How I Afford Designer Pieces
Us millennials love a bargain. We grew up forming our shopping habits during a time of recession, so the words ‘discount’, ‘bargains’ and ‘Sale’ are etched into our brains as the greatest way to shop. Personally, while I love making a saving on my designer pieces, I don’t want to loose out on the premium shopping experience so for me the greatest way to shop for discount pieces is within a designer outlet centre, and my new favourite? McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cheshire Oaks.
Before visiting McArthurGlen Designer Outlet centres (I first visited the York centre last year) I thought of designer outlets as the place where trends and clothes go as a last resort – the last chance for damaged and off trend pieces to be bought, and only extreme sizes or ghastly out of season pieces could be found. Well, I was wrong. I like to think of myself as a savvy shopper, and thanks to my regular trips to Oxford Street flagships and online shopping sites, I know what’s currently in stock, so I was surprised to see current stock, undamaged, and in a great sizing range on the rails at McArthurGlen. Premium high street pieces that had tempted me in the stores, only to be left behind due to the price tag, were there on the rails, with massive mark downs. With discounts up to 60% off in stores ranging from French Connection, Ted Baker, Kurt Geiger, Reiss to Radley, Mulberry and Burberry, there’s no catch. It’s on trend highstreet, premium highstreet, and designer pieces, at a fraction of the price.
Expectations Vs Reality
When visiting designer outlets, you’re still going to be splurging on those higher end pieces but its important to remember that you are literally saving hundreds of pounds on them which can make that out of reach purchase that bit more achievable. McArthurGlen for me is especially great for designer accessories; bags, belts, wallets and more, but for Charlie it’s all about the clothes – he stocks up on Ted Baker blazers and Reiss shirts every time we visit.
As for the shopping experience, all stores are visually merchandised in the exact same was as you’d expect to see on London’s most infamous shopping streets, and your designer goods will be packaged up in the same way as you’d expect from the flagship store. I was so impressed with the in store experiences which all McArthurGlen centres offer, including personalisation (on leather goods such as in the Radley store in Chesire Oaks) and shop floor beauty treatments.
What’s In My Shopping Basket?
I didn’t have anything specific on my wishlist during my latest trip to Cheshire Oaks. We dashed from store to store admiring the pieces with the best discounts and most on trend designs, and before we knew it we were both laden with shopping bags filled with our incredible finds.
One of the first stores we visited was Nike, and I picked up a couple of essentials for my workouts including a white vest top and a grey hoody – I was surprised to see such timeless staple pieces in the outlet but at 1/3 off store prices, I was’t going to complain!
French Connection was filled with tempting pieces, I splurged on a floral white Summer dress which I can’t wait to wear on our next holiday, and a cosy blush pink jumper which I know I’ll be living in when the temperatures drop. Next was Folli Follie, a beautiful rose gold stacking bracelet caught my eye at the back of the store where I was able to save myself over £100 on the stunning design. By far my greatest ‘achievement’ was picking up a Mulberry Darley Bag for a third less than the shop prices – it’s beautiful Macaroon Pink pebbled leather and golden chain captured by heart, and the price was simply too good to refuse!
We all know that the best days out, even when the main goal is to shop, include a little R&R, and thankfully McArthurGlen have got that covered too. Each of their six UK shopping centres has a Summer Social area where you can chill out between your bargain hunting and at Cheshire Oaks there was not only a bar serving Strawberry Daiquiris (my favourite tipple!) and a Grill Shack serving hot dogs, nachos and more, but also a cute and colourful picnic area to enjoy your treats in, and even a giant pool complete with a huge zorb to keep the children (and adults!) entertained.
So, have I tempted you?
I’m not surprised! But before you go, here are my final tips, and the practical information you need for your visit.
Tip 1. Take an honest friend. She’ll tell you when you’re getting carried away with the discounts, or if the bargains have made your brain a bit fuzzy.
Tip 2. Do a lap. If you’re not sure about something, leave it, walk around a bit, and then come back. If it’s still there, and you’re still mad about it, then it’s meant to be.
Tip 3. Don’t loose hope! If you can’t find something, don’t panic. Stock changes regularly (daily in some stores!) so head back in a few weeks time to see if it has arrived.
Tip 4. Have a strategy. If you have certain stores you want to visit, hit them up first. Mine are always Mulberry, French Connection and Burberry. If you’re shopping for gifts, have a checklist with you so you can mark off each family member or friend as you find the perfect gift.
McArthurGlen designer outlets are the perfect shopping destination where you are guaranteed to find something you love for many years to come! The centre that we visited, is in Chester – just over 2 hours on the train from London, and then a short cab ride away from the station.
Check out the website here to find out where your nearest McArthurGlen centre is!
Thank you to McArthurGlen for collaborating on this post!