I’ve been meaning to start a series for a while to show you gals my shopping hauls. In these series I hope to include not only what I got from various places, brick and mortar or online, but also some shopping tips, along with outfit combinations that I’ve been loving lately.

Very recently I’ve had a trip to a Premium Outlet only about 45 minutes from where I live. I love Premium Outlets; I mean what’s not to love. They always have a large collection of high quality brands, and you get a great discount on the many beautiful things you find. The one close to me is pretty amazing. It has lots of stores I love from JCrew Factory, Banana Republic, BCBG Max Azria, ColeHaan, to Coach, Ralph Lauren, and Max Studio.

There must be many more that I am forgetting but these bunch are the ones I usually stop by. In general I try to go to this Premium Outlet about once every season for a big haul. My recent expedition was for summer shopping and to get ready for my upcoming trips. I’ll show you gals my finds in a mini series. I’ll show you outfits I made using my purchases, some options all under $100, my shopping tips, and how I styled my finds. (Is it kinda embarrassing that this particular haul needs a series? 🙂 Here we go with the first installment:

Premium Outlet Shopping Tips
Premium Outlet Shopping Tips

I knew that I wanted to find some cute, colorful tops, and shorts to go with them.

Outlet shopping Tips:

  • This is pretty obvious and straightforward but an important tip for outlet shopping: Go early in the weekend mornings; like when the stores first open up.  (Strictly personal preference) The reason I say weekends is- in my experience- extra in-store sales and coupons that are available for the crowds. If you go first thing when they open up, the collection is not picked yet and you have the best chance to find your sizes. You also avoid the bigger crowds coming later in weekend days.
  • Learn when your favorite stores get new merchandise. I almost always ask the salespeople when they get new stuff. This helped me learn a lot of my favorites get new things on Tuesdays or Thursdays. The timing change for each store so make sure to ask this at the stores you shop. Next best thing to weekends is to go when new merchandise is brought in.
  • Sign up to get store’s newsletters by e-mail to get updates on sales and to receive online coupons. This is usually how I first know about BCBG Max Azria campaigns.
  • Stop by customer service offices first. They usually have extra coupons there. In some premium outlets like mine, you can get a coupon book by showing certain cards (like American Express) or for a small fee. If you’ll get big ticket items, this is totally worth it for extra savings.
  • Take snacks&your water bottle with you. I usually don’t like to waste time to sit down, (when my hubby is home with the kids and I have a couple hrs to myself 🙂 and take a health bar or some trail mix with me for a quick snack when I feel low in energy. A water bottle is also great for on the go hydration.
  • Wear super comfortable shoes, and a easy to take off dress. From experience, I learned that wearing pants/shorts for a long shopping day is never a good idea. I try on millions of clothes, a dress is so convenient. Also shoes sound like a “duh” tip but can be overlooked. I wore my cute flats once and left the outlet with blisters and band aids in my feet. Wear something you can walk in all day long.

The first store I stopped by was Banana Republic.

Banana Republic Factory Store Tip: It is important to note that factory stores like Banana Republic, and Gap are usually not true outlet stores. Stores like Cole Haan, and BCBG Max Azria carry a LOT of merchandise that have been transferred from their regular retail stores. Banana Republic, and Gap has majority of their factory store merchandise specifically made for these factory stores.

You can tell the difference between retail store transfers and products made for factory stores by looking at the tag in Banana Republic Factory Stores. If the tag has three little dots under the “Banana Republic” name, that product is a “made for factory store” merchandise.

Premium Outlet Shopping Tips
Premium Outlet Shopping Tips

See below: I know there are some people who don’t shop from Banana Republic Factory stores just for this reason. What do I do? I don’t let it deter me from buying at these stores. Instead I pay extra attention to the fabrics, and try to find quality ones like the shorts I found.The necklace and bracelet are also from Banana Republic. I love to buy jewelry pieces from there as the designs are really pretty, and I love to have a big collection of accessories to go with various looks.

Also I keep in mind that specifically made factory store products may not have cottons/fabrics that will withstand many washes. Tops and blouses I would like to keep “like new” season after season, I buy from regular stores.The tee’s and tanks I buy from factory stores, I do so knowing they’ll be seasonal/trendy pieces and may not stand the test of time. This makes me more sensitive to pricing. ( PS: To be fair, there have been a lot of pieces I bought from these stores that DID stand the test of time)

The floral peplum top is from J Crew. The store at this Premium Outlet is not labeled as Factory store. It carries a lot of merchandise for women, men, and kids from the regular stores. Although not in the name, it still is a factory store and has a lot of specifically made pieces too. My peplum top is one of them; check out the tag:

Premium Outlet Shopping Tips
Premium Outlet Shopping Tips

Pieces made for the J.Crew Factory store has two dots under the name. I know some of you have told me you wish you lived closer to a Premium Outlet Mall. Luckily stores like JCrew Factory has online  presence too. I put together replicas of my outfit along with some other pairings I liked.  I thought of each top and bottom as a set.

