As we review the wreckages of our past, as Fashionistas, I can safely say,
that I have never regretted my voyages to Outlet Malls. They used to be the “well-kept secret” of the housewives of America, but now, the European experience is just not complete without a visit to a well-heeled Outlet Mall that boasts shops “to die for” and bargains to tell your gal pals at the coffee shop or water cooler at the office. Well….not quite. Here are some tips to remember, as you wander through the malls, and take in the fashionable and fabulous bargains that seem “too good to be true”
- Beware of the Big Name Store: Yes, they can be somewhat deceptive, as they often reserve this “failed” fashion merchandise for the outlets, or licensed goods that don’t make it upstairs to rue St. Honore. That “big lable” you are paying for might be a “semi-faux” and overpriced. Just be sure you are buying the ‘real thing’ when shopping, you can check Vogue.com for the collections videos, and pretty much see the entire collections there, that way, you know you are buying something that is original.
- Beware of Return Policies. Make sure your items can be returned, with a receipt, in case there is a disaster. Most of these shops are designed for “On the Spot” purchases and they don’t expect to see you again. Think again, before you make your final purchase, you might not be able to exchange it or return int.
- Put lots of things on “same day hold” as you cruise around the complex, before you make final decisions.
- Try everything on if possible. No second guessing in an Outlet Mall, its a better decision if it fits you now, not later. After all, you can always come back, and they will have more!
- Find out if the store is “unloading” merchandise that you will never see again. Its part of how to make your final decision. If you really love something, and its being discontinued, (and being sold) in an outlet location, just buy two, max. Fashion changes all the time. You don’t want to be caught with more than two pairs of something in your closet, even jeans.
- Shop Online to check brands, or review fashion magazines before you are let loose in the Mall. A shopping list, or a clear idea of what you are looking for will help you make the best buying decisions.
- Yes, its fun to look at really great fashion for less, just be aware of the season you are shopping. The best bargains are usually when the season is over, so buy classics, and buy ahead, if you can. That’s when you will be happy, that you bought that winter coat in July. It will look beautiful in your closet come autumn and you will be really happy you paid substantially less for it.
- Finally, even though I love fashion trends like everyone else, its time to buy classics now. Really great classics that will last you a few years, made with beautiful quality, which European merchandise is known for, at a fraction of the price.
We don’t want to take the fun of browsing, wandering and recreational shopping away from you fashionistas, so do have fun at the Outlet mall, take a few friends so that you get some support for your decisions, and can enjoy lunch while you are shopping!
Paris Vallee Village – http://www.valleevillage.com for a complete list of designer outlet shops.
http://www.chicoutletshopping.com: London, Dublin, Barcelona, Madrid, Milane, Burxelles, Francfort, Munich.