The French really know how to do children’s clothes. The cuts, the fabrics, the craftsmanship: it’s all incredible. But pretty quick ly you will realize, as darling as your little girl might look in that Bonpoint coat, there’s no way that you can afford to pay that much and still have cash left over for groceries. So where do you shop for decent quality children’s clothes at a reasonable price? Moms in the know suggest the following:
C&A: This large department store reminds me of J.C. Penney’s. Rock bottom prices but not much selection or style. Still you can get lucky, especially if you are in the market for basics like t-shirts, leggings, and pajamas. Multiple locations in Paris and the suburbs.
Du Pareil au Meme: Fun fabrics, European styling, and great prices make this French chain a winner. They even carry shoes. There are dozens of locations in Ile de France so there’s probably one near you. A few of the stores are for babies only; most offer cute clothes for boys and girls up to age 12 or 14.
H&M: This Swedish department store has made its name by offering trendy clothes at bargain basement prices. The merchandise changes frequently but you can pretty much always find a good range of jeans, shirts, sweaters, skirts, and basics like underwear and socks. Plan ahead: not every H&M outlet has a kids’ section. In the city of Paris, kids’ clothes can be found only at the rue de Rivoli, rue Lafayette, and Les Halles locations. Suburban locations include La Defense, Issy Les Moulineaux, Vélizy, and Le Kremlin Bicentre.
Monoprix: Not every Monoprix carries clothes. But if the one near you does, take a look at the kids’ department the next time you are doing your grocery shopping and you’ll find great prices, sweet styling, and probably some darling baby clothes you’ll want to send back home for shower gifts. You never quite know what you’ll find at Monoprix (in other words, don’t go looking for something as specific as a navy blue t-shirt) as the stock is small and rotates frequently. But you’re going there anyway, right?
Okaidi: Another chain with super cute clothes for ages 0-14 at prices you’ll like (including shoes.) You tweens will particularly appreciate that the larger sizes don’t look too babyish. There are at least a dozen locations in the city of Paris and more than that throughout Ile de France.
Petit Bateau: With dozens of outlets in Ile de France, Petit Bateau offers beautiful knit basics: tops, bottoms, pajamas, underwear, plus seasonal items like sweaters and sundresses. The regular prices are a bit steep (although not by Paris standards) but there are frequent promotions, even outside the twice yearly sales.
And if Grandma’s in town and you want to spring for something extra special, head on over to the Web site, Babyccino Kids, for recommendations on Paris boutiques for children.