Fall makes me think of Paris. I’ve been there twice, once in October and once in November, so there’s just something about the slant of autumn light and the crispness in the air that makes me long for window shopping, cool weather picnics and crusty baguettes.
The shopping experience in Paris is especially fabulous. It’s all about enjoying the process of finding that perfect, high-quality item that will last season after season, in contrast to the American obsession with getting a lot of stuff for as little money as possible. (Which, I have to admit, I’m guilty of from time to time!)
You stroll into a quiet shop — often one that seems empty except for a few well-curated racks and displays — and call out a cheerful “bonjour” to nobody in particular. The reply will float back from some hidden corner and you’ll be left to browse in utter peace.
The sales assistant often won’t appear until you begin to suspect you might need something, at which time he or she will be magically at your elbow, tying the scarf you had a question about or scurrying to the back room for another color that better suits you. Retail is a calling in France, and it shows.
Since I can’t exactly hop on a plane to the City of Light at the moment, C’est Chic in Minneapolis will do.
The atmosphere is dreamy and totally Parisian, with lots of light streaming through the windows and perfectly chosen merchandise displayed with an artist’s eye for detail. It’s nestled inside The Colonial Warehouse, a historic building in the North Loop neighborhood.
The clothes are dreamy, and definitely for a certain type of girl. The C’est Chic look is all about classic tailoring and special details, with an emphasis on international designers. The C’est Chic girl is equal parts gamine and sweet, with an eye for nautical stripes and wasp-waisted party dresses.
So if you feel like channeling your inner Jean Seberg or Audrey Hepburn or just enjoying the boutique shopping experience, C’est Chic is a mini-vacation.
200 Third Avenue
If you’re in the neighborhood, you should also check out my post on martinpatrick3, a fantastic men’s clothier and gift resource right down the street.