Premium Outlet Shopping Tips
Premium Outlet Shopping Tips

Apart from the combo with my peplum top, I really want the striped top floral shorts option. <3

From Theboxqueen’s Closet

Premium Outlet Shopping Tips
Premium Outlet Shopping Tips

Here is the outfit I put together from my Shopping Haul 1 purchases. This outfit is also what I wore for our Mother’s Day brunch. I love how the shorts are elegant and the peplum top is a classic with a twist. The floral print is spot on for summer trends.

Style Tip: You can come up with really chic outfits with shorts. Find styles with more substantial fabrics ( a bit thicker) and some texture for classier outfits. The fit is also very important. They shouldn’t be too loose, or tight.

Premium Outlet Shopping Tips
Premium Outlet Shopping Tips

You can see the texture on the shorts fabric, floral print, and the bracelet better here.

Style Tip: The right shaped peplum top is so universally flattering. This particular one is really great. It goes down and flares at the perfect spot without ballooning up. I think every girl needs a peplum top like this one.

Premium Outlet Shopping Tips
Premium Outlet Shopping Tips

Mary Jane heels are from a couple seasons back, bought from Loft online.

Premium Outlet Shopping Tips
Premium Outlet Shopping Tips

I was immediately drawn to this yellow necklace. Yellow is such a happy color! I also had a hunch it would go great with green and purple flowers on this top.

Do you shop from outlet stores? What have been your best finds? Any tips you could give me?

Hope you enjoyed the first part of my Premium Outlet Haul. More of it is coming very soon.

Make sure to sign up to theboxqueen on the top of the page or the right sidebar with your e-mail to receive updates, news, and tips just like this post.

You can also find theboxqueen on various social media. Instagram is best to see my #ootd ‘s and I love talking with you there. I update Facebook, and Twitter with news and pin a lot of favorites on theboxqueen boards. It’s been amazing to hear from you and to read your e-mails. They make my day; never hesitate to say hi or ask any questions. <3

Hope you had a wonderful Sunday and Mother’s Day! XOXO,

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PS: I have purchased everything in this post myself. There are some affiliate links in this post and thank you so much if you choose to use them! <3

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  • Tban

    Love what you got from your fs shopping haul:) I love the fs shopping. Always find great deals. I especially go when I receive enewletters with great coupons that is kind of extra encouragement. As if I need any!!! I am looking forward to seeing the rest of your shopping haul

    • Thx so much for reminding me the newsletters Tulay. It was on my mental list (as I get all of them, especially love receiving offers from BCBG) and I forgot to write it down. I updated my list with that tip few moments ago. 🙂 I did find a lot of cute things this time. There was a lot of what I guess to be Mother’s Days specials going on too. ( went two weeks ago) Can’t wait to share more. XOXO, Elif

  • Sophia

    Great info. I had no idea about looking at the tags made for factory store merch. Next time I’ll look for sure. Love the peplum floral top with your white shorts.

    • The tags make it easier to tell the the regular and factory stores apart, I like checking too; though especially at BR most items have the Factory Store tag. Glad you found the info useful. Was so happy to find that floral peplum, it really has a great fit and the colors so vibrant. Thx Sophia 🙂 XOXO, Elif

  • Love this post!! I will have to use this info next time I go!

    • You should go Rachel 🙂 There were so many cute things and such great deals a couple weeks ago! <3 XOXO, Elif

  • Cheryl

    Great post! I love shopping at the Premium Outlets as well. We have one about an hour away, and we also have a BR Factory and Gap Factory in our city. LOVE BR for accessories and J.Crew for colorful shorts. I also like Loft Outlet, White House Black Market and CCO.

    • CCO; that’s the cosmetics one right? Have not shopped at that store yet but sounds SO good. Like a place I would spend hrs at :)) I love all the stores you’ve listed. Loft Outlet is another great one though I didn’t stop by there this time. It is so much fun to find so many great brands at the same place. ( and of course with cool deals) Have a great week lovely lady, XOXO, Elif

  • I really never shop at outlets because there aren’t any close to me! I would love to have a J Crew Factory outlet, though. They have some great pieces but I hate having to deal with mail returns. Great details on the tag differences etc. between factory and regular. I would never have known!
    Gina — On the Daily Express

    • I used to have a hard time with online shopping too; now it became like second nature. :-)) If you ever travel anywhere with a Premium outlet mall, be sure to stop by as they are a lot of fun. J Crew Factory Outlet is especially great. Mine carry women, men, and kids. It has a LOT of products and most of it is gorgeous. <3 Have a great Monday, XOXO, Elif

  • These are some really good pieces and you’ve styled them up so well, Elif. You’ve got really great sense for style 🙂

    • You are so sweet Lu, so happy to know you like the styling. I was immediately drawn to the floral top and the colors <3 and really needed white shorts. Are there Premium Outlets in London? XOXO, Elif

  • I am so glad I don’t live around outlet malls. I would be in so much trouble. It’s bad enough with online shopping. Thank you for the tag tutorial. I learned something!

