Chanel, Vuitton, Dior -- Paris, historically, is a key item on any true shopper's wish list.
The Champs-Elysées, however, has become passé with stores like Banana Republic and Abercrombie attracting a different type of clientele, disappointing those looking for that unique Parisian splurge.
Sure, the ever-glamorous Avenue Montaigne and the streets of Saint-Germain are still home to all of the ritzy designers and names to love and go broke for, but globalization has taken its toll.
The brand names, and their prices, are equally available in New York and London, according to Jennifer Balmadier, a guide with Antiques Diva.
She helps find shopping alternatives to guidebook favorites, creating custom shopping experiences for her clients. “I often like to combine shopping with history and Paris is a great place for that,” she says.
Fortunately, there are still places to find true treasures, one-of-a-kind objects, and inspired purchases at any price that are unmistakably Parisian.
Just avoid high expectations and always use your "bonjour" and "merci" courtesies in stores and you'll have fun whether you buy or not.
Above all, Balmadier urges shoppers to slow down and give in to the Parisian way of shopping. “Take in the flavor and do as the French do. Just make it this lengthy experience while enjoying the city a bit."