I’m at a point in my life where designer purchases are still a long way off. That’s not to say they’re not on my mind. I’m the first to clock a designer item when somebody walks in the room wearing one and I’ll probably never get bored when in the company of designer items in the real world. My hidden talent, however, is bagging a designer bargain whether that’s through rummaging in vintage stores or pouncing on a sample sale with the stealth and patience required to shop fashionable bargains successfully.
There’s a knack to these things, one that requires time and patience as you develop your magpie eye and bargain hunting skills. The first step is knowing where to look.
For the vintage lovers, we’ve got this article with the inside scoop from the pros on the dos and don’ts plus where to look for vintage clothing. This time we’re taking you through the UK and Ireland’s best designer outlets to find the best fashion bargains.
Kildare Village, Ireland
Walking through Kildare makes for the perfect day trip for shopaholics serious about getting more bang for their buck on designer purchases. With perfectly landscaped grounds designed to create the atmosphere of an authentic village environment and over 100 exclusive brands, your biggest problem will be resisting temptation to buy everything in sight.
Some of our personal favourites include Mulberry, Swarovski and Kurt Geiger for killer deals (and killer heels).
Bicester Village, Oxfordshire
Bicester Village is one of 11 outlet villages within the Bicester Village shopping collection in Europe (including Kildare). Situated just one hour from London, their collection of designer brands available to shop is hard to beat. Highlights include Celine, Prada and Alexander McQueen, all of which have up to 60% off all year round.
Midweek shopping sprees, arriving as close to the village’s opening time (9am) as possible is supposedly your best bet for bagging the most incredible bargains. Plus, with several dining options and a charming gifting suite and luxury services, it’s easy to put a day in at Bicester Village.
Cheshire Oaks, Cheshire
Opening its doors in 1995, Cheshire Oaks was one of the originals in the designer outlet game in the UK. With 150 boutiques, ranging from high-street favourites, Marks and Spencer and Next, adidas and Nike alongside the unlikely players like Burberry, Mulberry, Coach and Kate Spade, there’s something for everyone of varying budgets with 60% off as pricing discount on products.
Don’t see something you’re looking for? The staff is renowned for friendly customer service at Cheshire Oaks. All you’ve got to do is ask and they’ll do their best to accommodate your needs.
The Mulberry Factory Store
A lesser-known outlet gem is Mulberry’s manufacturing factory where it’s most popular bags are brought to life. The stock is all arranged into three sections including an area for one-off factory samples, discounted styles and a final section for the items with slight faults that managed to slip below the brand’s standards of perfection. A word from the wise tells us this is one to watch when you’ve got a particular item in mind and be sure to call ahead and check stock when looking for something specific. Rumour has it that prices here dip to between 30-50% off original prices. You don’t have to tell us twice, we’re already sold.