Like so many things in Paris, the shopping is just better. The boutiques and department stores are elegant, the service is helpful but not pushy, and the clothes - oh, the clothes. I don't shop nearly as much as I used to in general - there's no real need to, it seems to me, once you've saved up to invest in some of the best classic pieces available. My Christian Louboutin Pigalle pumps, which I'm wearing in these photos and, indeed, about half of all my Paris photos, are nearly four years ago and still in beautiful condition. In the two weeks we spent in Europe this year, I spent only a quarter of what I had budgeted for new things, but far from being disappointed by the lack of items that made my sartorial heart skip a beat, I was pleasantly surprised to find that, under the right circumstances, in the right places, I still love the act of shopping - wandering through beautifully laid out stores, feasting my eyes on layers of delicate tulle and feminine lace, dreaming up reasons why I might someday need a pair of studded leather pumps. Since we were staying on rue de la Paix, we were just a few blocks from two of the biggest department stores in Paris, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. Printemps was my first love in Parisian shopping, but since their remodel a few years ago, I've found that I prefer Galeries Lafayette. Both stores are gorgeous and absolutely full of lust-worthy items - the best of everything, from designer handbags to French couture, is available at both of them. I could spend all day just in Galeries Lafayette, looking at everything and dreaming of where I could wear it all - but eventually, my feet do get tired and there really is nothing lovelier than retiring to your hotel room, shopping bags on your arm, to admire your new purchases all over again.
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