French Toast

The Pursuit of Paris

Frenchware (98 Thompson Street) has dolls too, but they are more of the Babar and Tintin variety. Though some of the usual suspects are present (a model of the Eiffel Tower; the ubiquitous metal toilette signs) this place turns its back on the thrift shop aesthetic in favor of hard-to-find items from a phantom French armoire. Blue-and-white-striped sailor shirts of traditional rough cotton (beware, they shrink), heretofore almost impossible to find in America, are $79; navy wool sweaters with buttons that close on the shoulder are $139; a traditional fisherman's smock in faded blue cotton with capacious armholes (for swinging nets) is $89; and rope-soled espadrilles in red or blue are $21. Any combination of the above will make you look like Juliette Greco singing in a boîte or Gerald Murphy lunching with Hemingway or Jean Seberg selling the Herald Tribune or Jean Genet robbing a sucker or whoever else it is that animates your deepest, dearly cherished Francophile fantasy.

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