Author Agnes Smedley once wrote "I see no reason why a woman should not grow and develop in all those outlets which are suited to her nature, it matters not at all what they may be". Though perhaps not her intention, her words echo the sentiments of satisfied Designer outlet mall shoppers.
Though outlet malls exist globally, the US, with its already stellar conversion rates and monopoly on the "bigger is better" shopping centers, seemingly has the most wonderful of these outlets. The deals are so good they are worth salivating over and often the merchandise is so seasonal it is practically right off the catwalk!
My favorite outlet malls are along the east coast of America from the north (in the mountains right outside of New York City) to the south (Orlando, Florida). Outlet malls tend to be conveniently located near vacation hotspots so they are often scenic and accessible! The Premium Outlets in Orlando, the Wrentham Premium Outlets in Massachusetts, and Woodbury Commons in New York are each filled with brilliant shops and fabulous atmospheres that are completely unique to the locale!
However, similar to other great shopping experiences (vintage shopping, market shopping, etc) there is always the problem of scouring through the numerous options to find the places worth going to.
Generally with outlet malls, shoppers spend much of their time looking for a bargain on their visit. Some people may have an idea of what they want; other will have brands they want to purchase. However, the most successful of shoppers approach these malls without anything specific in mind. There are so many great sales on gorgeous items, but when shopping for something specific you may find that you cannot find exactly what it is you are looking for.
Orlando Premium Outlet Mall is an excellent outlet but requires some hunting effort. The mall is filled with luxurious brands including La Perla, Locaste, Donald J. Plinar, Diesel, Kenneth Cole, Burberry, Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, and Dior. These stores often deeply discount but tend to require time, as you will have to search for the items worth the bargain. However, one can often strike gold! Early this summer I found a gorgeous Burberry Lawson bag for just $700 down from its originally price of $1500! Located just minutes away from Disney World, these outlets are a great stop during holidays with the family (8200 Vineland Avenue, Orlando, FL 32821, (407) 238-7787)!
Wrentham Village Premium Outlets are located in the Berkshires, Massachusetts about 45 minutes from Boston. Like the Orlando Outlets Wrentham has a large and wonderful selection of brands. This popular mall is perfect for someone on a slightly lower budget then the Orlando Premium Outlets. There are over 200 different shops including Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Saks, Juicy, Uggs, Coach, Theory, Barney’s, and BCBG. Whilst the discounts and finds are excellent at this mall one should take heed that this is a very crowded shopping center (think Notting Hill Carnival crowds). However, it is totally worth it, the merchandise is very seasonal and I always a great price. One example is my recent find of a lovely Armani leather coat at Barneys for nearly ½ price at $350! The outlet is located at: One Premium Outlets Boulevard, Wrentham, MA 02093, (508) 384-0600.
The crème de la crème of outlet shopping is hands down Woodbury Commons in New York (about an hour outside the city). Fashionista across the globe will travel far and wide for this buried treasure! Woodbury is the type of shoppers’ mecca where to go there you must love to clothes, bargains and shopping. It is very crowded and very big but is equally brimming with luxury brands and has equally luxurious deals! Some of the many, many shops include, Balenciaga, Burberry, Betsey Johnson, Coach, Chloé, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Lacoste, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Prada, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Tod’s, Tory Burch and much, much more! Whether you are looking for something specific or are just wanting to see what’s out there you will find it here! Every time I am in the States (no matter how inconvenient it may be) I make sure to hit up this shopping paradise. I bring back all my gorgeous finds to London and happily strut around in my seasonal must-haves (that I got for ½ the price)! I have gone once already this summer (but am actually going again at the end of the month) and got some fabulous Rock and Republic jeans for under $100, Prada loafers for $200 and a fabulous more then 30% off on a Chanel Cruise Collection ‘09 handbag! Woodbury is easily my top favorite place to shop retail in the world! Located at: 498 Red Apple Court, Central Valley, NY 10917, (845) 928-4000.
The process of assembling your autumnal wardrobe can be a daunting experience. Often the desire for multiple new pieces combined with a tight budget can make a girl feel overwhelmed! These outlet shops allow a girl to have a bit of luxury without the guilt! So, the next time you are travelling my fellow fashionistas (and feeling that you want to be recession savvy) it is worth investing your time and money in these marvelous Outlets!