Learned Opinion

I Love Paris In the Fall

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Susan Tabak is a personal shopper--a really personal shopper. For $1,500 a day, she'll take you and your friends to the chic boutiques in Paris and make sure you get the treatment from the snooty sales assistants that your hard-earned greenbacks deserve. But just in case you don't have an extra few thousand to unload, here are some of her secrets. They should work at the mall too:

1 Don't wear sneakers. They're a giveaway that you're a tourist and invite inferior service.

2 Carry a designer's shopping bag with you, even if you have to borrow one. It will give you shopping credibility. On the off chance that you buy something, have the store send it to your hotel.

3 You don't have to speak French to get good service. Just say, "Bonjour, madame," and smile broadly as you walk in; they'll think you mean business.

4 If you run out of steam in the middle of the afternoon, head into a designer store such as Chanel, Prada or Yves Saint Laurent, sit down, and ask for a glass of water. "They'll happily oblige," says Tabak.

5 Parisian storekeepers work reasonable hours. They shut their doors at 7 every weeknight and are closed all day Sunday.

6 Finally, for an only-in-Paris shopping experience, try to snag an appointment at Anouschka (33-148-743-700) or E2 (33-147-701-514), two out-of-the-way vintage boutiques.