It's one of the two official sales periods in France. Though frankly there are many times of the year where you walk into a shop here and see little green stickers saying 20 or 30 or even 50% off, officially, shops can really only go hog-wild on sales in these periods starting in January and June. A typically French stick-to-the-rules kind of thing. I thought it was all kind of silly when I first got to France. But I sometimes happen upon some good deals, and having two X chromosomes, I do procure a little pleasure from that!
Of course this year it's not really worth it to buy stuff for me. May get the size totally wrong considering the bowling ball in front of me. But I can still find good deals for other people. As the husband was actually home yesterday (yeah!), we went to Kiabi (fairly nice mid-range clothes shop) to look for some pants for him. He goes through jeans like paper napkins considering his dirt-attracting job. Whoever said men don't like shopping didn't meet my husband. He can actually take MORE time than a woman. Not that he adores the activity, but when he sets his mind to do it (twice a year maybe) he takes his time. So after nearly snorting in laughter at the "young" jeans that have faded patches and weird zippers (he thinks he could get money by exchanging his old ones), he decided to try on six pairs of slacks that would be decent for working.
So we head for the dressing room area in the middle of the store which is for tout le monde- that is to say, everyone, women, men and kids, though with curtains, of course. He tried on pair after pair and dutifully bent over to make sure they weren't tight you-know-where. And after each pair he stepped up onto the little platform to let the shop assistant measure and pen for his hems. I swear we were in there about 25 minutes just for that.
I did check about for myself but saw nothing tempting. I have a vision of this blue summer dress which is as yet still elusive. It would be a blue between sky and navy, with a high-waist or sort of simple late 50s style. Mid-length and soft cotton. If I could sew I'd sew it myself.
Anyway, no dream dress this time, so I continued my vicarious pleasure by buying a few baby things. I'm still working on the list provided by the maternity department. This is a daunting task in French. At first I couldn't make heads or tails of it. Brassières en laine. No, it's not a bra. It's a wooly cardigan according to my British friend who has been there, done that with the French birthing process. Does bébé really need that in the middle of the summer? Apparently yes, considering she'll be coming from the nice body temperature swimming pool of my belly. So I got another one of those.
And little socks and what they call here a gigoteuse. After describing it to my mom, she thinks it's a sleeper. A blanket type material that fastens or zips around the baby and is "worn" on top a bit like a pair of overalls. Keeps the baby from moving about too much and maintains a constant temperature. I stopped another customer to get her advice on one. Turns out she was a mother of three, so I was in good hands. And another little sleeper that the husband picked out. His first time to shop for the baby, so I let him explore. A few other odds and ends and we then had to wait in the horrendous check-out.
I must admit I looked around a bit again today, but didn't see anything I can't live wihout. I really could get addicted to this, but my bank might have some issues with that.
If any of you are planning on shopping soon, I will leave you with this pearl of wisdom from Helen Fielding, author of the Bridget Jones books. Only buy clothes that make you want to do a little dance.