la joie de vivre

From California to Lyon, France: living & studying abroad…and coming back!

Stores to shop at in Lyon (as a student!)

If you’re ever in France or Europe and are looking for places to buy things, I made a little bit of a list for you!

Etam: a trendy clothing store, kind of like Forever 21 but better quality (for the most part). Lots of things with bows! They have a conjoined or sometimes separate undies store where they sell nice slippers.

Pimkie is along the same vein as Etam, but I’ve honestly never found anything here that I’ve liked. (but others have, so maybe you will too!)

Camaieu: this is a store with a lot of solid colors – tee shirts, sweaters, scarves, hats, etc. So if you know me, you know that I like it :) It also has prints too, but not as much as you would find else where.

New Yorker: most of the clothes are too “hip” for me here (if you ever go inside the store, you’ll know what I mean), but they usually have a good sales rack of basics. I found some t-shirts here for only 2 euros each!

H & M: I never shop here in the States, but it’s so popular here (and usually pretty well-priced considering the stronger euro vs. the weaker dollar) that warrants a look every once in a while. They have some good items, like scarves, hats, and inexpensive cardigans, but it’s really a hit or a miss.

Decathlon: a sports store, but don’t let that divert you – it has lots of good, affordable clothing, too, like hats, thermals, socks, etc. Especially a great place to shop when it’s getting habitually colder than you’ve ever ever experienced in California!

Go Sport: another sports store. It carries yoga mats! It’s called “un tapis de yoga” (literally: a mat of yoga), and it was harder than I thought to find here in Lyon!

Kiko is a make-up store based out of Milan, Italy, and it has the best nail polish you can find here. It’s well-priced, too, at around 3 euros per bottle. You could head to Sephora, but I like this place, and I’ve never seen it in California. Plus the store is purple.

Carrefour: need a watch, socks, slippers, or anything other clothing? Carrefour (but only the big Carrefours, not Carrefour City or the other smaller spin-offs) probably has it. They’ll also have cheaper school supplies than Chapitre, Decitre, or Gibert Joseph (though these 3 are all really awesome bookstores that also have school/office supplies, postcards, cards, magnets, etc.)

There are also innumerable vintage stores, but the prices vary, and I’ve never really gotten into that market – so I don’t have any recommendations in that area (sorry!)

Oh, and if you go into any of these stores, don’t expect someone to come up to go and ask you if you need anything; it’s pretty rare here unless you go into specialty shops. And if you’re in a specialty shop and ask for help, you’re pretty much making a commitment to buying something.

And a little note on this post: these pictures are not of the stores in Lyon – it’s awkward in the States to do that, and it’s even more awkward here!


Picture credits: Etam (, Pimkie (, camaieu (, h & m (, new yorker (, decathlon (, go sport (, Kiko (


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This entry was posted on May 8, 2012 by in Shopping in France.
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