Where can I find coats in a hurry for winter in Paris?

13 October 2013

Winter in Paris, drinking hot chocolate

One of my favourite pastimes in Paris – drinking hot chocolate in a cosy café on a winter’s day!

I recently received an email from a delightful lady named Kara – here is her question (“Where can I find coats in a hurry for winter in Paris?”), my answer, and her lovely response:

Hello Teena!

Lovely blog — thanks for posting so many tips! I’m writing because my husband received a rather abrupt (but happy!) job transfer to Paris and we are to move in two weeks. Since we’ve been living in the southern U.S. for a few years now, we no longer own coats and, furthermore, they’re very hard to find down here where it seldom drops below 15C or so degrees. I’ve tried ordering online, but with poor results.

With only two weeks to pull everything together, I’m getting nervous that we will just have to board the plane coatless and freeze on arrival. Which brings me to you–do you think it’s possible to find a U.S. size 14 coat somewhere in Paris? I’m just imagining department stores full of coats for skinny Parisian women without a stitch to spare for more rounded out shapes.

Merci for your help!  Peace, Kara

Teena’s Answer for winter in Paris

Kara, hello!!

First of all – have no fear!  You’re going to need thermal underwear for winter, so if you can find a place like DAMART locally or online, buy yourself leggings and a long-sleeve top to go under a shirt etc.  That will keep the winter chill away until you can find a coat.

I’ve just looked at the temps in Paris, and the highs are around 17-18 degrees Celcius for the next week, so not freezing, but getting cooler.

If you don’t have overcoats before you leave, you can definitely find them on arrival.
You no doubt have somewhere to stay as soon as you land, so if you DO find anything online, you can have it shipped to your accommodation for the day you arrive (if you don’t have time to get it delivered before you leave the USA).
You’re probably better off waiting till you get there before spending too much money, as you’ll have a wider selection and you’ll be able to try things on rather than impulse-buy online.
For plus-size coats, you’re in luck!  There are BEAUTIFUL fashions in Paris for plus-size beauties, and I host shopping tours to a lot of these stores in summer-time.
I have a list of plus size clothes on my website (it may be a year or two out of date, but it’s a start):

Have a look at Ulla Popken (one of my faves), a very reasonably priced store a block from the Galleries Lafayette, which always has a great selection of clothes:

Check out Jean-Marc Philippe with stores all over Paris:

To travel on the plane, wear a few layers with long sleeves, find yourself a large shawl or scarf you can drape around yourself, add a jaunty scarf around the neck, and you’ll be fine till you get to your accommodation and can go shopping.
OOOooohhhh what a lucky possum you are! You two will have the best fun, and I’d love to hear from you to see what you end up doing and buying.
Best of luck, keep an eye out for the word “SOLDES” which means ‘SALE!” twice a year (it is extremely regulated and all stores have sales at exactly the same time each year).

Ciao for now

Kara’s reply to winter in Paris

Hello Teena,

Thank you SO MUCH for your extraordinarily helpful email! My husband and I depart on Monday and I am still scrambling to find an overcoat, so really helped to put my mind at ease.

Upon your advice, I just bought some fleece-lined shirts and leggings (divine!), so I’ll be alright until I get to pop in to Ulla Popken or Jean-Marc Phillipe :) Your shopping tours sound like so much fun — I’ll see if I can get a few girlfriends to come visit over the summer and sign up with me!

Hope your move up the coast went well and that you love your new home. Thanks again for all your help! Take care.


I was so pleased to be able to help Kara – if you have a question, please do let me know and I’ll do my best to answer it, just like this one about winter in Paris :-)



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