Bright [Wardrobe] on a Budget : Memorial Day Weekend Outlet Shopping–Part 2

This past weekend, I hit the outlets not once, but twice, so here’s some of the deals I scored the second time around, as well as some general advice about outlet shopping.  You can find Part 1 here.

I love outlet shopping, so of course I have to hit the outlets when I’m nearby! Growing up, I had always heard of outlet shopping like it was some sort of mythical creature, but never got the chance to experience it.  It wasn’t until after my first year of law school that I finally got to experience the outlets, and needless to say, I was immediately hooked! I’ve found I can score some awesome deals when outlet shopping!

That said, just because something is at the outlet doesn’t automatically make it a good deal.  Here’s my tips for outlet shopping.

1. Realize that there’s a difference between a brand’s full-price store and their outlet store. A lot of brands make items just for their outlet store that would never show up in their full-price store.  Sometimes the items are completely different, sometimes the styles are based off last season, and sometimes the items are actually clearanced from the full-price store. . . (here’s an article that explains more about that and how to tell the difference).  I’m okay with that, because there’s times when I like the outlet products better than the full-price store.  For example, I hate the full-price Gap store, but love their outlet.  Just don’t base your outlet budget on full-price store retail prices–adjust accordingly.  Treat them as if they were any other store you would shop at.

Outfit details here.

2. Make a budget before you go and stick with it.  This is super important.  When you’re outlet shopping, it’s so easy to spend more than you planned to spend.  You’re saving money, so you spend more money. . .it’s a vicious cycle.  So set a budget and stick with it.  Have in mind what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to pay for those items.  If you’re going to look for a new purse and set a budget of $150, then don’t buy the $175, no matter how good of deal it is.

I shopped some for Chauncey as well!
Swim trunks: Old Navy, $14.96 on sale, currently $24.94 + 25% off on oldnavy.com using code ONSAVENOW.
Shorts: Old Navy, $13.76, currently $22.94 + 25% off on oldnavy.com using code ONSAVENOW.

3. Watch prices to make sure you’re getting the best deal.  Many outlets now have online stores (here’s some).  Some of my favorite outlet stores are online–Coach Factory, J. Crew Factory, and Vera Bradley Outlet (pop-up sales).  The key to making sure you’re getting the best deal is to watch prices.  Pay attention to which sales are good but know which sales are best.  Sometimes I’ll watch an item for several weeks to make sure I’m saving the most money.  Also, disregard the price listed on the tag as the Suggested Retail Price, Comparable Price, etc, and base your price evaluation you do by watching prices.

Striped t-shirt: Old Navy, $4.97 (excellent deal!), currently $9.94 + 25% off at oldnavy.com using code ONSAVENOW.
Polo: Old Navy, $10.46, currently $14.94 + 25% off at oldnavy.com using code ONSAVE NOW>

4. Resist impulse buys.  No matter how good of deal it is, if you don’t need it (or can’t live without it), don’t buy it!  I can’t stress this enough.  I think that you can get sucked into a must-buy mentality because the outlets are usually a little bit of a drive, and you think you have to buy buy buy.  No!  If you’re on the fence about something, ask yourself if you’re going to majorly regret NOT taking it home.  If the answer is no, or you’re still on the fence, leave it in the store.

Shirts for Kane!
Shirts: Children’s Places.  Approximately $17 for all 3. I can’t find my receipt for exact prices:(

5. Beware of non-outlet stores in disguise!  I’ve found several stores, such as Bath & Body Works and Old Navy, that truly aren’t that much different at the outlet.  So while you can still get good deals at these stores, realize that you can probably get the same deals back home.

6. Always look for a coupon!  As you’re checking out, always ask the salesperson if the store currently have a coupon out.  If they say they do, then Google the store name + printable coupon code and set your search results to the past week.  I usually have great luck doing this!  This weekend, I was able to use coupons like this at Gap Outlet and Loft Outlet.

I hope these tips help you if you’re planning on going outlet shopping soon!  I will say that I like Premium Outlets better than Tanger Outlets, but I’ll hit up either one.

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