One might say I am obsessed with retail. I wouldn’t argue with that statement. I would instead tell you that if you suffer from this particular preoccupation, do yourself a favor and go to Nice. While I was there I saw tons of great stores, …oui, merci.
The most notable shops (found in and around Place Massena and Rue Jean Medecin) are usually my best-kept secrets, but since you are coming to grips with your own shopping compulsion, I will spill my info, from one addict to another…
Galeries Lafayette: Located right off Place Massena and inconspicuously tucked into the gates to the pedestrian only area, this monster department store is amazing (and the sales…oui, merci). This place can last you hours, heck, maybe even days, but my favourite French line in this mega-store is Manoush: part bohemian gypsy, part wardrobe from Edward Scissorhands and part fifties glam. The details, excellent structure of the clothes and the predominance of pastel colors and metallics make these clothes hard for me to resist. I practically want to eat them.
Etam: this French store, known for its lingerie and bathing suits, is like Victoria Secret the discount version, with more French flare. The prices are ridiculous and the quality of the merchandise, for the prices you pay, is excellent. Beware that this store is a huge chain, so you may see your fabulous French bikini sported by another girl on the Riviera.
Jean Charles: I want to salute this store every time I go in it. Designer shoes abound and the prices are spectacular. Get there early in the July sale season for the best selection and make sure to stick around for their fabulous fall collection of every designer that is worth knowing about…also be sure to round the corner and visit its sister store that is chalk-full of more designer shoes, bags and clothes.
Les Nereides: I would be amiss not mention to this fantastic costume jewellery shop. Intricate and whimsical, these accessories are easy to layer and so interesting that it is hard to stop looking…and, ahem…buying….
Ten: Across from Galeries Lafayette is a store that I have been visiting for seven years and always manage to find something a little flamboyant and energetic to catch my shopping-eye. This store is typical of this area of Nice, with lower-end inventory that all has elements of high-design. Ruffles, rhinestones, distressed denim, are just some of the details that are busting at the seams of this bustling spot. Make sure you look through the racks carefully and don’t feel weird about the fact that the help is staring at you, as shoplifting seems to be an issue.
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