All posts filed under: curated shopping

french fashion essentials - jean seberg in breathless

The 12 French Fashion Essentials (No Berets Included)

I recently entered a season of life focused on lists of French fashion essentials — and I did not always like what I saw. I have seen more trench coats on these lists than on the streets of Paris. I don’t think that many people are walking around Paris in ballet flats, unless they like being as close to dirt as humanly possible. I once spent hours recording all the shoes I saw worn by the super-stylish women walking down my street — and an hour could pass between high heels. Here, you’ll find my highly researched list of 12 top French fashion essentials, from the straw market bag to oversized white button-downs and androgynous black blazers. The normal French rules apply: Dressing here is much more conservative than in similarly fashionable cities, and success is often awarded to looks that master a specific style of dressing than in purely out-there looks (like those that might win the day in New York, London, or Tokyo). There’s very little here that’s purely sexy, since the dominant …

Princesse Tam Tam Is Entry-Level French Lingerie, and I Love It

I remember when I first started looking to buy a bra in France and walked into Princess Tam Tam. I had been raised on apple pie and Victoria’s Secret — where were the bras with padding? With small pillows, embedded in the stitching? Mais non. It was such a sartorial shift from what I was accustomed to that I think I walked out without buying anything. These were the non-inflated bras I had always dreamed of; I just couldn’t believe they existed. That was a while ago now, and obviously we’ve collectively moved beyond the trend of B cups dressed up as D cups. I still love Princesse Tam Tam, and all my favorite underwear is from there. It’s definitely not cheaper (there are cheaper options on this list), but it’s a fraction of the truly pricy lines, like Eres. It’s probably no accident that the line was founded by two women, Loumia and Shama Hiridjee, almost 40 years ago (1985, specifically). Like Eres, it feels like lingerie designed by women for women, not by some …

eres lingerie

5 Excellent Lingerie Selects from Eres

Eres makes some of the world’s most in-demand swimwear — and wouldn’t you know it, some of its loveliest, and priciest, lingerie as well. Eres makes exceptionally well-made and attractive lingerie, but I don’t think it’s particularly sexy. Or maybe it’s that French brand of sexiness, which is so often not exactly the same thing as American (or even British) sexiness — obvious, over-the-top, “feminine” in the most clichéd way. (See: Agent Provocateur.) Eres is lingerie for the female gaze, if you know what I mean: sexy but not a stereotype, made to last, made to be beautiful. One big plus in Eres’s column is its quality. If you’re not bothered about quality, I feel like Princesse Tam Tam does a very similar look, it’s just not as well made. With some luxury brands, you are legitimately just paying for the brand, but swimwear (which is the brand’s bread and butter) is activewear, and much has been made of Eres’s commitment to creating performance fabrics. This WWD article reads like #sponcon, but it goes deep …

are veja sneakers comfortable - photo of v-12 mesh sneakers

Are Veja Sneakers Comfortable? No. (But Hold On.)

There’s an easy answer to the question: Are Veja sneakers comfortable? The answer is no. The answer is no! Sucks, but they’re not. However.  I love my Vejas — all my Vejas — and I continue to wear them. Let’s dig into this. First: What are Vejas? Despite its name, Veja is a French brand of high-end, athletic-inspired footwear. (Is it just me? Before a Veja store moved in down the block from my apartment, I thought it was a Spanish line.) Sustainability was built into the brand from the launch, in 2004, when co-founders Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion built out a production model in Brazil that made use of sustainably produced Amazonian rubber, organic cotton (farmed in the south of the country), and chrome-free leather, which supposedly means less waste in terms of water and energy. (According to them: “Coming from farms located in the south of Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul), it undergoes an innovative tanning process where no chrome, heavy metals or dangerous acids are involved. By simplifying the tanning process, …

Is Louis Vuitton Cheaper In Paris?

Is Louis Vuitton Cheaper in Paris? is part 4 in an ongoing investigation. Please also see Is Chanel Cheaper in Paris?, Is Sézane Cheaper in Paris? and Is Diptyque Cheaper in Paris? If you’ve read our previous stories investigating whether famous French brands are cheaper in France — you’ve probably guessed that indeed, the answer to this question — Is Louis Vuitton cheaper in Paris? — is yes. Unlike Chanel, Louis Vuitton offers online shopping, which made comparing prices easy. Here we go! Is Louis Vuitton Cheaper in Paris: The Handbag Let’s start with the Neverfull. The Neverfull GM is a large tote bag in Damier Ebene canvas and natural cowhide trim — “it is ultra-roomy but never bulky.” (I bet it can get bulky.) In USD, it’s $2100. Let’s say you’re buying it in New York City, so we’ll add 8.875%, the current sales tax. Your total bill is now: $2286.19 So taking things across the pond: Your price is now 1550€. Using the current conversion rate,  that comes to $1,708.50. Maybe you’re paying in …

