Black & White at Palais Royal // When to Find Sales in France

paris photo spots palais royal french winter fashion

Maje full skirt sz 1 (50% off), old tee (similar here or here) , Talbots tights sz S, 
old faux fur (similar here or here), Zara heels, Celine nano bag (shop pre-owned)

The Palais Royal is one of our favorite spots in Paris. It has history, art, and architecture, a beautiful garden to stroll through (best Spring through Fall), plus is just steps away from other attractions like the Louvre and Rue Saint Honoré – aka designer handbag avenue. While visiting this time, we also had the pleasure of encountering a sweet reader and her fiancé, who were there from Australia having their engagement photos taken! Congrats again, Vian & Sylvain : )
palais royal paris photography top visitors attractions
A friend first introduced me to Maje years ago while in Europe. The brand’s classic, tailored styles remind me a lot of Theory but with more romantic detailing and feminine flair. I saw this skirt on sale in London, but thought for sure it would be priced better in the brand’s home country of France! To my surprise, all the stores in Paris had everything still at full price. I asked an SA and learned that the French government regulates sales, so retailers can only mark down items twice a year: during the designated Winter (starting Jan 11th this year) and Summer (starting late June) sales periods, or “les soldes.” Perhaps this is common knowledge, but it was interesting news to me!
elegant winter fashion celine red nano bag paris
If comparing full retail prices in local currency, yes the pricing was about 40% lower in France – for example, my skirt retails for $295 in the US vs. 185 EUR and 199 GBP (which converts to $171 and $216 in France and the UK, respectively, after the VAT refund). However the limited markdowns law means that many items could still be a better buy in other countries that allow plentiful sales. This doesn’t apply to items like popular designer pieces which never go on sale, but a different story for most clothing. I’m also curious as to how good the bargains get during les soldes, when retailers have just a short period to clear out unsold inventory from the prior half of the year!
maje flare skirt black white dressy winter outfit
A little more about Maje sizing for those who are interested – some items come in their own sizing system with choices of 1, 2, or 3 whereas other pieces come in EUR sizing starting in EUR 34 (like an H&M; 4 or US 0). They don’t make petites, so for tailored items like jackets and pants, some shortening will be needed. I have one of their skirts in EUR 34 and the waist fit like a glove (see on me), and also tried on numerous other pieces in size 1 which were a tad loose in the waist on me. This skirt in size 1 measures 12.5″ across the waist or about 25″ around, similar to a US XS or 0. It’s heavy and thicker in weight, with pockets, a back zipper, and a more fitted knit lining underneath. Below are a few other pretty pieces that looked well-made in person, and are all currently on sale for 40-50% off in the US with free shipping:

classic parisian french style fashion extra petite blog
One thing I did love about Maje boutiques in France is that they offer complimentary alterations, which only takes a speedy 3 days. Unfortunately I don’t think they offer this in other countries, and Nick only learned about it by chance while chatting with an SA. It makes me wonder how many other stores have similar useful services that shoppers could easily miss out on … please share in the comments if you know of any internationally!

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  1. Berangere wrote:

    Hi Jean! You look very pretty!
    As a french, i confirm it exists "private sales" 2 weeks before official starting date for sales. You can find Maje on official website e-shop or on multi brands store : (PRINTEMPS), ,,…

    Posted 1.11.17 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean!

    On an unrelated note…do you have any good suggestions for parkas which can really withstand your Boston winters? I'm from Northern VA, and it can get down to single digits here, so I wanted to hear your recommendations since I bet Boston gets way colder than that!

    Thanks 🙂

    Posted 1.9.17 Reply
  3. Love this outfit! So elegant!


    Posted 1.9.17 Reply
  4. mybeautrip wrote:

    Beautiful photos and cute outfit. Love that skirt!

    Posted 1.9.17 Reply
  5. I love how you match with the background! This place is so beautiful!!
    xx Tess | Sequins are the New Black

    Posted 1.9.17 Reply
  6. Love this skirt and how you've styled it! I was an exchange student in France during high school and I remember les soldes being a huge deal for everyone. Sales only twice a year seemed crazy to me as an American!

