It is “les soldes” in France, the much-awaited event for shoppers. Indeed, in France, there are only two legal sale periods: winter sales (Soldes d’hiver) that start in January and summer sales (Soldes d’été). The nationwide event brings hordes of people looking for bargains… but ain’t no bargains for us, North Americans. France is expensive, no doubt about that.
Les soldes, like any other big event in France, are a social barometer for media and analysts. Do people buy more or less than before? Is the economy getting better or worse? French are usually pessimistic and everybody complain about something: businesses claim they don’t make enough money and shoppers claim they are being taken advantage of.
I don’t really need anything but I still had a quick look… oui but non, I am not buying anything!
I came with a big bag of gifts for my family, including discounted brand name clothes like Levis and Calvin Klein that I had bought at Winners for 20 dollars. And I am glad I did so considering how expensive clothes are in France. I am not even talking about “haute couture”, just regular brands like Zara, H&M and Naf-Naf are very pricey.
I am not loyal to any particular brand, including French brands, so I don’t care much for shopping. I will buy French creams and other beauty products though, because they are cheaper than in Canada. But I certainly won’t splurge on 150 euro Levis jeans since I can easily find them on sale in Canada.
I did notice sizes were much smaller in France, and I feel sorry for anyone wearing a fairly standard US size 10 or 12 because finding pants that fit in France is probably a challenge. Yet, French women aren’t that thin: why don’t stores have bigger sizes? That’s a mystery to me. I mean, a size is only a number on a tag that no one else but you sees, who cares about it as long as clothes fit! Wearing a so-called “perfect” size 38 doesn’t mean anything, especially considering each brand has its own sizing system.
You can see the complete set of pictures of France here.