    • Hahaha no kidding we are BOTH in trouble with online shopping :-)) I go to mine a couple times a year for bigger seasonal hauls, and it is almost always worth the trip. Find many pretty things at great prices. Lots of bags, and shoes too. Every time I go I am in trouble 🙂 So glad to know the tag tutorial was useful! XOXO, Elif

  • Darcy

    Love this outfit! Great tips, too!! I love shopping at the outlets… such great deals!!

    • Isn’t it so much fun! I love discovering beautiful things all the while getting great deals. 🙂 So happy you liked the tips and my new pretties, lovely girlie. <3 XOXO, Elif

  • How did I not know to look for the dots! Thanks for the tip!
    I haven’t hit up the outlet mall in awhile – this makes me want to!
    That peplum is amazing on you!

    • Isn’t it a nifty little thing to know 🙂 I always check now every time I am at the factory stores, almost like a game :)) I really like that peplum top, quite flattering compared to a lot I’ve tried. If you ever make it here, I am taking you to the premium outlets <3 XOXO, Elif

  • I wrote a comment earlier but something went wrong and not sure if it went through. Anyway as I was saying, I love visiting Premium Outlets when I visit the US once a year.. been to NY’s Woodbury, Cali’s Cabaon and Camarillo and the one in Vegas but my husband is the party pooper.. his patience would wear out by the 3rd hour when I could go on for 3 more!

    • Wow you’ve been to some good ones Mrs C. I heard the Vegas Premium Outlets are really good. I totally feel for you as my husband is the same way and he has patience for only a small portion of any shopping expedition. Exactly why I leave him at home with the kids and go with friends. :)) Of course when you are visiting this may not be easy to do. 🙂 You have to tell me more about what you find when you are in the US next. XOXO, Elif

  • The J.Crew peplum is divine!! We have a Premium Outlet less than 5 minutes from me and I never seem to go there….only once in a blue moon. You have inspired me to try and get there more often because it looks and sounds like you brought home an amazing haul! This could be dangerous!! 🙂

    • Haha totally dangerous, so much that when my husband hears the words outlet coming out of my mouth he anticipates what’s coming next and even cringes a bit. 🙂 Joking aside though the deals are pretty amazing, and I always seem to find very quality items. You should try it Shanna, I know with your fashion sense you would find all the treasures there. 🙂 Just prepare the household, so there is no shock at the number of shopping bags you return with. There still is here upon my return 🙂 Have a wonderful week lovely! XOXO, Elif

  • Jess

    Coming to you from the link up. I love love the peplum top. I am a huge fan of peplum and the colors are so pretty. Love them with the eyelet shorts as well.

    Please stop by

    • Welcome to theboxqueen Jess! I am such a peplum fan myself, especially when it flares out at the right point. 🙂 Have a great rest of the week. XOXO, Elif

  • Love that top Looks great!

    • Welcome to theboxqueen! Thx, I love it too 🙂 XOXO, Elif

  • Over here in the UK we don;t have the majority of the brands you talk about. I love the peplums, perfect for most people’s shapes. We don’t have much call to wear shorts over here but I do like the outfits you’ve put above. I do shop in outlets. I would say that never buy anything unless you absolutely love it or something that you would pay full price for if you had the money. I’m visiting you from Manic Monday. I am also following you on bloglovin. I will leave my link in case you would like to also follow.

    • Welcome to theboxqueen! I love the fashion brands from the UK. For instance I adore Topshop. Premium Outlet Shopping is so much fun as I love getting great brands at wonderful prices. I mean who doesn’t right? 🙂 It’s like finding little treasures. XOXO, Elif

  • Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks with us! These are great! I had no idea that you could tell the factory items apart by the dots. As I told you on IG, that floral top is gorgeous and I love the way you’ve styled it!


    • So happy to know you liked the tips Erika 🙂 Thx for the sweetness <3 I was so immediately drawn to that top. 🙂 Have a great weekend! XOXO, Elif

  • Great tips, I love shopping at outlet stores. You picked up a nice haul, especially like #7! BTW, saw your link at SITSgirls Saturday Share Fest…happy weekend!

    • Hi Bernadyn welcome to theboxqueen and thx for stopping by 🙂 Isn’t it fun shopping at outlets? I agree that option 7 has a extra special print. Have a great rest of the weekend. XOXO, Elif

  • aylin

    Thanks for this informative post. I often go to the GAP Outlet near my workplace. I always wondered why some of the stuff they had felt so cheaply made. I always thought they were past Season from GAP. I looked all the stuff I bought from there and they all have three dots ha ha!

    A Banana Republic Factory Outlet Store has just been opened near my house. I haven’t been there yet, but when I do, I will be wary of the dots:)

    • Haha it’s addicting checking for those dots at the outlet stores 🙂 Also when you go next keep in mind that stores like BCBG, Cole Haan have a lot of direct regular store merchandise too. Have an amazing Wednesday, XOXO, Elif