Every time we think we’ve hit max French-ness, we see another epic tip (whether it be hair or skincare or decor), and we realize, nope, not yet, not at all, need more of that effortless, je ne sais quoi French-girl tips.
But just the other day, we realized, ‘Hey, where do French girls get those everyday basics (and how the heck can we replicate that wherever we live)?’ What about mugs, or tea kettles, or cleaning supplies? We decided to do a deep dive into all things ‘Where French Girls Shop.’ We expected quite a variation of answers from our French experts, but really, in actuality, the ideas and places were pretty darn similar. We’ve got all the spots to hit—whether you find yourself in France, or just in a French state of mind while online shopping—to have a place full of joie de vivre, wherever in the world you call home.
For the Home
Not in France, no problem, these locales are great to see both in person or online when shopping for new pieces. When we interviewed our Frenchies, they gave us some pretty epic suggestions for both everyday home basics and also those extraordinarily fresh finds for special occasions.
Okay, yeah, vintage items are of course a go-to for most French residents. They have access to an incredible, enviable amount of vintage items that makes us green with envy. If you are in France, Elisabeth Holder, the President of Laduree US, suggests stopping by the most famous flea market in Paris—Les Puces de Saint-Ouen (but usually known as Les Puces (The Fleas)). It’s supposedly the largest antique market in the world, and it’s where she finds “furniture with character”. (Sold!)
For French transplant Lindsey Tramuta, and author of the bestseller The New Paris: the People, Places & Ideas Fueling a Movement, she always starts by looking at the small, independent shops first for any wanted items, and then the bigger or chain stores when needed. Those indie stores include the very, very chic La Trésorerie (which has an online shop! But everything is in French…) for elevated, clever basics for every room. Or Jamini (which we’ve chatted about before, it’s lovely!) for gorgeous Indian-inspired textiles and patterns with a French twist.
Still indie, but big in popularity, Merci is a favorite for model, entrepreneur, and blogger of Bonjour Clem, Clementine Desseaux. The discreet entrance that opens up into a large courtyard with a friendly, red Fiat leads to a giant, airy loft with not only clothing but a timeless selection of homeware and kitchen goods. They also happen to have a very well organized website if you don’t happen to be in the Marais neighborhood at this very moment.
Another good option is the lifestyle collection at Sezane, which has home fabulous knick-knacks like vases, books, and classic French beauty basics. They don’t have these home items online, unfortunately, but they do have stores outside of Paris, in both New York and London.
The bigger stores that Tramuta heads to if she still can’t find an item include AM.PM, which is a subcollection of La Redoute, and offers everything from rugs to lamps to bedding at pretty accessible prices.
But my new favorite spot I discovered from Tramuta is Made.com, which offers a ton of very pricey looking items at pretty great price points, including this forest green velvet settee.
Okay, we’ve got furniture items, like a bed frame, sorted, but what about bedding? Tramuta loves the linen sheets and duvet covers from French brand Cyrillus (which also offers homewares, women’s, and children items). They just so happen to have a pretty great online store with accessibly priced offerings, like this Cocoon Linen Duvet Cover, which we just *added to cart* immediately.
And our other French experts actually listed American stores, like ABC Home for their bedding necessities. So, that makes mimicking our French dreams a bit easier, right?
What about books? Is there some secret French store where all chic French women flock to, which holds the most interesting books and art books? Well, yes and no. For Laduree’s Holder, the filled-to-the-brim bookstore, L’écume des Pages in Paris, is a total must for any bookworm. But she also loves beautiful Rizzoli art books, which can be found in most bookstores across the States, too. She may be a bit bias, but she’s a huge fan of Laduree’s cookbooks, as well.
We love a good dinnerware collection, and turns out, so do our French friends. From plates to glassware to silverware, this is where they grab their favorites.
You know what name we haven’t said once this story yet? Ikea. (Now we did.) It is everywhere in Paris, too, and Frenchies like Holder will head there for the basics. She grabs their minimalist dinner glasses, which she uses to set her nightly dinner table. But for an elevated, elegant occasion, she turns to the crystal experts—Saint Louis, which make the most divine, exquisite glassware you’re ever to see. (We’re sooo in love.)
Short on space in your home? Your French counterpart probably is too, which is why they don’t always have a ton of space for a bunch of different dedicated wine glasses. (The French, they’re just like us!) However, they will always have a quality set of the basics. For Tramuta, she only has space for wine and champagne glasses—but not champagne flutes, she urges that’s the worst way to consume champagne. (Yep, it’s true, the flutes are too narrow, and you can’t fully experience the champagne.) She uses vintage glasses, as well as La Tresorerie glasses.
When it comes to tableware, Holder is a huge fan of the classics, like Bernardaud, Puiforcat, and Three Seven Paris. Bernardaud is entirely accessible in the States, thankfully, and they offer iconically elevated plating options. Puiforcat is also an impeccable (and very French!) option for silverware, and they too are accessible in the States. Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to head to Paris for Three Seven Paris and their modern printed dinnerware (or wait until their site is restocked!). Ahhh, je suis triste!
For Desseaux, plating is more about the color scheme than the brand itself. She tends to prefer simple, minimalist plating in shades of eggshell and white. She may love Hudson, New York-based brand Hawkins New York then, which create their tabletop items by hand and prefer to have an organic ease about them.
One of the things that we talk hypothetically about at Domino headquarters: If we were to move to Paris tomorrow and start all over in our jewel-box 11th Arrondissement apartment, where would we get our basics? One of our musts is always a new, chic, perfectly minimalist coffee maker. An option that feels classically French, but was actually created here in the States, is Chemex. Tramuta said that she also loves OG brand Bonavita, too.
And Holder prefers sleek but time-efficient appliances, like Nespresso, for her coffee makers, and colorful small kitchen appliances, like KitchenAid and Breville. She likes the little pops of color so they can shine like “macarons in the middle of my very NY industrial kitchen,” she said.
When it comes to cleaning around the home, what brands do those clever French girls turn to? Well, if our polling is an accurate grasp on France as a whole (guessing that’s not how statistics work though), the answer is usually a clean, non-toxic brand. Every single person interviewed said ethical, clean products were a must for cleaning products, whether it be Honest or any other reliable brand. Tramuta said she also loves using a natural dish soap that’s refillable to reduce plastic consumption.
For Beauty Basics
We could muse on all day (no, really) about French girl beauty basics, so we’ll try to be pretty concise instead. One thing we’ve noticed is French women really love using French brands. But they also are willing to experiment outside their home country, but usually only with trusted, high-quality brands.
Holder swears by the French classics in all categories: Caudalie and Darphin for skin care; traditional body basics from Biotherm and Buly (we’re huge fans of the brand and their Paris space, too); Christophe Robin for hair (us too, always and forever); and for makeup, Chanel and Dior.
Tramuta was born and raised in the US, but has now lived in Paris for over a decade and is married to a Frenchie, and funnily enough, her regime is also a mix of French and American: Kiehl’s and Sisley for skin care; Clarins and Bioderma for body; Bare Minerals, Benefit, Chanel, Ilia, and Dior for makeup.
For beauty expert and model Desseaux, she also relies on a blend of French/USA beauty brands. She loves the rose liquid soap from French brand Bastide for her body; Ouai for hair; she swears by the epically incredible Odiele oil for her face; RMS and Glossier for makeup.
Keep it French: