Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I received the card shown above in the mail today and thought it was an invite to an art opening. I asked B who he thought "Braderie" might be, and he laughed. He explained that it wasn't a person's name. Braderie = clearance sale. oh, is that music to a budget strapped girl's ears, or what! A solde is great, but a braderie is deliriously good news. Supporting two adults on one architect's income in Paris is a bit of a challenge. I have been very very good and really brought the impulsive credit card flashing monster in me to heel, I don't even bother window shopping anymore. But there is a real need from time to time to refresh the wardrobe, so then what does one do? One can either hit up places like H & M whose clothes fall apart in a week. Or troll the sales at boutiques.
There are 2 massive nation wide sales each year (one in November, and I believe another coming up this month or the next) where everything seems to be drastically reduced. Parisians love their sales and so it is madness from the word go. Another type of sale, I have found, seems to be much more discreetly handled. You get your name on a preferred customer list (not sure exactly how that is determined. Perhaps an impressive initial purchase, or high cool factor?), and voilà, you are called up when there is an unadvertised sale in the store. It is the most civilised way of saving 50% and more off of otherwise off limits clothing.
Yet another way of saving money is to obtain a carte fidelité, basically a reward card. Imagine my delight when I was asked at Shu Uemura if I wanted such a card. bah, ouai! I can't remember how much money I dropped at the Shu Uemura stores in San Francisco, it seems such a shame there was no such savings program then. Perhaps there is now. If there is I am very bitter. Who can spend $24 on mascara all the time and not expect to go bankrupt? Girlie rant over, I will conclude by saying that yes Paris can be expensive, but reasonable if you find the loopholes.