The Second Friday
Last night I couldn’t sleep. I was actually scared that Five on Friday might not be a good idea. I was worried I wouldn’t find anything within my budget, and it would all be over. I was wondering how long I could go on finding things at €5.
I checked out a few shops in the 15th arrondissment. One shop which I have passed by frequently, yet never gone inside, had a sale rack in the door way, everything at €10 euro. I had a good rummage through, and ventured inside. Most things were very reasonably priced (shoes and accessories were the most expensive items) and could fit into my tight budget (not Friday budget). There was also an abundance of black and grey which are my favourite colours of the moment. Making a mental note that it’s worth another visit I continued to look for my Five on Friday. I did find the odd piece at €5 but seeing as this was the very first shop of the day, I decided to hold off, and have some more.
I walked along Rue du Commerce, and popped into all the shops I could think of which might have low cost items. No luck… things were just over my budget, or they were jewellery (and seeing as last weeks rings were still fresh in my mind) I decided to expand. I figured a t-shirt might do nicely for today, and so concentrated my search. After several shops (including my old faithfuls when I’m in need of a super cheap fix) I became concerned, and curious. When did T-shirts become so expensive? For and item that is essentially mass produced, made from fairly cheap materials and a staple part of most peoples wardrobe, why the high prices?
T-shirts are a real staple for me. I’m not going off to work in an office, and when I’m designing or sewing I prefer full movement. Tees are in general something I don’t mind paying a little bit more for. I find you get get what you pay for. In Australia I buy most of my tees in Kookaï. They are well made, available in all the colours of the rainbow, and outlast the cheaper alternatives. I generally stock up when I’m there. For the purposes of Five on Friday, I was willing to forgo my usual T-shirt snobbiness, and hope to be pleasantly surprised.
I changed shopping areas, direction Les Halles! This, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a massive shopping complex in the centre of Paris. It’s predominantly underground, though the surrounding streets are packed with little shops and boutiques. I figured my chances were better there. I’m not the biggest fan of the underground shopping experience, it’s a bit depressing. So I checked out a few of the boutiques and after not finding what I was looking for I ventured underground. Everywhere, I found the magic word SOLDES (sale)!!!
Despite this lovely little word appearing frequently, still no luck. SOLDES became my magnet. If I spotted a sign, that shop would be my next destination. It’s amazing what that word does. People get so pushy and crazed. Some shops looked like war zones except with the debris as clothes and hangers. I tried every shop I could think of, and even others that I figured it would be an outside chance. I got close a few times. And I’m sure people thought I was a bit strange. I’d check something out and then register a dejected look on my face, as if the sale price was just out-of-the-question (and I’m sure PLENTY of great bargains slipped through my fingers). I was a gal-on-a-mission!
I was about to give up and head back to shop number one for the day, when there it was… a shop I’d never seen before (and would most likely walk by on a normal day). Tally Weijl. Don’t ask me to pronounce that coz I can’t. It was hidden in a tunnel of the complex, and was awash in sale signs, -% signs and orange tags. I set my radar on tees and found an entire rail! They were all printed, and this was even better as normally I buy plain tees, but have decided I need to mix things up. A sign posted above the rail, apprized me of the fact that everything was 50% off. Cool! I flicked through, and soon found something I liked. I flicked further to find my size. The tag read €8 -50%… perfect €4!
Relief! When there’s a will there’s a way! I was exhausted after, though seeing as it wasn’t raining I decided to walk and take in the city. I’m glad I did. I love Paris at this time of year.