By Patricia Tennison, Special to Tribune Newspapers
7:33 PM EDT, June 11, 2013
PARIS — I was at a dinner party when one of those wonderfully chic French women cooed a compliment.
"I love your scarf," she said, as all eyes followed her to the slim blonde she was addressing. "Ah," the blonde said. "It was pas cher (inexpensive). I bought it at a new shop in the Marais where you pay for the clothes that you want — by the kilo."
Now all ears were on her. And the next day, I was off.
When I saw the morning crowd already at the Kilo Shop, I understood. There is a thrill to a bargain. There is a thrill to piles of stuff where only you will discover the treasure. The crowd was young, mostly in their 20s. And some already were at the cash register, weighing their purchases.
That's right: You pay by the weight. In this large secondhand store, the merchandise is color-coded. For example, items with a green label cost 30 euros per kilo. Those with a red label cost 20. For a 400-gram purse, that comes to 8 euros, or about $10.25. A 1-kilo leather jacket is 20, or $25.50.
And there's lots of leather. And furs. And jeans. And wigs! Piles of shoes and bins of — ties. I rummaged through and found the worst: a blue tie covered with cartoon bears; 100 percent polyester; dry-clean only. I don't know why I bought it. And I'm not sure why I bought the black and white polka dot skirt or the lavender scarf.
Actually, I do know why; I wanted to pay by the kilo! And I did, a total 9.85 euros, or about $12.60. Think of it as entertainment. Or — if you are naturally chic — prep for a dinner party.
In Paris: Kilo Shop, 69-71 rue de la Verrerie, 75004; also 125 Blvd. St. Germain, 75006. Also in Athens, Greece.
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