so i just got back from a girls' shopping weekend in paris and it was really quite lovely, though not as fruitful of a shopping trip as i had hoped. just thought i'd report on some of my trip highlights for any of you planning to hit paris for chanel, shopping and more... first, the chanel details-- since there was a boutique right along avenue montaigne (near our hotel), we stopped by this store first before hitting the rue cambon boutique. on friday afternoon, the place was crazy busy, and i really couldn't focus on the goods in front of me. i asked about the 227 reissue in dark silver (for which i am still waitlisted for in new york) and the saleswoman who was helping us said that the color was no longer available and was from last season-- which sounded very strange to me. perhaps she was confusing dark silver with the bronze color from the cruise collections? the boutique along rue cambon was smaller than i expected, but very charming, and the sales associate who helped us is someone who was recommended by a TPF'er-- Thierry. i searched the shelves in vain for a 227 reissue in dark silver, but according to Thierry, there was only ONE 227 size left in that color in all of Paris, which was unfortunately reserved for a client! i was actually quite disappointed, as it would have been nice to buy myself something chanel from the rue cambon shop. my girlfriends did buy themselves the following: a black wallet on a chain for around 900 euros (i think) and a black timeless clutch in lambskin for 800 euros. i thought they were fabulous buys, since I remember someone from the madison boutique saying that the timeless clutch in caviar is around $900US. i prefer the clutch in the lambskin, anyway. at the chanel boutique on 21 rue du faubourg, i ended up purchasing a porte billet monnaie in black (which looks like a wallet version of the classic flap),a gift for my mother for around 510 euros. if i were to do my chanel shopping trip over, i would definitely try to schedule my trip to earlier in the season, before the crowds come and scoop up the special items! in terms of inventory, i saw a handful of the smaller sizes of the dark silver reissues and quite a few black metallic 227 reissues (priced at around 1850 euros). i even toyed with the idea of buying a baby cabas in black caviar for 1325 euros (a bargain versus the US price of $1995), but decided to hold out for my dark silver bag in new york. some random recommendations: our hotel, the plaza athenee paris was really a lovely palace hotel, with super luxurious services. i had never stayed there before, and i was happy with the choice, as the concierge desk there is larger than the check in desk-- which means they really do mean service there. the hotel is also very centrally located, on avenue montaigne, which is smack in the middle of all the ritziest designer shops. i don't think i will stay there again, unless i can afford a suite or if price were no object. i think i'm more of a modern boutique hotel kind of girl, but if you want classic french service, the plaza athenee is the way to go. i wouldn't recommend coming to paris in august if you are expecting to eat luxe meals, as most of the gastronomic restaurants are closed. other random recommendations: laudree for macarons! and as touristy as it may sound, a night time cruise along the seine is a nice, chill way to explore the landscape of the city at night. hope this is helpful for all of you heading out to paris. i enjoyed my time there, but am definitely glad to be back to new york! overall, i would say that the US versus europe savings aren't too substantial, and the stock varies wildly, so it's just a matter of luck of the draw.