    Style by Joules

    Posted 1.9.17 Reply
  7. Gorgeous outfit! I'm heading back to Paris in May and I really can't wait! Sophie x

    Posted 1.9.17 Reply
  8. Always perfect girl!
    Love all your photos 🙂
    xo. Kari

    Posted 1.9.17 Reply
  9. Maje is so comfy and romantic! Love the location of your shoot too! It's so iconic !

    xx Margaret

    Posted 1.9.17 Reply
  10. These photos are so stunning, Jean! Your trip photos have been so gorgeous. I love Maje too!
    Julia・Little Miss Haute Couture

    Posted 1.8.17 Reply
  11. Dani wrote:

    Hi there,
    Comment from a reader living in Paris 🙂
    We indeed have 2 periods of sales per year in France, but in fact, if you are part of loyalty programs (no need to be based in France to subscribe), you are eligible to what they call "private sales", which take place several times a year, more particularly about 2 weeks before official starting date for sales. It's not necessarily the brands offering these private sales, it can be department stores where you can find some brands that don't make private sales before the official sales period. Maje is a good example. The discounts are more or less the same as during the soldes. It's just that you can make your choice earlier than everyone else, and without all the madness of the sales.

    Posted 1.8.17 Reply
  12. April wrote:

    I am always so inspired by your photography! I think Maje very nice brand. I have a sweater dress from them sitting in my closet that I haven't worn yet in your post is motivating me to do so! I plan on going to France in the summer and I am going to put Palais Royale on my list of places to go!

    Posted 1.8.17 Reply
  13. Valeri wrote:

    Jean. You look lovely, as always. I want to know how you keep the stole crossed. Is it secured with something? I'm thinking about buying it – it's 50% off.

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  14. Your outfit is stunning and it looks so good with the location 😀

    ~Jessica Linn

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  15. Terri wrote:

    Beautiful photos, and i love how you styled this!

    & Much love,

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  16. That's so interesting that they only mark down twice a year! I wonder how their sales do because of how they do that.

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  17. In love with your skirt! <3
    Wishing to be back in Paris so bad!

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  18. sugarfoxy wrote:

    Very pretty! Love the photos.

    Aneliya ||

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  19. Love the skirt, these photos are absolutely stunning too <3

    Abigail Alice x

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  20. I adore the skirt! X

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  21. The sculptural look of Palais Royal is one of my favorites spots to take pics. Have you been to the Fondation Louis Vuitton yet? Designed by Frank Gehrh it's a great architectural spot to enjoy Paris on your trip. PS, How are you managing to walk around Paris in heels? Impressed!

    Posted 1.7.17 Reply
  22. sal ♥ wrote:

    Lovely! 🙂

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  23. I love this black and white outfit and the Palais Royal was the perfect place to shoot it! I also didn't know that about sales in France, so it is useful information to have!

    Sweet Helen Grace

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  24. MizEats wrote:

    I forgot to mention how you look so glamorous in the pictures, like Audrey Hepburn. 🙂

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  25. Unknown wrote:

    Wow I'm so impressed you could stand the Paris cold in this outfit! Such a great look on you! I went in November and was freezing in my 3-5 layers! I am a Floridian though, so definitely not used to the cold weather.

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  26. So stunning!


    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  27. These photos make me want to go to France so much! The shopping tips help, too. x

    Jen | affecionada

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  28. Jana wrote:

    I love these photos! With your outfit you look like you belong there.

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  29. MizEats wrote:

    *Correction – The discounts tend to be steeper towards the last days

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  30. Keri H wrote:

    I love this look so much! That skirt is gorgeous

    Enclothed Cognition

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  31. Tanya wrote:

    Wonderful post. I like your fur scarf and handbag! Very chic!

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  32. Hello,
    As a french reader, I might answer on les soldes bargains: usually it goes down to 50% in the first week and then down to 70%, and sometimes more but rarely or you might find sale on sale. For modifications, lots of shoots in the range or kind of maje propose them!
    Since you love le palais royal have you seen Charade?it is an old movie with audrey hepburn with the last scene set under the passages of the palais.

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  33. Super cute photos!!

    || D I A N A ||

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  34. Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  35. MizEats wrote:

    The current winter les soldes in Paris is a 6-week period from January 11th to February 21st, 2017. The prices tend to be steeper towards the last days (around 70%). However, you may encounter slim pickings. I find that it's best to shop around the middle of the sales period (in this case, the first week of February) for great prices and a better selection of goods.

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  36. Alyssa wrote:

    You look adorable! What's your secret for packing awesome outfits for international travel?

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  37. I always love pairing red with black and white, love this look!

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  38. Polly wrote:

    The second photo looks amazing! I love how you added a pop of red to your outfit!


    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  39. Wenwen wrote:

    Hi! Love your blog! I was wondering if you could do a post on winter dresses (those that are long sleeved and/or floor length for the colder winter weather) – I am having the hardest time finding a dress that's warm and fashionable!

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply
  40. I love how your outfit matches Palais Royal!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Posted 1.6.17 Reply

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