Feb 16, 2013

A Continentalist in Paris: Bonpoint Outlet

If you can comfortably afford Bonpoint, the minor reductions aren't worth the trek - and if you can't, a €200 kids' dress reduced to €160 isn't going to seem like a sound investment.

I like the idea of outlets. My tastes veer towards the classic and timeless, so it doesn't matter to me if a black pencil skirt is several seasons old - I care about the quality of fabric and craftsmanship of the tailoring. In the UK, I loved going to the Gunwharf outlet village in Portsmouth - I especially like the L.K.Bennett store where I once got three sample skirts for £30. And T is pretty much dressed head-to-toe in things we got from the Gap there (like 3 sweatpants for £3.00).

So I had high hopes for the Bonpoint Outlet in the 7th. Friday (yesterday) was the first consistently lovely afternoon we've had in a while, so after school and lunch I grabbed the toddlerina and we headed off into town where I was hoping to snatch some end-of-line coats for myself and maybe her.

However: it was pretty disappointing. I knew I was only going to get the tail end of the sales, having been down with the flu while they were raging in full force. So when it turned out they'd already cleared out their winter wares to make room for spring I was hoping for a cute sweater or some shorts. But again: foiled. The main issue is (as said): if Bonpoint kids' clothes are in your budget, the savings are so minimal that it's not worth the excursion. Nothing I saw cost less than €100, and though the clothes are definitely appealing, they really don't go with T's mudpie-baking lifestyle (they also didn't have anything from the YAM line in the outlet store).

On the plus side, the store is pretty cute - it looks like a normal Bonpoint store. The sales lady was helpful, but got increasingly pushy. After I said we were mostly looking for coats (even just a spring coat, which they didn't have either), she tried to pawn a dress on T. Fortunately, T doesn't yet care about being nice - she whispered "No, it's ugu-ly." And while we've had many (many) conversations about how it's important to say good morning to your teachers and look people in the eye when talking to them, this gave me a good cue to leave.

We spent the rest of the afternoon looking at the swollen Seine (which scared T - she wouldn't let me down the stairs for a closer look at the flooded banks) and, after a quick stop at the Tuileries, we continued looking for a new coat for me in stores that still had the sales going on. This also proved unsuccessful - since my beloved Peek & Cloppenburg wool / cashmere coat is starting to be literally threadbare (which is clearly apparent in the sunshine), and my Barbour jacket is torn from my spectacular December faceplant, I guess I'll have to wait till the fall collections come in to get replacements (probably when we're summering in Berlin). Though I really, really want a gray pea coat with silken lining, I would have gotten the gray duffle at Petit Bateau if they'd had it in 14 instead of 12...but there was too much of a gap at the wrists even with the twelver. But soon it should be warm enough for the trench - spring is (hopefully!) around the corner.

Oh, and the photo is of the "real" Bonpoint store further up the Rue de l'universite - the picture of the outlet store was too blurred.

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