When looking for vintage in Paris, you can just wander the streets of the Marais, look for "brocantes", auction houses, or go to the flea markets. There are two of these, one in the South (les puces de Vanves), and one in the North (les puces de Saint Ouen). I personally like the South more because it is more of a market, rather than established shops, and I feel like I can bargain more. But since you never know what and who you are going to find in the South and I really needed a big dose of vintage, it was easier to go North this year.
The Clignancourt flea market is like a little village with different markets. Each one is supposed to have their specialty but I never really got it. For me they are all the same, the only difference I could see is that at some markets, the sellers are nicer than others. I like the Serpette market because it is a maze of mess. I like antics messes, I like the idea that the next treasure is round the corner. And you will really find everything in here: furniture, garments, watches, art, toys, jewellery, china, designer pieces (Chanel, Dior, De La Renta, Hermes, Vuitton...) etc...
I will admit I never found any piece of clothing nor hat. One reason is that I never really tried, the other one is that vendors are not so inviting. They could work on being warmer and more welcoming instead of asking you not to touch the pieces nor take photos, I mean, what's the worst that could happen? You would copy a garment? They are a hundred years old so it's not like it hasn't been done before.
After a busy day of walking and unsuccessful thrifting, we met with lil'sis' for a well deserved steak at the very famous Bouillon Chartier. Created in 1896, this canteen is a parisian legend: a simple menu, decent food (don't expect 3 Michelin stars), very effective waiters, very low prices, and a decor that hasn't changed for 100 years. The initial concept was to win customers loyalty with cheap prices. The regulars would even have a tiny mailbox with a key to keep their napkin there.
Lately, it has become lil'sis'headquater but it was a first for me. I found and staff charming, and very effective, the place is full of its legend. Foodwise, the wine was good, the steak was decent but again, don't expect a gastronomical evening and don't expect to spend your evening there, within 45 minutes, we were done and out! It was quick and effective but it was worth it, I loved the retro feel!