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:
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.
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:
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.
2. JCrew | Chino Short $34
3. JCrew | Top in stripe $44
4. JCrew | Short $34
5. ModCloth | IChino Short $39
6. JCrew | Chino Short $34
7. ModCloth | Vintage Shirt $44
8. JCrew | Short $34
Apart from the combo with my peplum top, I really want the striped top floral shorts option. <3
From Theboxqueen’s Closet
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.
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.
Mary Jane heels are from a couple seasons back, bought from Loft online.
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.
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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