The Word on the Street Is . . . Friperie

It’s all the trend among Montreal Anglos, mainly of the female persuasion, to use the term friperie (or frip store for short) instead of thrift storesecond-hand store, or Sally Ann. Perhaps the inclination is due to the more archaic use of the English term frippery, which according to Merriam-Webster’s means “an elegant or showy garment.”

Or perhaps it’s simply due to that fact that thrift store conjures up thoughts of ratty sofas, ramasse-poussières (which literally translates as dustpan, but more loosely as crap that gathers dust), and a wide selection of flashy, over-sized muumuus, whereas friperie brings to mind cool clothes at cut-rate prices.

Unlike their Sally Ann sisters who are relegated to the far reaches of town, friperies tend to be located in hipper hoods, like Montreal’s fashionable Plateau and Mile End quarters.

What’s more, friperies are often consignment stores—not just junk depositories—where you can flip your old frips for new ones.

What’s your favourite friperie?

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