Sure, Paris is home to high fashion … but it also does street style pretty well. There are, of course, the big-name high-street brands, such as Claudie Pierlot and Sézane, but don’t discount Paris as a place in which to do some serious bargain shopping.
One of the best stores for petit prices is Monoprix, Parisians’ beloved one-stop shop for everything from lunch options to on-trend homewares. The beauty range is particularly impressive (so much so that you’ll find a few Monop’beauty spin-offs around town), but fashion lovers might also be surprised to find much to swoon for.
Read on for what to buy, and the Monoprix addresses to add to your little black book …
Parisiennes might be known for their love of sleek chic — neat jeans, crisp shirts, tailored jackets — but they also have a history of carrying off a dress to perfection. Monoprix sells the kind of breezy frocks they tend to love to wear — in pretty prints or sweet spots — as well as numerous takes on that so-Parisian wardrobe staple: the LBD.
A Stripy Top
Coco Chanel made the marinière chic, Brigitte Bardot made it sexy, and Monoprix makes the now-classic stripy top — originally worn by Breton fisherman — an urban style piece that is easily accessible and affordable. Here you’ll find multiple colourful spins on the stripy top, as well as great options for men, kids and babies, too — which make for ideal gifts for the francophiles in your life.
Accessories à la Parisienne
Make sure to riffle thoroughly through the accessories racks — you’re sure to find several chic finishing touches for various outfits. Think scarves in all patterns and prints, hats including natty berets, and every kind of bag, from evening clutches to market-ready baskets to fun statement totes.
In a city of luxurious and splurge-worthy underwear, Monoprix holds its own in the lingerie department. Look for ‘corbeille’ (literally: basket; a half-cup style) and triangle bras in lacy finishes, and all shapes of culottes in floral prints, bright shades and fluttery trims. The homewear pieces are also gorgeously covetable: chemise-esque nighties (above), printed grandpa-style pyjamas, and soft-to-the-touch lounge wear that is perfect for lolling-about days.
Got little ones you want to make over à la française? Here’s your go-to for adorable onesies, fun swimmers, sweet and chic dresses made for Parisian mamas’ little mini-mes, cool separates for boys and, of course, those pint-sized stripy tops.
TOP FIVE ADDRESSES …
52 Rue de Rennes, 75006
For when you need to balance the budget after a day of Saint-Germain shopping. This Monoprix is also conveniently located just down from Les Deux Magots, the perfect fix for a reviving, post-retail-therapy afternoon tea or apéro.
101 Rue Berger, 75001
Situated within the vast Les Halles shopping and entertainment complex, this is one of the best stocked Monoprix stores. Looking for nearby lunch options? Wander up the pedestrianised market street Rue Montorgueil, where you’ll be spoilt for gastronomic choice.
52 Rue Pierre Fontaine, 75009
Stop in here if you still have energy after a day in Montmartre.
52 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008
The Champs-Élysées strip might have had a luxury fashion makeover of late, but Monoprix here remains a favourite retail pitstop.
95 Boulevard Sebastopol, 75002
After fossicking through this store’s racks, head out and up to the corner of Rue Réamur, to admire the fabulously domed neo-Baroque building (see main photo) in which this Monoprix is partly housed. There are more wonderful architectural details to admire if you venture westwards along this street, many dating from the Art Nouveau period.