to shop / longchamp prices in paris vs the u.s.

The Longchamp boutique on Rue Saint Honoré in Paris was one of my stops during my very short Paris layover. Despite the weak dollar, Longchamp is still cheaper in Europe, even without the value-added tax refund of ~12% for when you spend over 175 euros (20% – the Global Blue processing fee). Here are some examples, pre-VAT refund, with currency exchange rates (updated March 2, 2016):

Update: March 2015. These styles have been discontinued. And you can see how much stronger the dollar is against the Euro since this was first posted in 2010! The Planetes line was replaced with the Le Pliage Neo line.

Planetes Messenger Bag: $278 vs. 135 euros ($200) = 30% off

Planetes Medium Long Handled Tote: $155 vs. 69 euros ($103) = 33% off
Planetes Large Long Handled Tote: $175 vs. 85 euros ($112) = 36% off

Planetes Small Tote: $98 vs. 46 euros ($68) = 30% off

It’s even better when you find seasonal Longchamp styles on sale in France during their semi-annual soldes in January and June (+/- a few weeks). However, you don’t necessarily have to go to Paris to find current season Longchamp below retail. It seems like there are opportunities to purchase Longchamp on sale (~25% seems average) on a monthly basis stateside (edit: well, during the recession. Now it’s more like quarterly!).

In the U.S., you can find Longchamp at:

  • – Largest selection, but I find the website hard to navigate. Once I ordered during a sale and it took them weeks to recognize that an item was out of stock.
  • Nordstrom – Free shipping and amazing customer service. Participates in seasonal sales. Good photos of bags on models.
  • Bloomingdales – Free shipping typically for orders over $150. Participates in seasonal sales. Sometimes Longchamp is excluded from sitewide promotions/friends and family discounts.
  • Neiman Marcus – Generally free shipping (look at the top of the page) and is included in discounts/promotions.
  • Sands Point Shop – I used to shop here when they were known as Magnums. Free shipping and no tax outside of NY State.
  • Bagshop – Longchamp is excluded from promotions. Free shipping over $75. Has discontinued colors/styles.


to shop / clare vivier

I discovered LA-based bag designer, Clare Vivier, earlier this year through Bodie and Fou.

(From Seevivier)

(From Real Simple)

I promptly acquired La Tropézienne and carried it for a good chunk of the summer. The eco-tanned leather is luxurious. I love the thickness, durability, and the style. But as much as I loved La Trop, I needed more. After some Googling, I found out DailyCandy had a 25% off promotion (which is now over)! Let’s just say that October ended up being a big month for purses. I follow Clare’s blog and am excited what’s going to come out next. For my fellow New Yorkers, Steven Alan will be carrying her bags shortly!

Recommended Reading:
SEEVIVIER [blog, shop]

to eat & shop / soho & noho

My friend, M, was in town last weekend. I was on my way to meet her at the W. Broadway Anthropologie when I decided to stop at the Baked by Melissa window to pick up mini-cupcakes. I’d passed by this window before but never found a reason to stop. It’s on the NW corner of Broadway and Spring and very easy to miss. The line was 3 people deep and moved quickly. $10 for 12 mini-cupcakes is not exactly cheap.


We tried cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip, tie-dye, peanut butter and chocolate, red velvet, and cinnamon. I didn’t get to try red velvet. My favorites were the mint and cinnamon. They were sweeter and richer than the typical New York cupcake so the size was ideal (1-2 bites at most).


Anthropologie was a bust. We stopped by Reiss and ogled at a few things.

Then, we stopped by Comptoir des Cotonniers. Mainly because I’d browsed their Barcelona Born location a week prior and I wanted to compare selection and prices. No significant differences noted. They have some lovely knitwear with leather accents, and in a navy/black combo!

Our last stop before dinner was Uniqlo to pick up alterations. On the way there, we bumped into the Van Leeuwen truck, which has eluded me for ages. We were sugared-out and decided to get the Earl Grey ice cream to refresh our taste buds.


M got her alterations and I finally found the Uniqlo capelet I wanted in my size!

Our last stop before dinner was the inven.tory outlet store. M got a gorgeous wool coat from Rebecca Turbow’s SAFE line. They had a number of Lutz and Patmos items, but I found them to be too overpriced at 50%. Wait for 75% off at Saks.