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Children's Boutiques, Paris

France's insider take:

Spend a day in the Luxembourg Gardens and you'll see that French children have as much style as their parents. For a good introduction to vêtements pour enfants, explore the streets around the park, such as the Rue Vavin, the Rue de Seine, and the Rue de Tournon in the sixth, or head to the Rue Condorcet in the ninth. Alice à Paris is like a child's answer to A.P.C.: You'll find simply cut basics for ages one month to 8 years that are smart without being too precious or too pricey. The duffel coats with horn closers (just like Paddington Bear's), drawstring harem-style pants (perhaps in paisley or denim), and Nehru-collar shirts are perennials for the smart younger set. When Michelle Obama came to Paris in June 2009, she shopped for her girls at the Bonpoint flagship at 6 Rue de Tournon in the sixth; downstairs, the restaurant, which looks onto a courtyard, serves salads and Italian dishes at reasonable prices. Equally pricey but less prim, BonTon plays Soho to Bonpoint's Park Avenue with more everyday fashions and an eclectic assortment of toys. (Both Bonpoint and BonTon are best for ages one month through 8 years.) The bright aesthetic of Ube Ule, on the Rue Condorcet in the ninth, focuses on imports from Belgium and Holland (best for ages 4 to 10). The shop is deliberately distracting—like a child's playroom—and is filled with lunchboxes, corduroy pantsuits, the owners' handmade line of printed cotton shirts and dresses, dangling mobiles, stacks of Petitcollin dolls (in production since 1860), and a toy crib (for sale) filled with hand-knit animals. Nearby, Marchand d'Étoiles translates to "merchant of the stars"—referring to dreamtime rather than Angelina Jolie. The jaunty cut of the pajamas (in cotton, linen, jersey, and fleece, for ages one month to 12 years) helps them easily transition from night to day. Among the pj's, you'll also find cosmetics, such as alcohol-free violet perfume, and a private line of pantoufles—dashingly pointy leather house slippers. For babies in particular, Tartine & Chocolat is as sweet as its name, while Jacadi excels in adorable things for model girls and boys up to 12 years.

As a rule of thumb, most stores are open Tuesdays through Saturdays 11 am to 7 pm.

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