The Thoughtful Dresser had suggested I check out Bon Marche ( her favourite store in Paris).
It turned out to be another case of women being far better served than men. Not that I necessarily begrudge this, because, after all, they account for far more significant business.
But the menswear section had all the charm of a 70’s department store, ie none.That time before the retail ‘revolution’, before space and light were introduced to the shop floor. It was dull. Some decent stuff , and some good names ( Etro, Cerrutti, Paul Smith) but a very edited selection. I wasn’t sure who they were supposed to be appealing to. It wasn’t me.
I also paid a visit to Printemps sale. I searched for a tab collar shirt, thinking I might have more luck than in London. But to no avail. So I bought a summer scarf by Agnes B. Not that we have had much of a summer in which to wear it.
I did make one discovery though. On my walk from St Germain ( where I visited the Diptyque store for a present for my cousin) to Bastille, ( no, I wasn't wearing hiking shoes) I had the good fortune to come across a shoe store previously unknown to me. Bexley is a French label producing shoes in what I would call classic English designs, and some with a modern/Italian inflection. Properly made….with Goodyear soles for instance. And they were very reasonably priced. I made off with a pair of suede loafers ( with a bit of a nod to Tod’s).
Now, I know that men’s footwear is , by and large, deeply boring . But the reason I mention this is because you really do have to hunt out decent designs and well made shoes.
They have a web site, so they may well be getting some more custom from me when the season turns.