Friday, April 13, 2012

Paris Shopping Update

Between the fact that I was still fighting The Upper Respiratory Infection That Would Not End(TM), and the fact that we ended up having to take Frida along, I didn't end up getting to do as much clothes shopping as I would have liked.  What I did end up doing, however, was clothes shopping by necessity!  Paris was way, way warmer than I was led to believe based on the weather forecast, and the clothes I packed were way, way too heavy for walking around in the City of Lights.

I will say this much: Un Jour Ailleurs is utterly worth avoiding. The sizes only go up to 50FR (48 in the rest of Europe), so unless you're an in-betweenie, you won't find anything useful.  There's another clothing shop on the Rue de Rennes, within a few streets northeast of UJA on the same side, that made a similar claim to "Grandes Tailles", but only went up to 50FR as well.  Here's me, wanting to scream and throw things.  Clearly I need to do more research before I'm able to actually SHOP. *headdesk*

The one plus-size shop that I actually liked, namely Couleurs on 17 Rue de Rivoli (no website, apparently), had a pretty nice selection, and I ended up buying two sleeveless tops to tide me over for the rest of my trip.

This cute take on the classic sailor top, sans sleeves, with a cute and functional zipper set in on one shoulder:

And this abstracty floral with elastic ruching three places on the neckline:

Couleurs had a bunch of utterly cute dresses from designer Elena Miro (there's also an Elena Miro boutique in Paris), and if they hadn't been made of 100% polyester, I would have been sorely tempted by them.  

If I haven't stated it here before, let me be absolutely clear:  I hate polyester with the passion of a thousand burning suns.  Plus-size designers should just straight up NEVER use it, because BIG WOMEN SWEAT, and polyester does not breathe.  The ONLY exception I make for polyester is when it's in the form of microfiber (and then it says "microfiber" on the label, not "polyester", even though microfiber is usually made from PE, polyamides like nylon, or some combination of the two).  Really, designers, please: if you're thinking of using polyester satin, use silk or cotton sateen.  If you're thinking of using polyester jersey, use modal, tencel, a viscose blend, or something really yummy with bamboo fiber.  Your schwitz-ing customers will thank you.

Unfortunately, I just didn't have the energy for more shopping, or a shopping-friendly travel companion, so I didn't scour Paris the way I'd hoped to.  Clearly I need to go again in the future!  Even if I'd had more energy, I might not have had more money.  On an entirely accidental but intriguing walk through the Quartier Juif, I stumbled onto a high-end handicraft fair.  I ooh-ed and ahh-ed like crazy, took lots of business cards, and then fell into conversation with a delicious young man who made Steampunk-themed jewelry.  Long story short, I spent half of my cash shopping budget on a surprise I'm giving to Lars for our 9th anniversary in May.

I also only got to hit one yarn shop, La Droguerie, but I happily spent all of the rest of my cash plus a bit of extra from Christian on a gorgeous bamboo-linen blend yarn.  I got a fair amount of white, and about 10 shades of blue to blue-green, which I'm knitting into a sleeveless top in a chevron lace pattern.  Should be gorgeous and very yummy for summer!

One thing that always amazes the introverts in my life is how easily I can just talk to random strangers.  Thanks to this ability, I ended up dishing extensively on plus-size fashion with a young Swiss woman who was staying at the same hotel.  Ironically enough, her mother runs a plus-size store in Lausanne!  Time for a road (or train) trip! She made it to Jean Marc Philippe, which I didn't, and got a couple of truly fantastic items.  She said her mom carries JMP, although not the whole line, and she's always loved his stuff.  I pointed her towards Marina Rinaldi, as she was unfamiliar with them; I hadn't bothered putting the MR shop on my map, as we have both an MR boutique and at least two other shops besides that carry that line here in Munich.  However, since my map is publicly shared, I'm adding it now, in case other FAT-shionistas are heading to Paris before I go back.

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