenelle. What a gem. The store is bright and airy inviting a long browse throughout. And the prices were great. Well worth a visit and I am sure you will leave with a bag in hand like me.

Let me leave you with my some of my favorite streets to meander in Saint Germain – Rue de Grenelle, Rue du Cherchi-Midi, Rue de Sevres, Rue Bonaparte and Rue Jacob.

Happy browsing! Got something to share. We’d love to hear

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Beyond Chanel, Hermès and Christian Louboutin

I do not yet consider myself a Francophile but it’s inevitable.  But what’s not inevitable is the desire to own a Chanel or Hermès handbag or Louboutin heels.  WOW, I got your attention!  Granted they are all beautiful labels and if I had extra disposable income I might indulge but who wants something someone else is wearing.  Isn’t style about you? 

There are magnificent stylish handbags, shoes and clothes that are in reach of most.  Why is it that European shoes so comfortably fit my size 9 (40) feet with bunions?  And the prices – you can get a great pair of shoes for $100.  Up to $300 and the options are exponential.  Or how about a great quality leather handbag for $300.

I was shopping for a handbag on a recent trip to Paris.  Of course there were the iconic labels such as the ones described above; however, I was hunting for “my” bag, that is, stylish, of high quality, and value for money.  Several bags caught my attention but on the last day of my trip I walked into Groom at 13, Rue du Cherche Midi in St. Germain.  It is a lovely boutique with an extensive assortment of quality leather handbags.  I looked at a few and selected a feedbag in a bordeaux Panama leather (cuir).  It is a shoulder bag but a long strap was available for a nominal price so you can wear it as a cross body bag.  After the refund of VAT, the bag cost less than $300.   Here’s their website: www.groomparis.com.  Ideally you need to visit their store for the explosion of colored bags tucked away in their drawers.

The Style Spotter is about fashion options.  You know the expression – a horse of a different color well this is a blog of a different color.  Lots of well written blogs post pictures and share advice on trend-setting fashion.  The Style Spotter has been created to foster a dialogue between like-minded people who have an eye for style without spending lots of money.  Let’s share among ourselves our finds internationally or domestically, be respectful of others’ opinions and just indulge in good-hearted conversation!

Just a little bit about me.  I am a professional window-shopper (that is I love to look and I purchase selectively), had my own import wholesale gift business, was manager of a Hermès boutique and was also a manager of a high end jewelry department for a luxury retail chain.

In my next posting, I will list a few additional favorite handbag stores within my Paris radar.  Thanks for reading The Style Spotter and spreading it among your friends.

To get our dialog started, let me know what you think and I would love to hear of a favorite handbag shop of yours in Paris.