Tippies & Trickies: Outlet Malls

I am a girl who can shop just about anywhere. And believe me, I have! See exhibit A…

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I found this throw at a roadside shop in Missouri while on a road trip. It was a hole in the wall shopping experience. But it was cute, with its ikat self, it was made of good quality cotton and was between $12-$15. Not too shabby right? I’ve had it for about 6-7 years and I still like it!

That being said, I love going to outlet malls. I think it’s a passion of mine and I think it’s one of my life’s missions, to go to every outlet mall there is…(errr, not really, but I do like me some outlets!)
I have found and scored so many deals from outlets, it’s not even funny! (I found my ray ban wayfarers at the bloomie’s outlet for around $70!) And I’m so not scared to shop in the sale section either. The clearance sections are the best!

But unfortunately, I have come to realize that nowadays, chain outlet stores (e.g. J.crew, gap, banana republic) make their clothes specifically for the outlet. Not from retail store to outlet. So you may not be getting the quality you thought you were getting. They however do make similar looking items that they sell at the retail stores as they sell in the outlet, as in, a silk blouse is actually polyester in the outlet or factory store. That you have to be mindful about. If you do find a 100% silk piece of clothing, you can pretty much bet it did come from the retail store. And you actually getting a good deal out of it.
What’s unfortunate about brands making clothes for the outlet stores, is that they will mark up the price, and then mark it down to make you think that you actually are getting a good deal. Mind game…anyone? But I can’t say all bad things about outlet stores, ’cause I really do like outlet and factory stores! And you can find items that once were in the retail chains inventory and get a great deal on the item! Yes, you really can!

I do have a few tips up my sleeves when shopping in outlet & factory stores:
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1. Do your research.
When I say this, I mean it. Scour the internet of your favorite shops. Find what shapes you like, what is on trend, what you are loving at the moment, and the amount of money they are.

2. Make a list.
I say this with utmost respect. As humans we get distracted quite easily. So if we don’t make lists for ourselves, we tend to buy more than expected. Not good! Always. Make. A. List!

3. To honestly get a good outlet store deal.
Make sure you are actually getting a good deal! Unfortunately, you may think you’re getting a fabulous deal when in reality, you may be paying more for a cheap version of what you actually wanted.

4. Check the fabric content.
I am the queen of checking the fabric content on items of clothing. I actually play this game with myself of guessing the fabric content to see if I actually know what’s in it before checking. Most of the time I can pat myself on the back…
Anyway, always check first so you’re not sorry later! Because what if you couldn’t tell the poly from the silk and toy paid more for the poly than you could have for the silk.

5. I for one, and this could just be me, I’m not going to outlets for polyester & acrylic. I’m honest to goodness looking for good quality items on the cheap. I believe there are items still out there, but you need to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck! I look for cotton, silk, rayon, cashmere, leather, even faux leather occasionally, etc! I always check the seams of the garment, if they’re already pulling, it’s of no use to me. I’m not interested in a garment about to fall apart.

6. When at an outlet mall, you may see an H&M or an oldnavy or a forever 21. Don’t be fooled, they’re probably not an outlet store. They’ll be regular retail stores. But you will probably see a Neiman Marcus Last Call, Bloomingdale’s Outlet or an Off 5th or all three depending on the outlet mall you’re at! Now any of these are legit! They have incredible items you can partake in buying! Name brand items literally on the down low! I really like going into these stores because they honestly give you a good deal and they never, (that I know of) make any of the clothes specifically for that store! Score!

7. Try on the item before buying.
This is so true. Some fits are just weird. Where they may look great on the hanger, but when you try it on it looks rubbish on! And if that item you’re buying is a final sale, you’ll want to make sure it looks good on ya before layin’ out the dough!

8. Go to the outlets website to see which stores are having promotions, sales and what not. They may even have coupons for you to print out and use. You never know until you go to the website!

9. Don’t buy into the an additional 10% off your entire order trap when they offer you to get a credit card from the said retailer. 10% is great! but it’s not that much off when you actually thing about it! and you really don’t need to go into debt when trying to purchase a name brand shoe. Don’t be a collector of credit cards and especially a collector of bad credit! Because that purse may be there for a season but bad credit is harder to get rid of!

10. Just have fun, spend wisely, don’t get caught up in the ” oh, it’s only $5!!!” Schpeel. If you don’t love it now, chances are you are not going to love it later in life either. Make sure that what buy, you love it. And if you do love it, 1. make sure it’s in your budget, 2. you won’t regret if you decide not to get it or 3. It’s something you’ll actually wear.

11. Clearance items is a dangerously blissful place to be. I enjoy the hunt of a good deal, I’m probably one of the many queens of good deals. But just like you, I may get blinded by the “good” deal. So sometimes I walk away from the item, think about it, then if I can’t stop thinking about it, I usually end up purchasing that said Item. It’s always a good idea to take a breather, go get a treat, think about and then return and buy the item of choice!

12. Also, this is pretty self explanatory, but don’t try on things when, 1. You’re cranky 2. You’re bloated 3. It’s that time of the month… 4. You don’t have enough in your bank account 5. You’re hungry. Never good! That’s all I’m going to say!

13. Oh and last thing, usually there is a little white tag underneath the brand’s woven tag, That usually tells you if it’s made especially for the outlet or if it’s a season old. It could say SPRG 2014 or it could say SMMR 2013… Just look at those white tags, they’re useful!

I hope you enjoyed these tips.

Let me know any tips you may have, in the comments down below! I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks guys, Ryn

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2 thoughts on “Tippies & Trickies: Outlet Malls

    1. Awe, Thanks so much! Yeah, it’s good and bad that they do! Sometimes you can find really good deals at an outlet store though! It’s always a strategy!

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