photo of french bakery

The 17 Best French Food Gifts: Fancy Cookies, Special Butters and More

It’s that time again! Time to buy presents: presents that reflect their loves (France?) and their interests (food?). If you’re shopping for someone who falls under those categories, we’ve got 17 excellent ideas below for your best French food gifts— all Made in France unless otherwise noted. Bon appétit! 1. The Mercer 12-Macaron Gift Set Who doesn’t love a macaron, the world’s most expensive mid-tier cookie? The iconic brand in France is Ladurée, with their famous pea-green bags and boxes. They deliver in the U.S., though macarons are not cheap. Delicious. Not cheap. They have all levels of gift boxes and promotions — this is a 12-macaron set with illustrations on the box of the Mercer Hotel in SoHo (New York, FTR). BUY IT HERE: Ladurée 2. Bacanha Grenadine Syrup Bacanha is a 10-year-old French brand making organic syrups — mostly for cocktails, but also, according to their website, for lattes(?? very specific?) and water(???). Love that packaging! They’re available at a bunch of U.S. retailers, but here’s a tight edit — as a person …

best fall Diptyque candles - picture of the citrouille candle

So What Are the Best Fall Diptyque Candles? (Hint: It’s the Diptyque Pumpkin Candle)

Is there anything nicer than lighting a lovely, powerfully scented candle as the leaves begin to fall and it gets darker earlier? There isn’t. Especially when that candle — my vote for the top spot on the list of the best fall Diptyque candles — is the Diptyque Pumpkin candle (a.k.a. Citrouille). As much as this is a Diptyque pumpkin candle review, it’s first and foremost a round-up of the five best fall Diptyque candles. When I began writing it, I was sure — sure! 100%! — it would be Feu de Bois. There’s no candle, Diptyque or otherwise, I love more than Feu de Bois (except, maybe, Sapin de Nuit, which was a limited-edition holiday candle and is sort of Feu de Bois adjacent — it’s like a woodfire, but of a pine tree). But I had never tried Citrouille, the Diptyque pumpkin candle, and I knew I’d have to before I wrote this. So I did — and let me tell you, I hated it when I first burned it. It’s so strong. Now: Don’t get …

is chanel cheaper in france - chanel photos

Is Chanel Cheaper In Paris? (Yes! Here’s By Exactly How Much.)

Is Chanel Cheaper in Paris? is part 3 in an ongoing investigation. Please also see Is Sézane Cheaper in Paris? and Is Diptyque Cheaper in Paris? If you’re wondering if it’s cheaper to buy Chanel — a French, largely made-in-France brand — in France, the short answer is: Oh, it sure is! Let’s do some super exciting math! And we’ll take a look at three Chanel pieces: a handbag, a lipstick, and some perfume. Note that these are prices for new, retail Chanel goods. For this post, we’re leaving out the myriad possibilities of resellers, vintage shops, etc etc. Is Chanel Cheaper in Paris: The Handbag To start off, we’re talking full-fat, retail prices. Let’s look at the Mini Cabas in pink, it’s beautiful: As Chanel fans know, it is at this time not possible to purchase new Chanel handbags online. The Chanel website, though, does offer “recommended retail prices,” which you can toggle between English/USD and French/euros (look for the option at the bottom of the website, where it says “Change language and location). In …

image of three candles in a pumpkin patch

Is Diptyque Cheaper in Paris? (Yes. Here’s by Exactly How Much.)

Is Diptyque Cheaper in Paris? is part 2 in an ongoing investigation. Please also see Is Sézane Cheaper in Paris?  Short answer: absolutely yes. Here’s by how much. Diptyque candles come in two primary sizes: small and Classic. Something that will make this article fairly brief is that each size has an equally standard price, wherever you purchase your luxury candles: Small Diptyque candles are 70 grams, with a burning time of around 20 hours, and cost $42 USD and 38€. Classic-sized Diptyque candles are 190 grams, with a burn time of around 50 hours, and they’re $74 or 58€. Is Diptyque Cheaper in Paris? Yes! But Also in the US So let’s do some math. Just to start with, these are not cheap candles. Per gram, a Classic Diptyque Feu de Bois, for example, costs 38 cents. A small Diptyque Feu de Bois costs 60 cents per gram! That’s already a sizable difference — you can save 37% just by splurging on the larger candle. And of course, the savings are more pronounced if you buy …

three feu de bois candles - best diptyque candle

The Best Diptyque Candle (And 6 Runners-Up)

What is the best Diptyque candle? I have an answer for that. A Diptyque candle is an investment. I like to think of it as what I do instead of drinking alcohol. I have rarely regretted the money I’ve spent on a Diptyque candle (argh thinking of you, Eucalyptus!!! you are the worst!), but nonetheless, you want to invest wisely. And yeah, I am very aware that when I think of “investing” I think of “getting the right Diptyque candle,” rather than, like, mutual funds. It bodes well. So let’s get down to brass tacks: The best Diptyque candle is Feu de Bois. Don’t argue. I’ll tell you what it definitely is not, and that is Baies — arguably (perhaps also factually, IDK) the brand’s most popular candle. If you went into a chi-chi shop in the early ’00s, I swear to God, every one of them was the Red Currant candle from the still-extant brand Votivo. I hated it then, and I hate it now, and it smells exactly like Baies. Feu de Bois, …